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College Hoops Big Monday Picks

West Virginia vs. Syracuse

Kansas vs. Kansas State

2/14/11

Very small college hoops card tonight with two high profile games, West Virginia at Syracuse and Kansas at Kansas State. Syracuse is a tough team to figure out at this point. They cruised through the better part of this year as one of the top teams in the Nation before hitting a road block. They have now lost 6 of their last 8 games. They had lost 4 straight, before a temporary halt to the losing with two wins in a row over UCONN and South Florida, before dropping two more in a row, one at home to Georgetown and the other at Louisville.

West Virginia hasn't fared much better. They haven't been shooting the ball well, and at 16-8, a very good case can be made for them not deserving their #25 ranking. We have Syracuse by 8 and think they are likely the right side tonight but really can't trust them at this point. At this stage of the game, every win and every loss is magnified, making this a huge game for both sides. Should be a good one but we think Syracuse pulls away here.

The other high profile game is Kansas at Kansas State. Kansas is #2 in the Nation, perhaps #1 when the rankings come out this afternoon, and clearly the better team here. They proved that by blowing Kansas State off the court a couple of weeks ago when they met. Tonight will be a much closer game for sure. The home crowd, the National TV audience, the chance to knock off the top dog, all motivating factors for Kansas State.

We have Kansas by 7. The game opened Kansas -4, and apparently the early money agrees with our numbers as the line is now Kansas by as much as 6 in some spots. We'd go with our numbers here and lean towards Kansas as well. The way college hoops is played favors the superior team down the stretch of any given game. Likely scenario: better team has lead with a couple of minutes to go, other team starts to foul, superior team sinks all their free throws, lead gets extended. 

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How often have you seen a score update with one team up by a few points, only to get the final and see a 12 point margin? Frequently. In fact there are some handicappers that will not play an underdog in college hoops in the 3-5 point range because of this. This is all open for debate, at another time, but that's a likely scenario in a game like this. Kansas is the better team and will likely win. If so, they have a pretty good chance of covering this number.

Neither of the two marquee games qualify as a play for us. However, this might be a good time to give another pointer to those of you relying on our score predictions to make selections. We have included our predictions below, which you can see each and every game day. The numbers have a tendency to be deadly accurate, often times predicting the exact outcome of games.

By far, the strongest plays using these score predictions this year have been when our score predicts an underdog to win outright or lose by just a point or two. We saw that hold true once again yesterday, as our numbers predicted a 73-73 tie between Xavier and Duquesne, Xavier being a 5.5 point dog. Xavier won outright. Also, our numbers had St Johns losing by just a point as a 5.5 point dog at Cincinnati, with St Johns winning outright by 2.

This has been the patter all year long with these numbers. So take note anytime you see our numbers favor an underdog by either predicting them to win outright, or lose by a point or two.  Don't play them blindly. Do your homework and learn all you can about the game. But circle those games for sure and give them an extra long look. Tonight there are 2 such games. Nevada +4.5 at Hawaii and Tennessee State +4.5 at Tennessee Tech.

Here are tonight's games:

 
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Monday, February 14th
2/14
7:00p
713
714
WEST VIRGINIA
SYRACUSE
62
70
2/14
9:00p
715
716
KANSAS
KANSAS STATE
78
71
2/15
12:00a
717
718
NEVADA
HAWAII
69
67
ADDED GAME
 
2/14
8:00p
719
720
TENNESSEE STATE
TENNESSEE TECH
73
74
EXTRA GAMES
 
2/14
7:00p
731
732
HAMPTON
N. CAROLINA A&T
63
73
2/14
9:00p
733
734
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
JACKSON STATE
60
68

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