Season of Upsets Continues

With upsets continuing to come thick and fast, picking an eventual college basketball is proving tougher than anybody would have expected.

With upsets continuing to come thick and fast, picking an eventual college basketball is proving tougher than anybody would have expected.

Penn State scored an unlikely upset victory over #4 Michigan Wednesday night, marking the second time in as many nights a team ranked inside the top four was defeated.

Michigan’s 84-78 loss came one night after #1 Indiana fell to Minnesota by a score of 77-73. Last week’s second ranked side, Miami (FL) also lost to Wake Forest at the weekend.

The Wolverines were not the only ranked side to be upset on Wednesday night. Over in the Pac-12, USC upset #11 Arizona 89-78, a defeat that will likely see an already sliding Wildcats side slide even further.

On Tuesday night, #8 Florida and #19 Memphis lost to Tennessee and Xavier respectively.

Such upsets have certainly become a part of the landscape in college basketball over the last four months.

So far this season, there have been 573 games in which a team ranked in the AP top 25 has faced an unranked opponent.

Of those 573 games, 103 have ended with the unranked team scoring the upset victory. That equates to 18 percent of the time.

Whilst 18 percent might not seem like a lot, consider that raw figure again. 103 unranked sides have knocked-off ranked teams. That’s quite an astounding number, especially when you look at it more closely.

103 might not seem as impressive if all of those losses were being handed to the lower ranked teams, but that’s not the case. Teams ranking between #21 and #25 account for just 17 losses, the fewest of any grouping (1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25). Furthermore, the team ranked #25 has lost three games, the same as teams ranked #1.

Granted, there is a slight disparity between higher and lower ranked sides when you spread the net a little further. Teams ranked in the top 10 have lost 36 games while teams ranked in the bottom 10 have lost 44 games. Still, the figures are fairly even.

For the record, the side ranked #19 has lost on nine occasions, the most of any position in the top 25. The current #19 Memphis was one of those teams, losing to Xavier on Tuesday.

The team ranked #13 has lost to an unranked side just once this season, which is good news for current #13 Kansas State.

The ranked teams that have struggled most against unranked opposition are Arizona, Creighton and Notre Dame, all of which have lost five games.

Creighton has fallen out of the AP rankings because of those losses, while Arizona has slipped from its highest perch at #3 down to #11 as a result. Meanwhile, Notre Dame has been in and out of the AP poll, which is more a testament to how tough the Big East is this season.

It’s worth pointing out at this point that #1 Indiana has lost four times this season to unranked opposition, and three times when ranked #1, including this past Tuesday.

The schools that have fared best against AP top 25 teams when unranked are Saint Louis and Wisconsin, both of which have scored four wins. Both have forced their way into the current standings as a result, and both have a shot at winning their conference.

This ‘Season of Upsets’ doesn’t end with unranked sides either.

So far this season there have been 59 games between schools both ranked in the AP top 25. While you might expect the higher seed to win the vast majority of the time, this certainly hasn’t been the case this season.

Of those 59 games, 31 have been won by the higher ranked side and 28 by the lower ranked team. This equates to a 53 percent winning percentage for higher ranked sides and a 47 percent winning percentage for lower ranked sides.

Let’s put this into perspective. Two alternate results in favor of the lower ranked school and you’d be as close to 50/50 as you could get. That means the lower ranked team has almost an equal chance of winning as the higher ranked side.

So what does all this mean going forward?

Although the rankings will alter this Monday, for the sake of argument let’s say things stay roughly the same in terms of the AP poll. That would mean we have a further 54 games left on the schedule that feature a ranked side against an unranked opponent and 10 games between two ranked schools.

If we apply our findings above to this schedule, we can expect approximately 10 of those 54 games to go to the unranked side. That means we could well see some more high-profiles losses over the next ten days.

In addition, five of those 10 games between ranked schools would go to the lower ranked side, which means we could be seeing a lot of movement in some of those conference standings (Big East, we’re looking at you).

Whilst some prognostications are far from scientific, the way this season has panned out so far, we certainly wouldn’t put money against there being (more than) one more twist in the tale.

With Duke hosting Miami at the weekend, the Big East compacted with contenders, and the Big Ten seemingly wishing to add more and more damage to itself, these next ten days are going to be unmissable.

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Wednesday Betting Tips: NBA Basketball

Jarrett Jack and the Golden State Warriors fell short against Indiana on Tuesday night. Expect more of the same as the team travels to New York on Wednesday.

Jarrett Jack and the Golden State Warriors fell short against Indiana on Tuesday night. Expect more of the same as the team travels to New York on Wednesday.

With a 10-game NBA slate to choose from, bettors will have plenty of action laid out in front of them on Wednesday night.

