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January 25th 2014 - Posted 11:00 AM Eastern Time

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


#1: Take Texas Tech at -1 spread against Oklahoma risking 2%

It was exactly 10 days ago on January 15th when the Texas Tech Red Raiders shocked the college world by upsetting Baylor in a game that we and our clients saw coming. Tubby Smith masterminded a much needed win over a ranked opponent and his young team will use that as a real confidence booster over the coming months. The line set for that game didn't make much logical sense and seemed very fishy but the public blindly took Baylor in what was a trap all along.

In the world of sports betting, gifts are very rarely handed out. When something looks too good to be true, it usually is. That was the case with the short line on Baylor ten days ago and we believe is again the case here today. Many will only look at the surface level only and see an Oklahoma team that is 15-4 on the season being underdogs against a mediocre Texas Tech side that is just 10-9 and automatically bet the Sooners. But experience and instincts tell us that is not a good idea today because the lines are usually set where they are for very good reasons.

The Sooners are a good team but there are a number of intangibles that favor the Red Raiders today. Oklahoma has a big date against Oklahoma State a little over 48 hours after this game and will be looking ahead to hosting that rivalry. That game is followed by an even more daunting task when they travel to Ames to play Iowa State! Much like Baylor, it is easy for the Sooners to overlook Tubby Smith's team but unlike them, Texas Tech will be solely focused on today.

Senior Jaye Crockett has been sensational this year and is not only the Red Raiders' top scorer but the real leader on this team. He was excellent against Baylor and we expect him to perform well again today as he keeps composed in key situations such as making freethrows down the stretch. Oklahoma will have to pay special attention to the red hot Dusty Hannahs as well however after he bucketed all 7 attempts from beyond the arc in his last game! The talented sophomore was previously lacking confidence but his recent performances will have given him a healthy dose of it.

Texas Tech is rarely installed as a favorite by the linemakers but when they have been, it has been for great reasons. They are 5-0 both SU and ATS in the role of 'favorites' this season! Over 80% of the public is siding with Oklahoma but this game is once again a likely trap as the spread doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a statistical point of view and is the one that stands out most in today's card. This should be a close back-and-forth battle but the Red Raiders should edge it against a Sooners team that has played the vast majority of its games at home and has had few true road tests. Texas Tech (8-3 at home) is a much better team at Lubbock, Texas than on the road and today should prove to be another another example of that.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • The Red Raiders are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games!
  • The Red Raiders have won 7 consecutive games when installed as favorites!

#2: Take Michigan State at -4.5 spread against Michigan risking 2%

The Spartans and the Wolverines renew their rivalry tonight but this time there's even more to play for than usual as both teams are undefeated in conference play! Both have been unstoppable recently but interestingly enough come into this game missing key players. After losing Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA, Mitch McGary was no doubt the most valuable player left on this Michigan team from last year but he's out indefinitely with a back injury. The talented Nic Stauskas is much improved from last year but not the strongest mentally and sometimes underperforms in high-pressure situations like he did against Duke earlier in the season.

The Spartans have a couple of key injuries themselves but remain 18-1 on the season and 9-1 at home! They've also dominated this series when playing at Jack Breslin going 13-1 against their in-state rivals dating back to 1997! Both teams are solid offensively but where this game will be won will be on defense and Tom Izzo has undoubtedly built one of the nation's top defensive units! They hold opponents to just under 37% from the field giving up only 62.5 ppg at home.

The Wolverines are efficient when shooting the basketball but their accuracy takes a dip on the road and they are not as dominant on the defensive side of the ball. They have allowed opponents to shoot 46% FG and nearly 70 points per game on average when playing away from Ann Arbor! On offense they have scored an impressive but unsustainable 53% from the field over the last 5 games but that isn't likely to continue; especially against the solid defense of the Spartans.
They shot less than 40% in their last two visit to this venue and suffered an embarrassing 52-75 loss last year!

We don't expect this game to be a blowout but do believe it will be back and forth before the Spartans make full use of their home court advantage and establish their rhythm. Getting points in transition will be key and guards like Gary Harris and Keith Appling will make sure of that. This could be a close game but ultimately we believe the Spartans will not only get the win but cover the spread as well.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • The Spartans are 30-17 ATS against conference opponents over the last three seasons.
  • The Wolverines have won only one of their last 14 visits to MSU!
  • The Spartans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games as single-digit favorites.
  • The Spartans are 23-12 ATS following a win against a conference rival over the last three seasons.
  • The Spartans are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.




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