NCAA Basketball Early-Week Live Betting Preview at Bovada
The book will offer an ESPN2 Live Betting doubleheader both Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week, and it tips off with Richmond at Kansas, with the Jayhawks as 15.5-point favorites.
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No. 9 Kansas (8-1) has won seven straight since a loss to Michigan State in Atlanta, but will KU get caught looking past the very good Spiders (9-2) and toward Saturday's game at Ohio State in a Final Four rematch? The Jayhawks better not overlook Richmond or their 27-game home winning streak will end - it's the second-longest active streak in the nation behind Syracuse. The last time Richmond visited Allen Fieldhouse, in 2004, it did upset a ranked KU squad. These Spiders may not have an answer for Kansas big man Jeff Withey, who leads the nation in blocking 5.6 shots per game.
The nightcap Tuesday features Stanford (7-3) at No. 25 NC State (7-2), with the Wolfpack as 7.5-point favorites. These two teams couldn't be much different. Stanford can't shoot a lick - ranking No. 292 nationally at .398 from the floor with only two players above 43% - but is a tremendous defensive club, one of the 15 best per-possession defenses in the country. This will be the Cardinal's first true road game of the season.
NC State, the preseason ACC favorite, has as many offensive weapons as anyone and leads the nation in field goal percentage. However, the Wolfpack have flunked early tests against Michigan and Oklahoma State thus far. Stanford also is looking for a signature non-conference win after losses to Belmont, Missouri and Minnesota.
On Wednesday, the Live Betting doubleheader features Xavier versus Cincinnati and North Carolina at Texas. College hoops fans will no doubt remember last year's Xavier-Cincinnati game as it devolved into a full-out on-court brawl. Because the Crosstown Classic has gotten so heated now, they have moved the game off campus and into downtown Cincinnati. Thankfully most of the players involved in last year's melee are no longer with their respective teams. No. 11 Cincinnati will be a big favorite this year after losing by 23 in 2011-12. It was the second-biggest win over the Bearcats ever for the Musketeers. With the demise of the Big East, Butler and Cincinnati could find themselves in the same basketball conference in a year or two.
Texas, meanwhile, continues arguably the nation's toughest non-conference schedule and is still awaiting word from the NCAA on the eligibility of star guard Myck Kabongo. He has yet to play this season and the NCAA has been dead quiet on the issue - could he be reinstated by Wednesday? The NCAA is investigating his ties to an agent and a pro trainer. Both because of Kabongo's absence and that schedule, the Horns (5-4) look in some jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament. UT has made the Big Dance 14 straight seasons.
No. 23 North Carolina (8-2) actually was in the same Maui Invitational with Texas but losses by both prevented the two tournament favorites from playing in Hawaii. The Heels' only losses have come to Hoosier State schools Butler and Indiana. They rank in the top 10 nationally in assists, points and rebounds but the defense has been lacking at times. East Carolina put up 87 on UNC in a near-upset Saturday. East Carolina scored 61 second-half points, the most by any North Carolina opponent under Roy Williams, in nearly staging a big rally.
Check back Thursday for a weekend NCAA basketball Live Betting preview.
New No. 1, New Title Favorite?
The book will release its updated national championship odds on Wednesday and you can look for new No. 1 Duke to replace Indiana as the favorite. Of course IU was upset by Butler over the weekend. Duke is likely to hang onto the top spot in the polls for a while as it doesn't play a true road game until January 12 at NC State.
Butler and Duke are the only schools with multiple wins against Top 25 teams this season - the Blue Devils have beaten three top five teams. Duke has reached No. 1 in the polls at least once in a record 16 seasons under Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils are 11 weeks shy of tying UCLA's all-time record of 134 weeks as No. 1.
Thursday will be a potentially very big day for either Duke or Michigan State. It won't affect either program this season, but top recruit Jabari Parker, considered by many the best high school player in the nation, will decide between the Blue Devils and Spartans on Thursday. Parker plays for national No. 1 team Simeon in Chicago.
Storming the Court: the time is now. Get in on daily live college ball action at Bovada as teams step up to try to dominate the floor. Raise Your Game.