Here at Casino Review we’ve filtered through those games and picked out three that should be well worth the watch, starting with what could be a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

 

Golden State Warriors @ New York Knicks

8:00 PM ET

New York (33-20, 20-8 home) will take to the court on Wednesday night knowing that a win is essential. Not only have the Knicks been passed by Indiana for the No. 2 playoff berth, the Manhattan side has also lost five of the last seven. Mike Woodson’s side will be hoping Sunday’s 99-93 win over Philadelphia is the start of a positive run.

New York isn’t the only side that needs to win either. Golden State (33-24, 15-17 road) fell to Indiana in a grueling encounter on Tuesday night, snapping a three game winning streak. The Warriors are 3-7 over the last 10, and have fallen further behind the likes of Denver and Memphis. If Mark Jackson’s side doesn’t pick things up, those playoff chances could start to slip.

The Warriors enter Madison Square Garden with a 15-6 record against Eastern Conference opponents this season. That’s certainly something for the Knicks to be worried about.

This Season: This is the first meeting between the sides this season. They’ll tangle again in Oakland on Mar.11.

Last Season: Despite a horrible season last year, the Warriors did manage to beat the Knicks in Madison Square Garden in the only game between the sides. The final score was 92-78.

Favorite: New York Spread: Total: 205½

Take: NEW YORK – With plenty of time to rest after Sunday’s home win over Philadelphia, New York has a huge advantage over the Warriors, who played just 24-hours earlier. However, Golden State (29-26-2 ATS) has fared better against the spread than New York (26-27-0 ATS), so take the Warriors to cover the 8½ points. Take the total to go over, a trend both teams have favored this season.

 

Milwaukee Bucks @ Houston Rockets

8:00 PM ET

With the Lakers still in the rearview mirror, Houston (31-27, 19-8 home) will be looking to gain ground over their star-studded Hollywood counterparts. A 105-103 loss in Washington on Saturday was not the type of result Kevin McHale and Co. was looking for. The side will hope to do better against the Bucks on Wednesday.

Losers of nine of the last 12, Milwaukee (27-28, 13-14 road) knows exactly how the Rockets feel. The slumping Bucks – currently holding onto the No. 8 berth in the East – are making plenty of cautious glances over the shoulder at a Toronto side on the rise. A 95-90 win in Dallas on Tuesday was the perfect way to start this tough Texas back-to-back.

Houston enters the game with some distinctive advantages. Not only are the Rockets very good at home, they’ve also compiled an 18-7 record against Eastern Conference opposition this season. Miami is the only team from the East to win at Toyota Center this season.

This Season: The Rockets defeated the Bucks 115-101 in Milwaukee on Jan. 4.

Last Season: Milwaukee defeated Houston 105-99 at the Toyota Center in the only game between the sides last year.

Favorite: Houston Spread: 7 Total: 219½

Take: HOUSTON – As patchy as the Rockets have been at times this season, the side is a far better choice than a Milwaukee side that has been deadweight of late. Add to that Houston’s fantastic home record against the East and you have a team ready to win. Take Houston (32-25-1 ATS) to cover the spread also. Although Houston (32-26-0) favors the over this season, take the total to go under as the Bucks struggle to score.

 

Atlanta Hawks @ Utah Jazz

9:00 PM ET

If, and we reiterate if, the Lakers do manage to put together a run, it might not be Houston that has to worry. Currently just one game in the loss column ahead of the Rockets, Utah (31-26, 21-7 home) could well be dragged into a fight for the final playoff berth. Two straight losses, including a 110-107 overtime loss to Boston on Monday, certainly haven’t helped the cause.

Atlanta (32-23, 14-13 road) meanwhile currently sits fifth in a tight-as-you-like Eastern Conference (at least from No. 2 downwards). A win over the Jazz on Wednesday could see the Hawks overtake the idle Nets into fourth.

The Hawks have won three straight and six of eight all told. More importantly, the side has won four straight on the road. Utah has won six of the last eight, and is 7-2 at home against Eastern Conference opponents this season. Only Chicago and Boston (this past Monday) have had success EnergySolutions Arena.

This Season: Atlanta scored a 103-95 home victory over the Jazz back on Jan. 11.

Last Season: The sides met just once in last season’s lockout-shortened campaign. The Hawks took a 139-133 victory at home, but it took four overtime periods to separate the two teams.

Favorite: Utah Spread: 5 Total: 198½

Take: UTAH – This is a close call but expect the Jazz to rebound from Monday’s loss and start turning that home court into a fortress again. Take the Jazz (17-11-0 ATS home) to cover with the total going over.

 

Wednesday’s NBA Schedule (in full)

Sacramento @ Orlando

Toronto @ Cleveland

Detroit @ Washington

Golden State @ New York

Dallas @ Memphis

Milwaukee @ Houston

New Orleans @ Oklahoma City

Phoenix @ San Antonio

Atlanta @ Utah

Denver @ Portland

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The Casino Review sportsbook blog provides news and analysis on the online sports betting industry, helping experienced and recreational bettors get the most out of their online betting experience.

