Buffs our Big 12 sleeper

Jan 18, 2011 7:06 AM

We talked a little bit last week about how well Colorado has been playing this year despite playing a weak non-conference schedule, but the strategy has paid off.

The Buffaloes have started Big 12 conference play with a 3-0 record. An 89-76 home trouncing over No. 8 Missouri was eye opening, but it still is just one game where anything can happen. But winning at No. 20 Kansas State last Wednesday and then beating a very good Oklahoma State team on Saturday should send major alerts that the Buffs are indeed for real for the first time since Chauncey Billups was there.

This week Colorado has winnable, but yet, tough road games at Nebraska and Oklahoma. Then the real test will come when No. 3 Kansas comes to Boulder on Jan. 25.

In their win over Oklahoma State, the Buffs didn’t get to dictate the fast pace they would have liked, but they still sent the game over 143½. Surprisingly, despite Colorado running fast and wild all season, the move was on the under for the game.

From the beginning of the season, up until now, Colorado may be the most rapidly adjusted team in all power ratings. The value will eventually shift against them, but as of now, betting over with them still looks to be the way to for a while.

Aztecs need love: We watched the bias of voting during football season as TCU and Boise State were disrespected because of their conference affiliation. Now after this week’s college basketball polls came out, we saw it again with San Diego State remaining No. 6 with Duke sliding into No. 5 after its loss to Florida State.

With big wins over UNLV and at New Mexico, the Aztecs warranted much more consideration than given.

Hofstra has a star: Hofstra senior guard Charles Jenkins doesn’t get too much publicity on a national level. However, those who have been betting basketball this year know who he is, or the results of his play, because he’s been cashing in for them all season.

Jenkins has upgraded an already great career at Hofstra with a masterful senior season, improving in every area which has led his team to an 11-6 record. He’s averaging 23.5 points-per-game and has reduced turnovers while also increasing assists from his previous three seasons. In the process, Jenkins has led the Pride to a 5-1 Colonial conference record straight up and ATS.

Good SU, not ATS: It’s been almost two weeks since No. 1 ranked Ohio State has covered a spread. It’s not even as if the Buckeyes have played the Big 10’s best teams since conference play started either. Saturday, they won by only three as a 19-point favorite to Penn State.

The Buckeyes look ripe for the upset this week as they play at Illinois on Saturday.

On the same note, Georgetown was on a five game ATS skid until covering against Rutgers last Saturday at a short price thanks, in part, to its rating shrinking. Because of that lower rating, there may be some value this week as the Hoyas play at Seton Hall and host St. John’s.

Despite being undefeated this season, Syracuse has not been able to live up to its lofty rating, covering only seven games this season among the 18 wins. However, the Orange have their longest ATS win streak currently at two in a row after beating Cincinnati.

Marquette streaking: One of the best bets over the last three weeks has been taking Marquette against anyone. Marquette has covered six games in a row while going 3-3 straight up. This week’s slate includes DePaul and then a visit to South Bend to face Notre Dame.

Oregon’s $277M court: The Oregon basketball team christened their new $227 million arena last week (previewed in GT last month on the odds page) with a win over USC, but all anyone could talk about was the actual floor. The intent of the floor was to pay homage to the beautiful Pacific Northwest by surrounding the court with a forest of brown-and-tan fir trees.

It’s also to symbolize the 1939 Oregon squad who won the National Championship known as "The Tall Firs." Comments have been flowing from fans who dislike the design, saying it looks like a mushroom trip gone bad, or even worse.

The glare to TV viewers may be the most distracting part. It’s just an unnatural projection of colors that probably wasn’t well thought out, but liked so much by Nike owner and Oregon alum, Phillip Knight, who built the place, that everyone just let it go. Beyond all that, no one can even see the mid-court line, which is kind of and important part of the game.