Tuesday's Tip Sheet
January 6, 2014
By David Schwab
It is a new year and that means that conference play in men’s college basketball is in full swing. Looking at the week ahead, two of the biggest matchups just so happen to fall on this Tuesday night’s schedule.
The first is a showdown between Baylor and Iowa State in the Big 12 followed by a Big Ten tilt between Ohio State and Michigan State. The following is a betting tip sheet for these two games plus a brief look at a top matchup in both the ACC and the AAC.
No. 7 Baylor Bears at No. 9 Iowa State Cyclones (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET)
The Bears rolled over Savannah State 80-50 this past Friday in one last tune-up before Tuesday’s conference opener. They bring a six-game winning streak and 12-1 straight-up record into this game, but there has not been a posted line in five of their last six games in what has been a less than challenging nonconference schedule. Baylor is 3-4 against the spread in games with a line and the total has stayed UNDER in four of those games.
The overall numbers have been impressive with 78.8 points a game on offense against just 63.9 points allowed on the other end of the court and the Bears are shooting 50.4 percent from the floor. Cory Jefferson has led the way with a team-high 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds and Baylor as a team has four different players scoring in double figures.
Iowa State went a perfect 13-0 SU against its opponents outside the conference; however it was favored in 10 of 11 games with a posted line. The Cyclones have covered in four of their last five games to run their record ATS to 8-3. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five games after going OVER in five of their first six games this year. It has gone OVER in all five of their home games with a total line.
This is another team that has had little problem scoring with an average of 87 points a game, which is the eighth highest total in the nation. Iowa State is shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and pulling down an average of 41.4 rebounds a game. The big man in this lineup has been Melvin Ejim with 17.7 points and 7.6 rebounds, but both Georges Niang and DeAndre Kane are scoring over 15 points a game while combining for 11.1 rebounds and 9.6 assists.
Iowa State has been listed as a 6 ½-point home favorite over the Bears in this Big 12 battle.
The Cyclones have won four of the last five meetings both SU and ATS including a sweep both ways in last season’s two-game series. The total has gone OVER in the last four games between these two.
No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 5 Michigan State Spartans (ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET)
The Buckeyes opened play in the Big Ten with back-to-back victories over Purdue and Nebraska both SU and ATS to run their overall record to a perfect 15-0 on the year. They are 8-6 ATS after covering in seven of their last 10 games. The total went OVER in both conference wins after staying UNDER in five of their last six nonconference outings. It has stayed UNDER in nine of 14 games overall this season.
This is definitely not one of the highest scoring offenses in Division I with 75.7 points a game and Ohio State is ranked 133rd in the nation in rebounds with 36.8 a game. What makes this team so hard to beat is a total defensive effort that is holding opponents to just 54.9 points a game. LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. are each averaging over 12 points and Amir Williams is scoring 9.7 points while leading the team in rebounds with 6.5 a game.
Michigan State has just one SU loss on the year; a 79-65 setback to North Carolina on Dec. 4 as a 10-point home favorite. It is 13-1 SU with a 7-5-1 record ATS. The Spartans opened play in the Big Ten with two double-digit romps over Penn State and Indiana on the road while covering as favorites. They are 3-3 ATS at home this season and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the six games.
The Spartans will have the edge in scoring with 82.6 points a game while shooting a solid 48.6 percent from the floor. They will also have an advantage under the boards with an average of 41 rebounds a game. To get the win at home over their arch rivals, Michigan State will need another big night from both Gary Harris and Adreian Payne. So far, these two have combined for 34.3 points and 12.4 rebounds a game. Keith Appling has also been a key contributor with 15.6 points and a team-high 4.6 assists.
Michigan State comes into this contest as a 4 ½-point home favorite over the Buckeyes.
Looking back at some of the more interesting betting trends in this matchup, the underdog is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in the last four. The Buckeyes won last season’s series 2-1 SU (2-0-1 ATS).
Other Games to Watch
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish stunned Duke this past Saturday 79-77 as a 5 ½-point home underdog in its first ever conference game as a member of the ACC. The Fighting Irish will try and avoid a letdown this Tuesday when they welcome North Carolina State to South Bend. The Wolfpack come in at 10-4 SU with a 4-6-1 record ATS. They are 1-2 ATS on the road and the total has stayed UNDER in all three games. Notre Dame is also 10-4 SU with a 5-6-1 record ATS.
The American Athletic Conference features a matchup between two of its top teams when Cincinnati heads to Houston to face the Cougars this Tuesday night. The Bearcats are 13-2 SU overall and 2-0 in the AAC with victories over SMU and Memphis. They are 7-2 ATS and the total has stayed UNDER in eight of the nine games. Houston is also 2-0 in conference play with an overall mark of 10-5 SU. It has covered in six of 10 games and the total has stayed UNDER in seven of nine games with a posted line.
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