This Week’s Unmissable College Hoops

Having suffered a first conference loss on Saturday, Miami faces a tough trip to Duke this coming weekend.

Having suffered a first conference loss on Saturday, Miami faces a tough trip to Duke this coming weekend.

This season of college basketball continues to throw surprises at us from every direction. Last weekend alone we were railroaded by Miami’s first conference defeat and Georgetown’s Big East-topping win over Syracuse.

Monday night saw both #6 Kansas and #13 Kansas State take care of business in the Big 12, while #22 Marquette unexpectedly handed #12 Syracuse a second consecutive loss.

Here at Casino Review, we’ve scoured the remainder of this week’s schedule to pick out 10 of the most unmissable games out there. Our findings? This Saturday really is going to be a super Saturday.

Read on to find out which games you need to be following.

#7 Georgetown @ Connecticut (Wed)

If #7 Georgetown (21-4, 11-3 Big East) is to hold on to the Big East top spot it snatched this past weekend, John Thompson III’s side will need to handle a tough Connecticut (19-7, 9-5 Big East) team. Marquette served a notice of intent by defeating Syracuse on Monday night, so the Hoyas have to win to stay atop the conference.

San Diego State @ #14 New Mexico (Wed)

Having handed Colorado State a loss last weekend, #14 New Mexico (23-4, 10-2 MWC) controls its own destiny. Thanks to a tiebreaker advantage over the Rams, the Lobos need just two wins from four games to lock-up the Mountain West regular season title, and with MWC bottom-feeders Wyoming and Nevada on the schedule, that looks a dead cert. A win over San Diego State (20-7, 8-5 MWC) on Wednesday might not be essential, but it would go a long way in the eyes of the selection committee.

#2 Gonzaga @ Brigham Young (Thu)

Having leapt into second place on the AP poll, Gonzaga (27-2, 14-0 WCC) has just two games left to impress. A trip to Brigham Young (20-9, 9-5 WCC) represents the toughest remaining game on the schedule for the side from Spokane. The Cougars would like nothing more than to avenge an 83-63 loss on Jan. 24, putting a big dent in the Zags’ season in the process.

#5 Miami (FL) @ #3 Duke (Sat)

Undoubtedly the biggest game of the week, and one nobody is going to want to miss, takes place in Durham on Saturday. Having succumbed to a first conference loss of the season this past weekend, all eyes will be on #5 Miami (22-4, 13-1 ACC) and whether or not the side can rebound. The Hurricanes will get a first chance to do at home to Virginia Tech on Wednesday, before a trip to #3 Duke (24-3, 11-3 ACC) on Saturday. The Blue Devils will be looking to make amends for a 90-63 loss in Coral Gables, and with an unbeaten home record, could well make this year’s ACC race even more interesting.

#10 Louisville @ #12 Syracuse (Sat)

Back-to-back losses for #12 Syracuse (22-6, 10-5 Big East) all of a sudden has the Orange looking vulnerable. Louisville (22-5, 10-4 Big East) meanwhile is slowly ascending the Big East standings thanks to a favorable schedule. That schedule takes a turn for the wicked this weekend, beginning with this trip to the Carrier Dome and followed by home games against Cincinnati and Notre Dame. Winning on Saturday is essential for both schools.

#21 Notre Dame @ #22 Marquette (Sat)

Thanks to its streaky record this season, #21 Notre Dame (22-6, 10-5 Big East) needs wins to impress as well as climb the Big East ladder. The Irish has fared well of late but #22 Marquette (20-7, 11-4 Big East) has proved a tricky opponent. Whichever side loses will be out of the regular season picture and the road to a Big East title will be that much tougher.

Alabama @ #8 Florida (Sat)

#8 Florida (22-4, 12-2 SEC) has been the class of the SEC this season but losses to Arkansas and Missouri means the conference is still there to be lost. After traveling to Tennessee on Tuesday, the Gators will host Alabama (18-9, 10-4 SEC) on Saturday. The Crimson Tide is currently two games back of Florida (and tied with Kentucky) so a win this weekend would be huge. In all likelihood, the regular season title will go to Florida, but with a trip to Kentucky still on the schedule, the Gators can’t afford to lose.

#11 Arizona @ UCLA (Sat)

A win for UCLA (20-7, 10-4 Pac-12) on Wednesday night against Arizona State would see the Bruins enter this game with an identical record to Arizona (23-4, 11-4 Pac-12). That record could be – depending on Oregon’s result against Oregon State on Friday – enough to top the Pac-12. Add to that the fact that the Bruins defeated the Wildcats 84-73 on Jan. 24 and you have the recipe for a game Arizona must not lose. If the Wildcats do drop this one, it’ll be tough to win the regular season title.

#20 Butler @ Virginia Commonwealth (Sat)

Losing to Saint Louis for a second time this season this past Friday was a huge blow for #20 Butler (22-6, 9-4 A10). Now the Bulldogs face a Virginia Commonwealth (22-6, 10-3 A10) side that, along with the Billikens, sits above them in the Atlantic 10 standings. A Butler loss on Saturday would be fatal.

