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February 4th 2014 - Posted 5:00 PM Eastern Time

Tonight's bet is our first 3% pick of the NCAA college basketball season! We cashed out our first 3% bet of the NBA season on Jan 29th with the Wizards.

Quality over quantity has always been the SPS motto and tonight we aim to provide another example of that.

Take Iowa at -5.5 spread against Ohio State risking 3%

This game is a rematch from three weeks ago where the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes by double digits in Columbus! While many may look at this game as an opportunity for the Buckeyes to seek revenge, we're not convinced they'll be able to accomplish that. This is not the Ohio State of the past. The truth is that they have performed poorly in Big 10 play this season and most of their difficulties have been on the offensive side of the ball. They've put minimal points on the board and are averaging just 60 points over their last 5 games! They are mediocre on the road and that doesn't bode well against a Hawkeyes team that has scored an average of 88 points per game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena!

The Buckeyes managed to break their recent losing streak in a low-scoring affair against Wisconsin. Their defense proved formidable as they held the Badgers without a field goal for close to 6 minutes and YET they still managed to win the game by just ONE point! That was also a game where they shot an abnormal 55% from beyond the arc; something that is very unlikely to happen again.

Meanwhile, Iowa is coming off a somewhat surprising home loss to a short-handed Michigan State team. The Spartan defense was the difference in that game as they stifled the Hawkeyes in the second half. Michigan State found that game challenging despite winning narrowly. After that game, Iowa's coach questioned his team's desire and determination; they played with a chip on their shoulder on Saturday when they dominated Illinois on the road! Tonight they're back at home and will look to give their fans something to cheer about.

The Hawkeyes rank 3rd in the nation in rebounding and have enjoyed a significant advantage over their opponents all season long. We expect that to be the case again tonight. Iowa is a tough team no matter where they play but at home they have been nearly unbeatable going 11-1 with their lone loss coming against Michigan State in overtime! Ohio State is one of the bigger named basketball programs in the country and even though Iowa has beaten them soundly in the first meeting, they are not an opponent that any team will overlook.

Iowa statistically holds an edge almost everywhere on the court. Whether it be at shooting freethrows, FG% or from beyond the arc! Defensively the teams are evenly matched with Ohio State having a slight edge but it takes offense to win basketball games and that is something Ohio State has lacked on a consistent basis. We expect Iowa to get the better of Ohio State again tonight. Lay the points as only a backdoor cover may keep this ticket from cashing.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Iowa is 25-11 ATS as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
  • Iowa is 19-7 ATS in all home games over the last 2 seasons!
  • Iowa is 20-9 ATS against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
  • Iowa is 16-3 ATS when playing in their 3rd consecutive game as a favorite!
  • Iowa is 21-8 ATS vs. good defensive teams (allowing less than 64 points a game) over the last 2 seasons.

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