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February 8th 2014 - Posted 11:00 AM Eastern Time

There are two bets risking a total of 4% today.


#1: Take Kansas State at -3.5 spread against Texas risking 2%

These two teams have recently been heading in opposite directions which makes this line stand out. Texas is one of the hottest teams in the country at the moment rattling off 7 straight victories with wins over Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas and even the team they face today, Kansas State. The Wildcats on the other hand have hit somewhat of a rough patch recently having dropped 3 of their last 4 games. Ironically enough the Wildcats' recent skid started with a close loss out in Texas to this Longhorns squad. Texas won that game with a buzzer beating 3 pointer to take the narrow victory. There's no doubt the Wildcats remember that game and will be motivated for revenge today.

We believe that this is a classic move by the line-makers in an attempt to "buy low and sell high". Texas is undoubtedly the "hotter" team at the moment and are ranked 15th in the nation yet they are nearly 4 point underdogs in a rematch of what was an extremely close game throughout earlier this season. That is a telling sign and looking deeper into the game, the line starts to make a lot of sense.

The Wildcats are 11-1 at Bramlage Coliseum this season! Their defense has been smothering as well as they are holding opponents to an average of just 58 points per game on 38% shooting! They have also absolutely locked down teams from behind the arc allowing just 25% from downtown this season. Teams have to earn each and every point against this defense.

It's also worth noting that the Wildcats have recently owned the Longhorns at home. Kansas State have won three straight home meetings in this series, including a 71-62 victory over top-ranked Texas on Jan. 18, 2010. The Longhorns haven't won in Bramlage Coliseum in nearly 6 years! Kansas State has also had a pretty impressive run against ranked opponents at home having knocked off 4 of the last 5 ranked teams that have visited dating back to last season.

Texas had a poor outing in their last game and struggled offensively against a poor TCU team. Whether they were simply playing down to their competition or not has yet to be seen but their struggles could continue today against a stingy Wildcats defense. The first meeting was a closely contested game with the Longhorns, narrowly coming away with a victory. But Kansas State needs this game to get out of their recent skid and given their strong resume at home and playing with revenge, we expect them to come away with the win and cover. Lay the points with the home team.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
  • Wildcats are 10-3 ATS their last 13 games!
  • Longhorns are 5-14 ATS after allowing 25 or less points in the first half of their previous game over the last three seasons.
  • Longhorns are a terrible 3-13-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings between these two teams.

#2: Take SMU at -3.5 spread against Cincinnati risking 2%

By now everyone knows just how good Cincinnati has been this season. They are the number 7 ranked team in the nation currently and have repeatedly smothered opponents on the defensive side of the ball. They are undefeated in conference play and are coming off a solid win against a tough UConn team. They are currently riding a 15 game winning streak and squaring off against a team that they have already defeated this season. And yet despite all that, they are not only underdogs today but have been spotted nearly 4 points! That seems strange at first glance but looking deeper into the game, we find a telling story.

SMU is one of the best "unknown" teams in the country. At home they have been unbeatable going 12-0 with an impressive 8-0 ATS mark in lined games. The Mustangs are also second in the nation in FG% allowed! While everyone is talking about Cincinnati's smothering defense, SMU's defensive numbers have in some ways been even more impressive. They are limiting opponents to just an average of 57 points per game on 33% shooting at home which isn't good news for a Cincinnati team that isn't offensively explosive and has averaged just 40% shooting from the field on the road.

SMU has also been one of the top rebounding teams when playing at Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs have a +10 rebounding margin over opponents this season. That could play a huge factor in this game in limiting the Bearcats' second chance opportunities at the rim. These two teams both boast excellent defenses but SMU is much more capable on offense. They are shooting over 50% from the field and have been outscoring opponents by an average of nearly 20 points per game! While that figure is skewed due to some of the competition they have faced, it's worth noting that they do own a 87-72 victory over an extremely talented Memphis team that saw them dominate and lead by about 20 points for the majority of the game.

The Mustangs are also one of the stingiest teams in guarding the 3-point line, holding 4 of their last 5 opponents to 30% or less from beyond the arc! They have a potential hall of fame and former NBA coach in Larry Brown, who has done an amazing job at turning this program around. His leadership from the sidelines has instilled a sense of confidence in these young players that can be seen each and every time they step on the court.

These two teams met back on New Year's day with Cincinnati coming away with a 65-57 victory at home. Cincinnati didn't play especially well in that game with the Mustang defense holding them to just 36% from the field and 25% from the arc. The difference in that game was from the free throw line where Cincinnati went to the line 31 times and had a +9 turnover margin. The Mustangs were outscored 23-8 from the stripe. We don't expect that to be the case today. This is a chance for Brown and company to get their revenge now that they have home-court advantage. If having the opportunity to knock off the #7 ranked team in the country isn't motivation enough, SMU also has revenge on their mind and they have a track record of getting that this season. They lost the previous meeting due to 17 turn-overs! Larry Brown will emphasize better ball control to his team tonight and that should get them the victory.

You can also expect that SMU would like nothing more than to snap the Bearcats' winning streak and bolster their already impressive tournament resume. Moody Coliseum is the best place for an opportunity to do that. For the linemakers to "spot" a team like Cincinnati close to 4 points, says a lot about how they expect this game to go. SMU should 'shock' most casual basketball fans and win this game but while covering the spread may be more challenging, they are capable of it.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • AAC home favorites of 5 or less points are 5-2 ATS.
  • SMU Mustangs are 8-0 ATS at home this season.
  • SMU Mustangs are 8-2 ATS against conference opponents.
  • Bearcats are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 road games.



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