#9 Michigan State @ #4 Michigan (Sun)

We have to wait until Sunday to enjoy the second biggest game of the week, when Michigan State (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten) travels to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten). Back-to-back losses to Indiana and Ohio State last week means the Spartans are only one-half game ahead of their bitter rivals, while Michigan has won two straight since falling to Michigan State. Michigan will need to avoid a slip-up against Penn State on Wednesday before taking to the court on Sunday. The Wolverines are unbeaten at home, which adds another dimension to this one. It’s not quite winner takes all, but it’s not far off.

 

Worth Keeping an Eye On

If we’ve learned nothing else this season, we’ve certainly learned that nothing can be taken for granted in college basketball. Here’s a choice selection of games that could prove interesting this week. Whilst we expect the ranked sides to come out of these games with the ‘W’, that upset bug could strike at any time.

  • #1 Indiana @ Minnesota (Tue)
  • #19 Memphis @ Xavier (Tue)
  • Wichita State @ Creighton (Sat)
  • #6 Kansas @ West Virginia (Sat)
  • #13 Kansas State @ Baylor (Sat)
  • #19 Memphis @ UCF (Sat)
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Monday Betting Tips: NHL Hockey

Kyle Turris and the Ottawa Senators look good to score an upset over the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

Kyle Turris and the Ottawa Senators look good to score an upset over the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

To get your week started with a bang, Casino Review has picked out three gems on Monday’s NHL schedule for you to digest before laying down some cash.

Here’s the shocker: Chicago’s game against Edmonton doesn’t intrigue us tonight. We think Chicago will continue its history-making run of points-scoring against the lowly Oilers. Forget that game, we’ve got three that are bound to be barn-burners with upset potential galore.

We start with a Philadelphia side looking to edge up into the playoff hunt.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Philadelphia Flyers

7:00 PM ET

With three wins in four games, Philadelphia (9-10-1, 5-2-1 home) has inched towards the playoff berths in the Eastern Conference. Entering play on Monday, the Flyers are tied with eighth-place Tampa Bay on 19 points. A win over the Leafs, or even a tie, will be enough to move above.

Toronto (11-8-0, 7-4-0 road) meanwhile unexpectedly has the seventh spot, but recent form has betrayed the team. Having won six of seven, Toronto has dropped two from three since. With the race in the East poised to be a tight one this year, the Leafs can’t afford to lose any more.

Both sides took to the ice on Saturday, with Philadelphia picking up a 5-3 home win against Winnipeg while Toronto fell 3-2 on the road in Ottawa.

This Season: Toronto defeated Philadelphia 5-2 at home on Feb. 11.

Last Season: Philadelphia swept the season series 4-0.

Moneyline: Toronto (+119), Philadelphia (-131) Total:

Take: PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers have begun playing like the team we expected this season, and with just two home losses this season, the favored Flyers look good in this one. Philadelphia (10-9-1) has favored the over while Toronto (6-11-2) has favored the under. The Flyers have averaged 4.8 goals per game over the last six, so take the over.

 

Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators

7:30 PM ET

Both the Canadiens and Senators are looking good of late. Montreal (12-4-2, 4-1-1 road) has won six of the last seven games, with that one loss coming in overtime. The side has won three straight on the road. Michael Therrien’s side has risen to the top of the Eastern Conference in the process.

Meanwhile, Ottawa (11-6-2, 8-1-2 home) has won four straight in total and four straight at home, moving into sixth place in the East. A win or tie on Monday would see the Senators moving into fourth place.

Montreal handed the highly-touted New York Rangers a 3-0 shutout at Centre Bell on Saturday, while Ottawa dismissed Toronto 3-2 at Scotiabank Place.

This Season: Ottawa scored a 5-1 home win over the Canadiens on Jan. 30 while Montreal picked up a 2-1 home win on Feb. 3.

Last Season: Montreal won the season series 4-2 with both losses coming after regulation. The Canadiens went 2-1 when playing in Ottawa.

Moneyline: Montreal (-121), Ottawa (+110) Total: 5

Take: OTTAWA – The Canadiens may be favored but the Senators have been impressive at home this season. Take Ottawa to score the upset win. Both teams trend towards the under and Ottawa hasn’t seen more than five goals in a game in five straight. The under is the smart bet here then.

 

Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings

10:30 PM ET

With 11 of the first 15 games on the road, Los Angeles (8-6-2, 3-1-1 home) could have asked for a better start. The Kings scored a 4-1 win over Colorado on Saturday though, beginning a streak of seven of eight games at home positively.

With three straight wins and five from the last six, the Kings are starting to look a bit more like the side that won the Stanley Cup last season. They’re also just one point out of the playoff berths.

