NCAA Big Ten elite struggling to cover home court

Feb 1, 2013 8:58 AM

Special To GamingToday

A pattern is taking place in the highly competitive Big Ten Conference that bettors can take advantage of as a sneak attack on Vegas books focusing most of their attention on the Super Bowl.

Elite visiting teams like Michigan State and Illinois took advantage of inflated lines as road underdogs and cashed in nicely. The Spartans easily covered a 9½ point line against Indiana then saw the Illini go to East Lansing as a similar dog and cover.

Both Michigan State and Indian were winners of those games on their respective home courts, but unless you had a teaser on either one you were out of luck. Miami Hurricanes are a classic example of why the college basketball season doesn’t really start until January.

Keep an eye on this Saturday’s marquee matchup with No. 1 ranked Michigan going to Bloomington to face the Hoosiers. It’s common practice to see a nation’s top ranked team lose on a Saturday. We’ll be very interested on the line. It wouldn’t surprise us in the least if Indiana, a former No. 1, is favored by up to 4 points.

Kudos to the Miami Hurricanes, who were featured in this column last week. The Canes followed up their blowout win over Duke with a nice cover over Florida State as a 14-point favorite. To us that was even more impressive than the Duke beatdown. 

Most teams fall in love with their celebrity and come into the next game lacking focus. The U is 16-3 straight up, 12-4 against the spread and 11-2 to the UNDER. That’s what we call success.

Turning to the Mountain West Conference, UNLV is not having an easy time but neither is anyone else. This is one heck of a league and it wouldn’t surprise us to see someone from the MWC reach the Elite Eight in the Big Dance. And perhaps go further.

By the way, after getting off to a miracle 12-1 start, the Warrior has maintained and prospered to the tune of 37-14. Oh, if only we could bottle this formula for all seasons and sports! 

Look for our picks this weekend. For now, here’s this week’s Dirty Dozen ATS (stats supplied by Covers.com)

College Basketball Dirty Dozen 12-to-7: UCLA 8-13; No. Colorado 5-12; Portland 5-12; Siena 5-12; Old Dominion 5-12; Wisconsin 6-13.

College Basketball Dirty Dozen 6-to-1: Drexel 6-14; UAB 5-13; Duquesne 4-12; SE Missouri St 4-12; Indiana-Purdue 5-15; Marshall 3-12-1.

LAST WEEK

College Basketball Dirty Dozen 12-to-7: SE Missouri State 4-10; E. Washington 4-11-1; Richmond 6-12; Buffalo 5-12; UMass 5-12; Siena 4-11.

College Basketball Dirty Dozen 6-to-1: Duquesne 4-11; UAB 4-12: Northern Colorado 3-11; Drexel 4-13; Marshall 2-11-1; Indiana-Purdue 4-15.

FYI: The No. 1 cover team – Fordham.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].

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