Spartans On Big Ten Road At Fighting Illini

By: Adam Markowitz | Monday, January 30, 2012

Relatively speaking, the NCAA basketball betting slate on Tuesday is short, as there are only 14 games to choose from. However, of those clashes, half involve teams that are ranked in the AP Top 25, which should make for some exciting hoops action.

The top team in the land, the Kentucky Wildcats are going to be on display when they take on the Tennessee Volunteers at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night. Kentucky was once a team that was just 3-13-1 against the spread on the campaign, but since that point, it has rolled off three covers in four tries in conference play. The 'Cats are still just 2-10-1 ATS at home thanks to the oddsmakers inflating the lines for games in Lexington, but Tuesday provides another chance to try to buck that trend.

It seems as though it won’t be an easy task with the Volunteers coming to town sporting their 11-7-1 ATS record. However, UT is 7-2-1 ATS this year while playing on Rocky Top and just 1-5 ATS on the road. The Volunteers were 10-point home 'dogs when the clubs about two weeks ago in Knoxville, and hung within three points. But now, with the scene shifting to Lexington, the outcome could be a heck of a lot different.

ESPNU will have live coverage of this clash at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Immediately following the UT/UK clash, the North Carolina Tar Heels will be on ESPNU against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Tar Heels have rebounded nicely from their loss to the Florida State Seminoles in the middle of the month, and they are hoping to close out January in strong form. North Carolina is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 road games overall, and is riding high with three straight double-digit victories to its credit.

Wake Forest hasn’t had much to be thrilled about this year, but it has been respectable in conference play. The Demon Deacons are 4-2-1 ATS in their seven conference games, and they’ll try to build on that at home against UNC on Tuesday at 9:00 (ET).

ESPN is featuring a doubleheader of big-time duels as well.

In the first of the two games at 7:00 (ET), the Illinois Fighting Illini look to improve their positioning for the NCAA Tournament when they take on the Michigan State Spartans. It is clear that Illinois, which has dropped three in a row both SU and ATS, is squarely on the bubble for the dance right now, and the Illini need to get back on track in a hurry to ensure their name is called on Selection Sunday.

This is a tough spot though, against an MSU team that is a solid 4-2 ATS this year on the road and already has a win at the Wisconsin Badgers in conference play.  State will be out to break a 2-game losing skid away from East Lansing, and 'over' bettors have been enjoying an 8-3 stretch in the Spartans' last 11.

The 9:00 (ET) tip on ESPN puts the Vanderbilt Commodores to the test in Fayetteville against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Hogs haven’t been on the radar for the NCAA Tournament all that much this year, but a perfect 15-0 record at Walton Arena (5-2 ATS) is certainly impressive. Arkansas already has wins against the Michigan Wolverines and Mississippi State Bulldogs here in Fayetteville, and can log a huge win against a Vandy team that knows that it is going dancing this year barring a massive collapse. Remember, the Commodores are one of the best road teams in the country this year for college basketball betting fans at 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS when not on their home court or at a neutral site..

The Kansas State Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers have to hit the road as well on Tuesday night. Kansas State pays a visit to the Iowa State Cyclones who are on a high following Saturday's upset win over the Kansas Jayhawks. Coverage from Hilton Coliseum in Ames begins at 9:00 (ET) on ESPN3. The Badgers are at the Penn State Nittany Lions at 8:00 (ET) in a game that can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

Elsewhere in the Top 25 on Tuesday, the Marquette Golden Eagles try to bolster their tourney resume against the Seton Hall Pirates at 8:00 (ET), while the Clemson Tigers look for the upset of the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville in a 7:00 (ET) tip on ESPN2.

 
 
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