Anaheim (13-2-1, 7-1-1 road) has started the season hot. Winners of 13 games – including six straight and 10 of the last 11 – the Ducks would be the talk of the league were it not for Chicago’s extraordinary run of form. Not that you’ll hear the side complaining.

Anaheim is all about getting the job done, and the side need only look back to early February to see how beating the Kings can be achieved.

This Season: Anaheim defeated Los Angeles 7-4 at home on Feb. 2.

Last Season: Los Angeles took five of six games against the Ducks last season, including a pair of shootout wins. The Kings won all three games at the Honda Center.

Moneyline: Anaheim (+142), Los Angeles (-142) Total: 5

Take: ANAHEIM – While the Kings are returning to form, the Ducks continue to steamroll on. Look for Anaheim to take it to the Kings and score the win. The Ducks are the third leading scorers in the league (3.3 goals per game) but have only seen the total go over in four games this year. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has also favored the under, so take the under in this one.

 

Tuesday’s NHL Schedule (in full)

Toronto @ Philadelphia

Montreal @ Ottawa

Dallas @ Nashville

Edmonton @ Chicago

Anaheim @ Los Angeles

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Spartans Visit Buckeyes in Big Ten Showdown

Keith Appling and the Michigan State Spartans will look to rebound from a midweek loss to Indiana with a trip to Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.

Keith Appling and the Michigan State Spartans will look to rebound from a midweek loss to Indiana with a trip to Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.

#4 Michigan State travels to Columbus on Sunday to take on #18 Ohio State in a must win game for both schools. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 PM ET from Value City Arena.

Michigan State’s 72-68 loss at home to #1 Indiana on Tuesday leaves the Spartans one game back of the Hoosiers at the top of the Big Ten standings. With a season sweep of the East Lansing side, Indiana holds a decisive tie-breaker.

A win over Minnesota on Wednesday put an end to a streak of three losses in four games for Ohio State, but that downturn now has the Buckeyes looking up at four other Big Ten schools. In danger of being swallowed into the mid-level tournament berths, Ohio State needs to put together some wins to improve its standing.

The two schools met on Jan. 19 at Breslin Center in East Lansing, with the Spartans scoring a 59-56 win.

Last season, the two sides split a pair of regular season games, each winning on the other’s home court. Michigan State earned the last laugh though, defeating Ohio State 68-64 in the Big Ten championship game.

Since 1979-80, Michigan State leads the head-to-head series 37-26.

Ohio State (14-2 home) enters the game favored over Michigan State (6-3 road). The Buckeyes however have fared poorly against teams ranked in the AP top 25, going 1-7 in such games. The school’s only win against a ranked opponent came on Jan. 13, against the Spartans’ bitter rival, Michigan. Michigan State has gone 4-4 against ranked opponents this season.

The spread opened at 4½ points. Neither school has been particularly good at covering the spread this season, which will make things that much more awkward for bettors trying to separate these sides.

Ohio State is 13-11-0 ATS all told this season, with a 9-6-0 ATS record at Value City Arena and a 11-9-0 ATS record when entering  the game as the favorite.

Michigan State is 11-12-1 ATS in all games this season, with a 5-5-1 ATS record on the road and a 4-2-0 ATS record as the underdog.

The total opened at 129. Like the spread, bettors will have a tough time picking over or under in this one. Ohio State (10-12-1) favors the under while Michigan State (12-11-0) favors the over. Neither is particularly decisive though.

After Sunday’s game at Ohio State, Michigan State will have three games left on the schedule: a trip to Michigan (Mar. 3) followed by home games against Wisconsin (Mar. 7) and Northwestern (Mar. 10).

Meanwhile, Indiana still has four games on the schedule. The Hoosiers will face Minnesota (Feb. 26) and Michigan (Mar. 10) on the road, and Iowa (Mar. 2) and Ohio State (Mar. 5) at home.

It’ll be a tall task for the Spartans to overtake the Hoosiers to finish with the top berth heading into the Big Ten tournament, but it’s not yet impossible. One thing is for sure; the Spartans need to win in Columbus on Sunday afternoon.

 

In Brief…

The Spartans’ rivals, #7 Michigan (22-4, 9-4 Big Ten) will also look to improve its position in the Big Ten standings. The Wolverines will face a resurgent Illinois (20-8, 7-7 Big Ten) side that has won five straight games, ending a dreadful streak of six losses in seven games. The hometown Wolverines are favorites (-11) with the total at 138.

With #2 Miami (FL) suffering its first conference loss of the season on Saturday, #6 Duke (23-3, 10-3 ACC) can sneak one game closer to the Hurricanes at the top of the ACC standings with a win over lowly Boston College (12-14, 4-9 ACC) on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils bounced back from last weekend’s loss to Maryland with a 88-56 win over Virginia Tech on Thursday and will enter this one as the favorite (-16½).

