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Tuley's Takes on Thursday NCAA action

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

March 8, 2018 05:05 AM

Wednesday was a great day for all of us college basketball junkies – but we might all be in danger of overdosing on Thursday as there are 56 games on the betting boards (note: that’s more than during the first week of the NCAA Tournament next Tuesday through Sunday).

I went 1-1 ATS here Wednesday with my official best bets as Colorado upset Arizona St. 97-85 as a 6.5-point underdog but was let down by Syracuse losing 78-59 to North Carolina as a 7.5-point dog. While the rest of the results were coming in, I kept kicking myself for missing more live dogs such as Louisville vs. Florida St., Boston College vs. North Carolina St., Oklahoma St. vs. Oklahoma and Iowa St. vs. Texas. I didn’t kick myself too hard, however, as even though I had considered all of those, I ended up passing because their opponents were also considered to be on the NCAA bubble (the exception being NC St., but I just didn’t like BC’s chance to stay close let alone pull the outright upset).

Still, I think I cost myself some money by trying to be TOO selective with my best bets. I’m not going to make the same mistake Thursday as I believe the schedule is full of live underdogs, especially against the spread, and I’m going to fire away early and often (if this approach is a mistake, at least it’s a different mistake LOL).

Now, I could do lengthy write-ups on the virtues of all my live dogs, breaking down the offensive and defensive efficiency stats for each team and their opponents, rehashing the regular-season meetings and comparing records against common opponents, yada, yada, yada. But what it boils down is I either like the dog because it’s on the NCAA bubble and needs the game to make the field or at least keep its hopes OR we have an underdog needing to win its conference tournament to earn a bid and is playing a team that’s already assured of being in the big dance. So, instead of repeating that over and over again, we’re going to do this mass-wedding style where everyone takes their vows at the same time. To make things easier for bettors, I’ll list each category in chronological order and also list the betting number for the team I like. Just for the record, I’m going to be betting all of these game personally. I mostly subscribe to the “a bet is a bet” club, so while my actual bet size will vary a little (which could depend on what lines become available throughout the day), I’ll grade them all as 1-unit plays for our purposes here:

Bubble team facing team that’s already a lock to be in the NCAA field:

  • Noon ET/9 a.m. PT (661) Louisville plus 7 vs. Virginia
  • 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT (703) Oklahoma St. plus 7 vs. Kansas (projected line)
  • 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (665) Notre Dame plus 10 vs. Duke (projected line, plus still not sure ND is in)
  • 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT (707) Baylor plus 4.5 vs. West Virginia (note: I did write this up in Point Spread Weekly as matchup was set earlier in the week)

Also-ran team that needs to continue run to unlikely conference tournament title and is facing a team that’s already sure of being in the NCAA field:

  • Noon ET/9 a.m. PT (693) St. John’s plus 7.5 vs. Xavier
  • 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. (663) Boston College plus 4 vs. Clemson
  • 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (725) Colorado plus 9 vs. Arizona
  • 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (717) UNLV plus 6.5 vs. Nevada (Rebels on home court)
  • 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (697) Marquette plus 11 vs. Villanova (projected line)
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