Tuesday's Tip Sheet
November 18, 2013
By David Schwab
Tuesday’s are always a great night for wagering on college basketball and while this week’s slate may not contain the magnitude of contests of last Tuesday’s 24-hour marathon, there are a couple of quality matchups involving some of the top teams in the country that will be in action.
No. 11 Memphis Tigers at No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (ESPN, 8:00 p.m.)
Oddsmakers opned Oklahoma State as a six-point home favorite against Memphis for Tuesday's showdown from Stillwater.
Memphis has only played one previous game this season in which it rolled over Austin Peay 95-69 as a 21 ½-point home favorite. There was no posted total line for this contest. The Tigers closed-out last season with a 70-48 loss to Michigan State as 5 ½ -point underdogs in the third round of the NCAA Tournament after winning their previous seven games straight up. They were 5-2 against the spread during that run and the total went OVER in four of the seven games.
The Cowboys have eased into the new season as well with three victories by an average of 47.3 points per game, two of the wins coming against a pair of Southwestern Athletic Conference opponents.
There were no posted lines for any of those games. Their 2012-2013 season came to an abrupt end with a 68-55 loss to Oregon as two-point favorites in their only NCAA Tournament appearance. Oklahoma State went 1-4 ATS in its last five games with the total going OVER in three of those outings.
A couple of key players to keep your eye on for the Tigers in this matchup are senior guards Joe Jackson and Michael Dixon Jr. The two combined for 31 points in last Thursday’s win over the Governors.
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford is impressed with Memphis and its athletes. 'Memphis is one of the most talented teams in the country,” he said. “They're a very deep, athletic team, and a lot of people say they may have the best backcourt in the country, and they very well might. We'll see, They're very good.”
The hot hands for the Cowboys have been Phil Forte, with an average of 21 points in his first three games and Markel Brown, who is second on the team in scoring with 15.3 PPG. Behind that pair is arguably the best player in the nation, Marcus Smart. Most thought the sophomore would’ve left for the NBA last season and he hasn’t had a break-out game this season.
The last time these two teams met was all the way back in the 2004 NCAA Tournament with Oklahoma State coming away with a 70-53 victory as a 6 ½ -point favorite.
These teams could meet up again next weekend as they’re both going to playing in the Old Spice Classic tournament from Orlando during Thanksgiving weekend.
Texas-Arlington Mavericks at No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats (ESPN3, 7:30 p.m.)
Texas-Arlington is off to a 2-2 SU (1-2 ATS) after falling to Cleveland State this past Saturday 83-73 as a 1 ½-point home favorite. It has averaged 89.8 PPG behind the duo of Reger Dowell and Brandon Edwards. Dowell is averaging 26 PPG with Edwards chipping in another 17.5 PPG. Edwards is also averaging a team-high 11.3 RPG.
Kentucky found itself on the wrong end of a 78-74 decision against then-No. 2 Michigan State in last Tuesday’s State Farm Classic as a four-point underdog. Despite the loss, the Wildcats only dropped to No. 4 in the latest AP Top 25 Rankings.
John Calipari’s team bounced back from the loss on Sunday with a lopsided 87-49 victory over Robert Morris, who beat Kentucky in the first round of last year’s NIT Tournament.
The Wildcats are very deep but the team has been very reliant on their so-called “Big Two” of Julius Randle and Aaron Harrison. Randle is scoring 20.5 PPG and pulling down 14.3 RPG to complement Harrison’s 14.3 PPG and three assists a game.
Kentucky opened as a 26-point favorite and both of the Mavericks’ losses this season have come by double digits to Boise State (116-87) and Cleveland State (83-73).
Iona Gaels at No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks (ESPN3, 8:00 p.m.)
The Gaels opened the season with a 73-69 loss to Cleveland as 2 ½ -point road underdogs but they bounced back with a 76-55 romp over Wofford this past Sunday as eight-point home favorites. Sean Armand leads the team in scoring with 18.5 points a game and David Laury is Iona’s leading rebounder with 8.5 boards while averaging 17 points a game.
Kansas moved up in the latest polls after beating then-No. 4 Duke 94-83 in the other half of last Tuesday’s State Farm Classic. The Jayhawks were 5 ½ -point underdogs in that contest and the total went OVER the 158-point closing line. Perry Ellis had a huge night against the Blue Devils with a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Andrew Wiggins made his presence known with 22 points and eight rebounds.
For tonight’s matchup, KU opened as a 16-point home favorite and the line moved up quickly to 17.
Even though the Jayhawks are laying double-digits at home on Tuesday, head coach Bill Self is expecting a unique battle. “"This will be the first time we've played against a team that's played predominantly zone," Self said. "They'll mix it up. They'll play 1-3-1 and 3-2 and kind of a 2-3 match-up, and they play faster than anybody we've played so far. They play faster than Duke as far as wanting to shoot it quick. And they're small, so we'll be having bigs guard on the perimeter."
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