With a win over #8 Syracuse on Saturday and #17 Marquette slipping up against Villanova, #11 Georgetown is now in sole possession of the Big East lead. At two games back, #25 Notre Dame (21-6, 9-5 Big East) will look to make up some ground as the Irish hosts Cincinnati (19-8, 7-7 Big East), losers of four of the last five. The Irish is a one-point favorite in this one, with the total at 124.

#20 Pittsburgh (20-7, 8-6 Big East) will also be looking to make up ground in the conference. With two losses in a row, the Panthers are in danger of losing their AP status, so a win over St. John’s (16-10, 8-6 Big East) is essential at lunchtime on Sunday. Pittsburgh is the favorite (-7) with the total at 124½.

 

Saturday’s AP Top 25 Results

#2 Miami (FL) 65, Wake Forest 80

San Diego 50, #3 Gonzaga 81

Arkansas 54, #5 Florida 71

#11 Georgetown 57, #8 Syracuse 46

TCU 48, #9 Kansas 74

Seton Hall 61, #10 Louisville 79

Washington State 56, #12 Arizona 73

#13 Kansas State 81, Texas 69

#14 Oklahoma State 73, West Virginia 57

#16 New Mexico 91, #22 Colorado State 82

#17 Marquette 56, Villanova 60

Southern Miss 73, #21 Memphis 89

Stanford 66, #23 Oregon 77

#24 Virginia Commonwealth 75, Xavier 71

 

Sunday’s AP Top 25 Schedule

#4 Michigan State @ #18 Ohio State

Boston College@ #6 Duke

Illinois @ #7 Michigan

#20 Pittsburgh @ St. John’s

Cincinnati @ #25 Notre Dame

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Saturday Betting Tips: College Hoops

Michael Carter-Williams and the Syracuse Orange face a tough challenge from Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.

Michael Carter-Williams and the Syracuse Orange face a tough challenge from Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.

Big games. That’s what we like at this time of the year and this week’s college basketball schedule has been chock full of them.

Five unranked teams have knocked-off AP ranked sides this week, continuing a trend that has proved prevalent this season. Underdogs are having their way so far this season, which means the NCAA tournament is going to be particularly interesting this year.

Big games continue to come thick and fast, so Casino Review has picked out the three biggest on Saturday’s schedule and broke them down for you.

 

#11 Georgetown @ #8 Syracuse

4:00 PM ET

With the Orange shipping out to the ACC at the end of this season, this will be the last time the Hoyas visit the Carrier Dome, for a while at least. What happens with the ‘Catholic Seven’ could change that in a few years. You never know.

#11 Georgetown (20-4, 10-3 Big East) will look to make it a triumphant final visit, while #8 Syracuse (22-4, 10-3 Big East) will look to remain unbeaten at home and against AP Top 25 teams.

The Hoyas have won eight straight and 10 of the last 11 on the way to securing a share of the Big East lead. The Orange meanwhile has won two straight, and four of five. Georgetown handed DePaul a 90-66 loss on Wednesday, while Syracuse defeated Providence 84-59 setting up this top of the table clash.

Both sides will look to solid defenses in this one. The Hoyas ranked 10th in the nation in both points allowed (56.1) and opponents’ shooting percentage (.376). Syracuse is 30th in points allowed (59.3) but limits opponents to .370 shooting, good enough for sixth in the country.

This game is almost impossible to pick. Both schools have fared well against the spread this season, at home and on the road, and as favorites and underdogs. Both have identical conference records. Both have fared well against ranked sides, with Georgetown going 4-1 and Syracuse going 4-0.

Perhaps the main separation point is Syracuse’s current 38-game home winning streak. The side has been unstoppable at home for more than two years, having not lost at the Carrier Dome since Feb. 9 2011. However, that last loss – a 64-56 affair – came at the hands of these very Hoyas. There really is little to choose from here.

This Season: This will be the first time the schools meet this season. A second game is scheduled for Mar. 9.

Last Season: Syracuse defeated Georgetown 64-61 in overtime at the Carrier Dome in the only meeting between the sides last season.

Favorite: Syracuse Spread: 7 Total: 122

Take: SYRACUSE – Ultimately that impressive home winning streak has swayed us in the direction of the Orange, but a win for Georgetown really wouldn’t be a surprise. Take the Hoyas (13-7-0 ATS, 5-1-0 ATS) to cover the spread in a close, emotional game. Even though these sides are defensively orientated, there’ll be enough offense on display for the total to go over.

 

#16 New Mexico @ # 22 Colorado State

4:00 PM ET

#22 Colorado State (21-5, 8-3 MWC) came unglued on the road in Las Vegas this past Wednesday, losing 61-59 to UNLV and dropping a game back of the conference leading Lobos. The Rams will need to win on Saturday afternoon if they’re to stay in this particular race.

#16 New Mexico (22-4, 9-2 MWC) have had a week to rest since handing Boise State a 60-50 loss last Saturday. The Lobos will hope that this break will prove enough of an advantage going into Fort Collins, where the Rams are undefeated this season.

