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College Hoops Big Monday Predictions

2/08/10

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl and more importantly, we hope you had the right side whether it was the Saints, the Under, or one of the 100's of prop bets available. We know many of you will be going thru football withdrawals, but snap out of it. The end of the football season brings in what truly is one of the most exciting times of year as we're right in the heart of the college hoops schedule with all of the important conference games, followed by the conference tournaments and finally, March Madness.

Football provides us with opportunities a couple of times a week. Hoops gives us opportunities each and every night, 7 days a week. We'll continue to bring you free daily picks and analysis of a game or two here, as well as full tourney coverage. You can also get all of our selections plus those of many other handicappers right thru the NBA finals, right here

We won't have any official plays tonight unless there is some drastic line movement today. We really don't even have a game to write up here for our play of the day, however there are a couple of marquee games on the board tonight to let's take a quick look.

Villanova at West Virginia - Doesn't get much bigger than this. Villanova is 20-2 on the year, 9-1 in the Big East and coming off a loss at Georgetown on Saturday. West Virginia is 19-3 on the year and sits right behind Villanova in the Big East standings at 8-2 with both of these teams nipping at the heels of Syracuse for the top spot in the conference. West Virginia is favored -5.5 at Sportsbook.com.

We have West Virginia winning this game by 8, 78-70. Generally, we look for a wider gap between our number and the posted line. More importantly here, we have Villanova coming off a loss which makes them a very dangerous, and live underdog. If this number were -3 or less we would consider a small play on West Virginia.

Kansas at Texas - The 2nd game on the ESPN double header tonight. Great night for college hoops fans. It's safe to say Kansas was looking ahead to this game the other day, having to come from behind to beat Nebraska. What a perfect set up for Texas. They get a shot at the number one team in the nation, at home, before a National TV audience, and they are a home underdog to boot.

We have this game with a predicted final of 77-77. Dead even. Bet Jamaica has Kansas favored by -2. Generally, we are looking for a gap of at least 4 points between our number and the posted line. That would be reason number one for passing here. But that wouldn't be the only reason.

One of the most important things a handicapper needs to do this time of year is to be aware of how teams are playing RIGHT NOW. Power ratings are great general indicators of a teams overall strength but they take into account an entire seasons body of work. Less emphasis should be placed on what happened in November, than what happened last week. So it's necessary to adjust your power ratings to reflect the present.

When you do that with these two teams, what jumps out at you is that Texas has been playing below their season to date rating. They have been playing a full 6 or 7 points below that rating over the last 6 or 7 games. They have lost 4 out of their last 6 games, although all but one of those losses were on the road. Kansas meanwhile has been chugging along playing at the same, consistent level.

At Texas +4 or more we would start to consider a play. That's not likely to happen. So, we have to pass.

There are two games on tonight's card that do fit the criteria of a play for us with one exception. As a rule, we won't play "bad teams". Why trust your hard earned money with bad teams.

We have NC Greensboro, a +4.5 point underdog, winning straight up over App St, 71-67. We also have Towson, a 1 point home dog, knocking off James Madison, 71-64. Towson is 5-17 on the year, NCG is 5-18. Nuff said. They have each found a way to lose 35 games between them this year. We're not going to trust them with our money for 40 minutes. They'll find a way to lose. Their are far better opportunities to invest down the road.

Enjoy the games tonight. We'll see you on Tuesday.

Hoops Plays

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