NCAA Basketball Week of Nov. 26 Betting Recap
Arch-rivals Duke and North Carolina had vastly different outcomes in last week's ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but things worked out well for the book on the two games involving the Tobacco Road powerhouses - at least on the spread.
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On Wednesday, Duke got the signature win of the Challenge for the ACC, beating then-No. 4 Ohio State 73-68 to extend its school-record non-conference home winning streak to 97 straight (Dukies haven't lost one at Cameron since the turn of the century). It was Duke's third win already over a Top-5 team and in fact the Blue Devils have now beaten 75 percent of last year's Final Four - also Kentucky and Louisville. Duke is the first team to beat three Top-5 non-conference opponents in the regular season since Notre Dame 35 seasons ago.
The OSU-Duke game took the most action of any NCAA game last week and the Blue Devils closed as 6-point favorites. More than 64 percent of the action was on Duke, so the book fared well there. However, almost 82 percent was on Duke at -250, so the bettors cashed in on the moneyline. Duke's Mason Plumlee, who had 21 points and 17 rebounds versus Ohio State, might be your early frontrunner for national player of the year. Duke's win meant the ACC/Big Ten Challenge finished at a 6-6 deadlock - the Big Ten had won the previous three years.
North Carolina, meanwhile, was crushed Tuesday at top-ranked Indiana 83-59. The Heels need to avoid teams from the Hoosier State as they also were beaten soundly by Butler in Maui earlier this season. IU's Cody Zeller, the book's preseason odds-on favorite for national player of the year, had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the rout Tuesday. UNC was stunningly bad, starting the second half by shooting 1-for-20 from the field. It was the third-worst loss for the school under coach Roy Williams.
That game was the second-most wagered at the book and Indiana closed as a 10.5-point favorite. Only 25 percent of the lean was on Indiana. Around 40 percent leaned IU at -600. The under 151 points took just 22 percent.
Another big win for the book was Kentucky's 64-50 loss at Notre Dame on Thursday. The Irish were 1-point favorites but took only 30 percent of the action. There was no moneyline. UK would lose again Saturday at home to Baylor and thus fell from No. 8 in the polls to unranked - the Cats were the preseason national title favorites at the book.
The top game for bettors was Syracuse's 91-82 win at Arkansas on Friday in the Big East/SEC Challenge. The spread was a push as the Orange were 9-point favorites, but almost 95 percent of the moneyline action was on Syracuse at -480.
The top player prop results of the week for bettors were: Duke's Plumlee over 9.5 rebounds in the OSU game; Indiana's Jordan Hulls over 2.5 3-pointers made against Carolina; and IU's Zeller over 15.5 points versus the Heels. The book's top player prop result was Kentucky freshman Archie Goodwin under 16.5 points against the Irish.
Early-Week Live Betting Games
On Tuesday, the book will offer Texas against No. 15 Georgetown and No. 25 NC State versus Connecticut at the Jimmy V Classic in New York. The Hoyas come off one of the most remarkable games of the season, and not in a good way. They beat Tennessee 37-36 on Friday, setting offensive basketball back about three decades. The teams were a combined 7-for-20 from the free-throw line and not a single player reached double-digit points.
It was Georgetown's worst point total since a 37-36 win over SMU in the 1985 NCAA Tournament. The Hoyas didn't even make a field goal the final 10 minutes-plus of the first half. It was the fewest points scored by a winning team since Penn State beat Wisconsin 36-33 in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. It was Tennessee's worst output since a 43-35 loss to Auburn 15 years ago. Just for comparison, the Vols' lousy football team averaged 36.2 points this season. If you are wondering, the total for the game was set at 127. They would have had to play twice just to sniff that.
On Wednesday, the live betting games are No. 6 Florida at Florida State, Temple at Villanova and No. 10 Gonzaga at Washington State. Check back Thursday for a weekend live betting preview at the book.
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