The Lobos have won two straight and five of six, while the Rams’ midweek loss put the breaks on a six-game winning streak.

Both teams enter the game with top 50 defenses, which means this should be a bruising affair. The Rams are second in the nation with 41.9 rebounds per game, something that could prove vital against a Lobos team that does not shoot the ball well.

This Season: New Mexico defeated Colorado State 66-61 in Albuquerque on Jan. 23.

Last Season: The schools split a pair of games with each winning on its own court.

Favorite: Colorado State Spread: 6 Total: 129

Take: COLORADO STATE – Home court has proved advantageous in this series and it will do so again on Saturday, although a well-rested New Mexico side certainly has the potential to steal one. Take the Rams (12-8-2 ATS, 7-3-1 ATS home) to cover the spread. Take the total to go under, a trend familiar with both these teams.

 

North Carolina State @ North Carolina

4:00 PM ET

It’s rare Casino Review steps outside of the AP rankings for its weekly betting tips but this one more than warrants it. With both teams underachieving this season, this game is huge.

North Carolina (18-8, 8-5 ACC) will look to avenge January’s defeat in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, hoping to throw its hat in the NCAA tournament picture at the same time. North Carolina State (19-7, 8-5 ACC) would like nothing better than to ruin its rival’s chances.

The Tar Heels have two straight after dropping a pair of road games to Duke and Miami (FL). Roy Williams’ side has won five of the last seven. The Wolfpack defeated Florida State on Tuesday to build its win streak up to three, following three straight losses and five in seven.

Expect a high-scoring affair as two top 10 offenses collide. The Tar Heels will need to fend-off the sharpshooting Wolfpack, which shoots .497 from the field (fifth in the nation) and .406 from three-point range (sixth).

This Season: NC State handed the Tar Heels a 91-83 loss in Raleigh on Jan. 26.

Last Season: North Carolina handed the Wolfpack three defeats last season, including a 69-67 loss in the ACC tournament.

Favorite: North Carolina Spread: 5 Total: 158½

Take: NORTH CAROLINA – The Tar Heels cost us big time the last time we backed them (against NC State, nonetheless) but that 12-1 home record looks too enticing this week, particularly against an inconsistent NC State side. Take the Tar Heels (15-9-0 ATS, 9-4-0 ATS home) to cover the spread also. Although both sides can score the basketball, 158½ seems a little too much, so take the under.

 

AP Top 25 Weekend Schedule

Saturday

#2 Miami (FL) @ Wake Forest

San Diego @ #3 Gonzaga

Arkansas @ #5 Florida

#11 Georgetown @ #8 Syracuse

TCU @ #9 Kansas

Seton Hall @ #10 Louisville

Washington State @ #12 Arizona

#13 Kansas State @ Texas

#14 Oklahoma State at West Virginia

#16 New Mexico @ #22 Colorado State

#17 Marquette @ Villanova

Southern Miss @ #21 Memphis

Stanford @ #23 Oregon

#24 Virginia Commonwealth @ Xavier

Sunday

#4 Michigan State @ #18 Ohio State

Boston College @ #6 Duke

Illinois @ #7 Michigan

#20 Pittsburgh @ St. John’s

Cincinnati @ #25 Notre Dame

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UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche Preview

UFC 157

History will be made Saturday night as the UFC hosts its first ever women’s bout, a championship contest between undefeated Ronda Rousey and No. 1 contender Liz Carmouche.

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche will come live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., with pay-per-view action starting at 10 PM ET. A full preliminary card – to be broadcast on FX and Facebook – will be held beforehand.

The historic event marks the sixth time the UFC has held an event in Anaheim, and the first since UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos on Nov. 12, 2011. The Honda Center famously saw Cain Velasquez defeat then-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in Oct. 2010.

As well as featuring the Rousey-Carmouche fight, UFC 157 will see light-heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson take to the Octagon in a bid to cement No. 1 contender status for Jon “Bones” Jones’ title.

Rousey vs. Carmouche

Even by UFC standards, the hype surrounding this debut is something else. Saturday night is gearing up to be something special, although it could be over before you know it.

Ronda Rousey (6-0-0) will look to remain unbeaten as she competes in the UFC Octagon for the first time. Her last contest saw her successfully defend the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman, that promotion’s penultimate event.

Rousey has finished all six professional fights in the first round utilizing an armbar. Only one of those bouts went longer than one minute; she defeated Meisha Tate for the Strikeforce title in 4:27 back on Mar. 3, 2012, her fifth pro fight.

After all the hype and publicity, Dana White and the rest of the Zuffa brass will probably be hopeful this one goes a little longer. So will Rousey’s opponent.

After a pair of defeats sent Liz Carmouche (7-2-0) to a 2-2-0 record in Strikeforce, the San Diego fighter appeared at the first two Invicta FC events in 2012, securing two victories. Carmouche handed Ashleigh Curry a TKO defeat and besting Kaitlin Young by submission.

