Baylor, Syracuse And Murray State Put Unbeaten Marks On Line
By: Adam Markowitz
Friday, January 13, 2012
All too often, college basketball betting fans are suckered into betting on ranked teams that are laying oodles of points in conference games. Thus far this season, this really hasn’t been the case, as many of the top teams in the land have fantastic ATS marks, and a number of those teams are going to be in action on Saturday in yet another jam-packed weekend slate.
We’ll start with the No. 1 team in the land, the Syracuse Orange. The Big East is once again the most brutal conference in the country to play in, and even though there are a number of teams that are going to be considered Final Four contenders this season once again, the Orange are clearly the cream of the crop.
Despite all of the off-court issues with Bernie Fine, ‘Cuse continue to roll with a perfect 18-0 record. Not only that, but the Orange are 12-5 against the spread. On Saturday, they host the Providence Friars in a game in which they are going to be double-digit favorites. The tip time is set for 6:00 p.m. (ET), and there will be televised coverage on ESPN3.
The Michigan State Spartans started off the year in bad shape, but since beginning with two losses both SU and ATS, they have rolled to a perfect 15-0 SU mark to go with a 10-2 ATS record. They haven’t hit the toughest games on their schedule as of yet, but this weekend’s test in Evanston is going to be tough.
The Northwestern Wildcats have lost by a point to the Illinois Fighting Illini and by two in overtime to the Michigan Wolverines in their last two games, and they are going to hope to get into the win column Saturday afternoon against Sparty in a 3:00 (ET) tip.
In the Big 12, the teams at the top are really playing well. The Baylor Bears, Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers are a whopping 21-14 ATS between them this year, and are all going to have a shot to improve upon that on Saturday against some poor ATS teams in the conference.
Baylor takes on the 7-7 ATS Oklahoma State Cowboys in a three o'clock (ET) tip on ESPN2, a game which follows Missouri’s home date with the 3-8 ATS Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks have a difficult test against the Iowa State Cyclones, who are 6-6 ATS on the campaign and have already proven that they can beat some of the best teams in the land.
The Mountain West Conference finally tips league play on Saturday, and things get underway with a huge contest between ranked clubs as San Diego State hosts UNLV. The Rebels enter the game ranked No. 12 in both polls and will bring a 7-game win streak into Viejas Arena. No. 22 San Diego State is also on a 7-game run in the win column, but the last three have come against the likes of Redlands, San Diego Christian and Chicago State, so there could be some early-game shock for the Aztecs as they adjust to the UNLV's fast-paced tempo.
Mid-majors are going to be in action in a big way on Saturday as well. The Murray State Racers are 17-0 and up to the No. 14 slot in the country. They are also 8-4-1 ATS, and really might not be challenged for quite some time. The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will provide the opposition on Saturday, and arrive at Murray Statet with the second-most wins in the Ohio Valley Conference standings. You can catch this one Saturday night on ESPNU at 6:00 (ET).
Just after the Racers are finished, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will look to get back on track. They were crushed by the St. Mary’s Gaels on Thursday night, and hope to get in the win column when they engage in this 8:00 (ET) tip against the Loyola Marymount Lions.
The other Top 10 teams that are in action on Saturday are the Kentucky Wildcats at the Tennessee Volunteers and the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Florida State Seminoles. Both games can be seen on ESPN, with UK tipping at noon and UNC starting at 2:00 (ET).