Tuesday's Tip Sheet
February 17, 2014
By David Schwab
The men’s college basketball season continues to grind on and this is the time of the year where winning on the road gets tougher and tougher for any team in the nation no matter how much of a mismatch a game may appear to be on paper. For this Tuesday’s betting tip sheet, we will take a closer look at three conference showdowns that could have trap written all over it if the road favorite takes its eye off the ball.
No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes at Indiana Hoosiers (ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Iowa handled its latest test on the road with an 82-70 victory over Penn State this past Saturday as a six-point favorite to improve to 8-3 against the spread in 11 games played away from home this season. The Hawkeyes are 8-4 both SU and ATS in the Big Ten and the total has gone OVER in their last four conference games.
They remain one of the highest scoring teams in the nation with 83.6 points a game and they are shooting a respectable 47 percent from the field. Iowa has also done an excellent job at controlling the boards with an average of 43 rebounds which is the third-highest total in the country. While things continue to move in the right direction, this team is still just 4-3 SU in its last seven games and if it is not careful it could get caught looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown at home against No. 16 Wisconsin.
The wheels have come unglued for an Indiana team that appeared to be in position to make some noise in the Big Ten this year after going 10-3 SU in nonconference play. The Hoosiers fell to 4-8 SU in conference play with an 82-64 loss to Purdue as one-point road underdogs this past Saturday. They have now failed to cover in four of their last five games while going just 2-6 SU in their last eight contests.
With the exception of the 82 points it gave up against the Boilermakers, defense has not really been the issue for Indiana over its previous seven games after holding teams to an average of 59.3 PPG. The problem has been an offense that could only muster 58.9 PPG during this same stretch as opposed to a season average of 73.4 PPG.
The Hawkeyes opened as 3 ½-point road favorites for this matchup and the numbre quickly jumped to 4 ½.
Iowa lost both meetings last season SU, but it comes into this matchup with a 7-1 mark ATS in the last eight games between the two. The total has stayed UNDER in four of the last five meetings.
No. 14 Virginia Cavaliers at Virginia Tech Hokies (ESPN3, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Virginia has very quietly worked its way up the national rankings while remaining just a half a game in back of No. 1 Syracuse for first place in the ACC standings with a conference record of 12-1. The Cavaliers have won their last eight games and they have covered in 11 of their 13 games against the ACC. The lone SU loss was a 69-65 setback to Duke on Jan. 13 as six-point road underdogs. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven games.
This is by no means one of the more explosive teams in the ACC with an average of 66.1 PPG and a field-goal percentage of 44.8, but Virginia does know how to play defense. So much so that it is ranked first in the nation in points allowed (55.6). It has also done a decent job under the boards with 36.4 rebounds a game.
It has been a rough season for the Hokies with just two victories in their first 12 ACC contests. They have been beaten by 20 points or more in four of their last six games including a 65-45 loss to Virginia on Jan. 25 as 16 ½-point road underdogs. Virginia Tech is 2-5 ATS in its last seven conference games and the total has stayed UNDER in 13 of its last 14 outings.
The total in the first meeting against the Cavaliers stayed UNDER a closing line of 123 points, which should not come as all that big of a surprise. The Hokies are averaging 65.8 PPG and shooting just 41 percent from the field. They are allowing an average of 66.1 PPG on their home court.
Virginia comes into this in-state rivalry as an 11 ½-point road favorite over the Hokies.
The favorite in this matchup is 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings and the total has gone OVER in three of the last four meetings. Virginia has beaten the Hokies SU in six of the last seven games and it is 5-1-1 ATS.
No. 5 Duke Blue Devils at Georgia Tech (ESPN3, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Duke has lost three of its first 12 conference games and all of the setbacks came on the road. It had to grind-out a two-point 69-67 win over Maryland this past Saturday as a 13 ½-point home favorite. The Blue Devils run the risk of being a bit distracted against the Yellow Jackets with a Thursday night trip to Chapel Hill looming large. This will be a make-up date for last Wednesday’s game against North Carolina that was unexpectedly snowed-out. Duke is 7-4 ATS on the road this season and the total has gone OVER in five of six road games with a posted line.
Freshman phenom Jabari Parker continues to lead Duke in both points (19.3) and rebounds (8.5) and he has taken things up a notch in his past three outings with an average of 24.3 PPG and 10.7 RPG. The Blue Devils are averaging 81.7 PPG and they have exceeded that total in three of their last four games.
Georgia Tech has been all over the board in the ACC this season with a win following two-straight losses for an overall record of 4-8. If this pattern were to continue it would stand to reason that the Yellow Jackets should lose on Tuesday and this Saturday at home against Clemson after beating Boston College 74-71 last Thursday at home in a game that ended as a PUSH. They are 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 games and the total has gone OVER in four of their last six games.
This will be the Yellow Jackets second meeting against Duke this season after getting hammered 79-57 on Jan. 7 as 15 ½-point road underdogs. They come into the back-end of this season’s home-and-home series averaging 67.8 PPG and shooting 43.8 percent from the field. Defensively, they are holding opponents to an average of 65.4 PPG on their home court.
The Blue Devils will head into McCamish Pavilion as 10 ½-point road favorites over Georgia Tech.
Duke has won nine of the last 10 meetings SU, but it is just 1-4 ATS in its last five road games against the Yellow Jackets. The total stayed UNDER the 146-point closing line in the first game this season and it has now stayed UNDER in 13 of the last 16 meetings.
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