It was reported that the fighter known as “Girl-Rilla” was set to make a Strikeforce comeback last November, but the scheduled event was axed as the promotion set to close its doors. Now she gets to fight on the biggest MMA stage of all.

The UFC has been criticized in some territories for serving up a weak opponent for Rousey in her first bout with the company. Carmouche will look to prove such doubters wrong with a strong performance in Anaheim.

Rousey enters the championship bout as favorite (1/10) with Carmouche considered the underdog (

Machida vs. Henderson

UFC 157 didn’t need another marquee fight to stir up interest, but it got one anyway.

Ranked No. 2 and No. 3 (by Sherdog) in the light heavyweight division respectively, Dan Henderson (29-8-0) and Lyoto Machida (18-3-0) will take to the Octagon in what many believe could be the fight of the year.

After falling to Jon Jones at UFC 140 in a Fight of the Night performance, Machida continues his bid to get another shot at the champ. Machida turned down a short-notice opportunity to challenge Jones last September. The southpaw from Salvador will hope that a win over Henderson will propel him to top contender status in a fully-scheduled bout.

The Los Angeles fighter defeated Ryan Bader last time out (Aug. 4), knocking out the Tempe, Ariz., wrestler in the second round.

Henderson on the other hand will be looking to put the halters on Machida and improve his own standing in the process. The final Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has won four straight and seven of the last eight.

His most recent bout – a victory over Mauricio Rua, the man who stripped Machida of the light heavyweight title – saw him return to UFC after a stint with Strikeforce, and was awarded Fight of the Year honors for 2011.

Henderson had been scheduled to face Jones at UFC 151 last September, but an injury kept him out and effectively cancelled that event.

Machida enters the bout as favorite (5/12) although Henderson (19/10) has seen plenty of action with the bookmakers.

Best of the Rest

Elsewhere on the main card, Urijah Faber (26-6-0) will look to bounce back from two losses in three bouts as he takes on Ivan Menjivar (25-9-0) in the bantamweight division. Menjivar is an impressive 4-1 since joining the UFC, earning two Submission of the Night awards in the process.

Faber is the favorite (4/15) heading into the fight but Menjivar (57/20) will like his chances.

In the welterweight division, Court McGee (13-3-0) will tussle with the veteran Josh Neer (33-12-1). Both fighters have dropped two bouts in a row so a win on Saturday night will be crucial for both parties.

McGee is favored (1/3) over Neer (23/10).

In the main card opener, Josh Koscheck (19-6-0) will square off again former Strikeforce combatant Robbie Lawler (19-9-0, 1NC) in the welterweight division. Again, both fighters are coming off a loss and will be looking to score a victory by any means necessary.

Koscheck (1/5) is favored over Lawler (7/2), who has dropped three of his last four bouts heading into his UFC debut.

 

For a full list of UFC 157’s undercard bouts and current odds, check our quick guide below.

 

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

Saturday 23 February, 10:00 PM ET

Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

All odds supplied by Bovada.

 

MAIN CARD

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (6-0-0) vs. Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (7-2-0)

Class: Women’s Bantamweight (Championship Bout)

Odds: Rousey (1/10), Carmouche (6/1)

 

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (18-3-0) vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (29-8-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Machida (5/12), Henderson (19/10)

 

Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (26-6-0) vs. Ivan “Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar (25-9-0)

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Faber (4/15), Menjivar (57/20)

 

Court “The Crusher” McGee (13-3-0) vs. Josh “The Dentist” Neer (33-12-1)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: McGee (1/3), Neer (23/10)

 

Josh “Kos” Koscheck (19-6-0) vs. Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler (19-9-0, 1NC)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Koscheck (1/5), Lawler (7/2)

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (9-3-0) vs. “Big” Lavar Johnson (17-6-0)*

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Schaub (2/3), Lavar Johnson (6/5)

 

Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (8-0-0) vs. Anton Kuivanen (17-5-0)*

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Chiesa (20/41), Kuivanen (33/20)

 

Dennis “The Menace”Bermudez (10-3-0) vs. Matt “The Ral One” Grice (15-4-0)*

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Bermudez (2/9), Grice (13/4)

 

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (19-8-1) vs. Caros “The Future” Fodor (7-2-0)*

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Stout (5/4), Fodor (20/31)

 

Kenny Robertson (11-2-0) vs. Brock “The Machine” Jardine (9-2-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Robertson (27/20), Jardine (20/33)

 

Jon Manley (7-2-0) vs. Neil Magny (7-2-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Manley (27/20), Magny (20/33)

 

Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2-0) vs. Yuri Villefort (6-1-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Burrell (20/23), Villefort (20/23)

 

Preliminary bouts marked (*) will air on FX.

Preliminary bouts marked (^) will air on the UFC Facebook page.

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