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Top 25 College Hoops Picks

Missouri vs. Kansas

Pitt vs. West Virginia

Betting Lines and Analysis

2/7/11

 

#14 Missouri hits the road tonight to take on #2 Kansas in a game with both Big 12 and National implications. Kansas opened up as a 10 point favorite and the early money has come in on the Jayhawks pushing the line to -11. Kansas is 22-1 on the year while Missouri weighs in at 18-5.

Home court advantage in college hoops varies. It can be as low as 0, or as high as 8 points or so.  This is one reason why any power rating system or computerized ranking method the allots a standard 4 points to a home team in college hoops, is flawed. This game between Missouri and Kansas illustrates that point.

Missouri has perhaps one of the biggest home court advantages in college hoops. They are a completely different team at home where their home crows helps them create turnovers. On the road, they appear to be just average. In fact they have lost 4 out of their last 7 games and all of those losses came against good teams on the road with 2 of those teams ranked in the top 25.

Now they face perhaps their biggest test on the road, against a team that, like them, has a fantastic home court edge. Our predicted score has Kansas by a wide margin, 18 to be exact, 89-71. In such a high profile, big game between two top 20 opponents, both in the same conference, we'd normally back off our numbers here and pass a game like this. However, when you factor in the big home edge for Kansas and then take into account Missouri being very average on the road, you can see how the margin could easily get extended here.

We'll go ahead and lay the big number here with the home team Jayhawks. Kansas -11 

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In other top 25 action tonight, #25 West Virginia hosts #4 Pitt in the first of two "Backyard Brawl" games. Once again, college hoops home court advantage comes into play. This game opened West Virginia -2 and the early money has come in on Pitt. But the Panthers could be up against it tonight. In 32 games at the West Virginia Coliseum, the Mountaineers are 24-8 against Pitt, including a 70-51 spanking a year ago.

In that game, there was an ugly incident at the end of the game when West Virginia fans threw objects on the court, striking a Panthers assistant under the eye. So aside from wanting to make up for a very poor performance a year ago, the Panthers would love nothing more than to stick it to the West Virginia fans.

Rolls are reversed this year as well. Last year, it was West Virginia near the top of the rankings at #5 taking on #25 Pitt. This year, the rankings are swapped with Pitt being near the top of the charts.

This year, Pitt is the better team. They are the better in just about all areas of the game, particularly where it counts most, shooting. The added motivation of wanting to make up for last years performance and wanting to stick it to the WVA fans has us backing the Panthers here.  We'll make a slight call here for the visitors in a game that is worth your time to watch if you're a college hoops fan. Pitt pk

 

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