There is no path to riches in betting college basketball totals, but due diligence and timing the market can save you bets. It also creates middling opportunities that should be taken advantage of in some instances.
Over the past three-plus weeks four-, five- and six-point moves on several totals have been commonplace nearly every day, especially on the larger cards and in many of the lesser conferences.
Once you’ve formulated your own opinion on a total, a closer look at the market should be required before actually placing a bet.
Is your selection on one of those moves where you might be paying a “tax” just to ride the steam train? If so, then just move on to the next game.
The earliest of college basketball steam moves on totals have been a strong, proven winner again this season and even paying a small half-point or one-point “tax” on many of those moves has still shown the slightest of profits.
If you have time to sit around and watch a real-time betting screen all day, those moves perk your ears and make you put down your coffee.
You are up before 6 a.m. waiting for that early steam, right?
The bookmakers have already shown their early-limit experts the respect the correction deserves. You are likely getting the worst of it either way.
The sharpest college basketball bettors have taken out the best number and now you want to fade such a move and go against professional gamblers. Good luck with that.
You can try and put more work into your own numbers and take your own crack with overnight betting. Still, steam chasing is an art not for the faint of heart, but can provide some saved bets for those who can execute their orders quickly, as you could be on for the start of that four- or five-point ride toward a profitable middle opportunity. Hedge back considerably less than your initial investment since you are likely on the best side.
Louisville (+12.5, 117.5) at Virginia (Wed., 4, ESPN2): Why not make the case for why this UVa team is different from the last few fading editions? After the win at Duke, even some have to believe. More importantly, the Cavs have benefitted bettors with their 14-4 ATS mark and 4-14 to the UNDER this season. Cards 7-1 ATS last 8 and 9 of last 12 OVER on the road.
Houston (+11.5, 128) at Cincinnati (Wed., 4, CBSSN): Bearcats and star Gary Clark on a 12-game win streak and 8-0 in The American and they’ve paid off at the window with a 10-7-1 ATS, and doing it defensively, of course, which is represented by their 6-12 mark to the UNDER. Cougars have also been an UNDER play with a 6-10 record to the low.
Maryland (+13.5, 145.5) at Purdue (Wed., 5:30 BTN): Boilers won their 17th straight at Indiana on Sunday, but bookies were wise moving the line 2 points in favor of the Hoosiers, though they didn’t need the +8.5 in a 7-point loss. Still, Purdue is a solid cover with a 14-8 spread mark overall, while Terps also are a moneymaker with an 11-7-1 ATS mark, but just 2-4 ATS on the road.
Butler (+3, 157) at Marquette (Wed., 6, FS1): Marquette got the money on Sunday in the home cover versus No. 1 Villanova. The Bulldogs won the first meeting between back on Jan. 12, 94-83, behind 37 points from Kelan Martin. Butler is currently on a 10-3-1 run to the OVER in the last 14, but just 2-7 ATS on the road and 3-6 to the UNDER away from Hinkle.
Creighton (+13, 163) at Villanova (Thu., 3:30, FS1): ‘Nova may have failed as a favorite on Sunday at Marquette, but the ‘Cats are still a pretty big spread winner this season with a 12-7-1 mark. They went OVER against the Golden Eagles, as well, moving to 13-8 to the high side. Blue Jays hit a bump last Saturday at Providence, but are still 12-9 ATS overall.
Utah (+1, 138) at Colorado (Fri., 6, FS1): Utah nearly got the upset at Arizona on Saturday, 74-73, but still resulted in a fourth-straight cover to improve to 10-7-2 ATS overall coming into this one, though just 5-5 ATS on the road. Buffs currently a tough out at home at 8-4-1 ATS and 11-5-1 dating back to last January. CU 8-5 to the OVER in Boulder.
Kentucky at Missouri (Sat., 11, CBS): Kentucky, which hosted Vandy on Tuesday, came out a big winner in the conference challenge on Saturday with their stunning win at West Virginia behind 34 points from rising star Kevin Knox. Tigers were on a three-game losing streak into Wednesday’s game at Alabama, but this season can still be a success despite the current 3-5 SEC mark.
Texas Tech (+2, 149) at TCU (Sat., 11, ESPNU): Frogs continue to be money on the OVER with 15 of 20 contests on the high side so far, heading into Tuesday night at Oklahoma State. Tech is 5-11-1 to the UNDER, including 2-5-1 to the low on the road. Red Raiders need a win in a game like this to stay within distance of Kansas.
Miami, Fla. (+2.5, 149.5) at Virginia Tech (Sat., 11, ESPN): Miami has gone OVER in six-straight, but included were a pair of OT games, one of which was a home win over Louisville last Wednesday, 78-75. Va. Tech has gone OVER in seven of 10 home contests this season coming into this closely-rated matchup of teams mired in the middle of the ACC standings.
Kansas State (+7, 146) at West Virginia (Sat., 1, ESPN/2): Of course Morgantown is a tough spot for these Big 12 teams and others, but Mountaineers are just 5-7 ATS at home, and now WVU is officially in a funk with a 1-4 SU run as part of a difficult stretch, including home loss on Saturday in Big 12/SEC Challenge to Kentucky, 83-76, as the SEC finally turned the series tide.
Oklahoma (+2, 153) at Texas (Sat., 3, ESPN): Sooners, coming off a Tuesday home game versus Baylor, were part of the Big 12 problem at the challenge, losing at Alabama, 80-73, for their fourth straight loss and spread fail on the road, going UNDER in four straight, as well. ‘Horns, who played against revenge-minded Tech on Wednesday, have won and covered four straight at home.
BYU (+10, 146) at Gonzaga (Sat., 7, ESPN2): The Cougars were 0-8 to the UNDER and 7-2 ATS on the road heading into Tuesday’s game at Loyola Marymount. ‘Zags, meanwhile, are having problems laying big points at home to weak conference foes, plus home loss to now first-place St. Mary’s, as part of five-game spread losing streak into Thursday’s home game with USD.
USC (+2.5, 162.5) at UCLA (Sat., TBA): Early drama off the court surrounding Trojans has provided returns at the window, as SC continues to be one of the nation’s best ATS teams with a 15-8 mark. Bruins, meanwhile, are just 6-9 ATS at home against the number, but freshman Jaylen Hands starred on the highlight reel Saturday with his leaping between-the-legs alley-oop assist.