Cincinnati-SMU defensive duel, a record spread in the Oregon State-UCLA matchup, Wichita State is better versus slower, and 10 points is a key number when Wisconsin tips off at Kohl Center, all feature as topics in our Sunday college basketball betting blog. Check it out here.
Defensive Dandies Duel in Dallas
SMU is 15-4-1 ATS, owning the second-best cover rate in college basketball at 79 percent. Top-ranked Gonzaga leads the nation at 81 percent (17-4-1 ATS). Defense is the Mustang’s forte, ranking 14th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency rankings. Head coach Tim Jankovich employs a 3-2 zone, securing the paint and forcing teams wide to find open looks. The unit has not allowed an opponent to score more than 66 points in its last 19 games. Cincinnati put up the most in this span during its 66-64 win at Fifth Third Arena back in January. Overall, Jankovich’s defense is yielding 55.6 points per game during this stretch.
The Bearcats field a more effective defense, ranking ninth in KenPom’s efficiency ratings. Head coach Mick Cronin’s squad is stifling AAC opponents, holding them to 57.7 points per game. Expect a similar shutdown effort this afternoon. Cincy has held SMU to 59 and 54 points in its last two trips to the always-intimidating Moody Coliseum. Tipping off a single-digit underdog in each, the Mustangs scored 20 points below market projections overall. The UNDER 125.5 should be on every bettor’s radar.
Record Spread in Oregon St.-UCLA Mismatch
The 27.5-point opener for the Oregon State-UCLA tilt matches the largest spread in Pac-12 play in over a decade. The Beavers tipped off 27.5-point pups at Pauley Pavilion back in February 2008, losing 84-49 to the then-No. 6 Bruins.
Oregon State, in fact, is 3-8 ATS in the last decade when getting 16 points or more away from home against a ranked Pac-12 opponent, including an 85-43 beatdown by rivals Oregon earlier this season. Double-digit dogs in conference play are often valuable this time of year but tread carefully here.
Wichita State Better Against Slower?
After going 8-1 ATS on the road in Missouri Valley play last season, Wichita State is just 2-4 in 2016. Its away schedule was frontloaded with the conference’s quickest teams, which does not bode well for head coach Gregg Marshall’s containment defensive scheme. Loyola-Chicago, though, is one of the slowest, ranking 281 on KenPom in pace. In the last two years, the Shockers are 7-0 ATS when squaring off on the road against an opponent averaging fewer than 109 combined field goal attempts and shot attempts allowed per game, including a 2-0 mark this season. Marshall’s men are covering the spread by 8.8 points per contest in this situation. Versus quicker, Wichita State is 5-7 ATS during this time.
10-Point Spread Key at Kohls Center
Wisconsin is 6-1 SU and ATS as single-digit home chalk since Greg Gard took overhead coaching duties in 2015, winning each by 11 points or more in each. With a line between -10 and -15, it slips to a 2-5 ATS record. Wisconsin opened as 10-point favorites versus Northwestern. Watch closely which way the line moves.
The Wildcats have tipped off spotted less than 10 points once in the last eight visits to Madison, thrashed 74-45 back in January 2009. Moreover, they have covered just two of their last eight conference games as single-digit road dogs.