College basketball odds: Key conference games highlight weekend
With Selection Sunday less than a month away, several teams are still trying to build their case for an NCAA tournament invite while others are simply looking to improve their seeding.
Princeton (15–6, 8–0 Ivy League) and Yale (14–7, 6–2) are both virtual locks for their new four-team conference tournament this year, so they will be battling for seeding in it on Friday. The Tigers are listed as small road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as they try to stay perfect in league play.
Yale won the regular-season title last year along with the automatic bid that goes with it, while Princeton is hoping to make it to the Big Dance for the first time since 2011. The Tigers were the Ivy League runner-up last season, and they have won the past two meetings with the Bulldogs both straight up and against the spread, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database, following a three-game skid in the series.
On Saturday, there are important matchups in the Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 that all figure to see the home teams favored. The most competitive game of the three looks to be between No. 3 Kansas (23–3, 11–2 Big 12) and No. 4 Baylor (22–4, 9–4), which will look to avenge a 73–68 road loss as 6.5-point underdogs in Lawrence on Feb. 1.
While the Jayhawks have won nine straight in the series SU, they have failed to cover the last two, which were decided by a combined nine points on their home court.
In the ACC, No. 10 North Carolina (22–5, 10–3 ACC) will attempt to hand No. 14 Virginia (18–7, 8–5) its third consecutive loss. North Carolina has won two of the previous three meetings both SU and ATS after dropping three of four in the series. The over is 5–1 in the last six games between the teams, with four of them closing below 130.
The Pac-12 will close out Saturday with an intra-city battle between No. 6 UCLA (23–3, 10–3 Pac-12) and USC (21–5, 8–5). The Bruins are riding a four-game winning streak—going 1–3 ATS over that stretch—but they have lost the past four meetings with the Trojans both SU and ATS. UCLA is just 3–11 ATS in its last 14.
The Big Ten and Big East will then take center stage on Sunday with a couple key games. No. 11 Wisconsin (21–5, 10–3 Big Ten) hosts No. 23 Maryland (22–4, 10–3), followed by the Georgetown (14–1 2, 5–8 Big East) visiting Creighton (21–5, 8–5).
The Badgers have lost two of the past three meetings with the Terrapins both SU and ATS, with the under cashing each time on the college basketball betting lines, while the Bluejays have lost six of the last seven matchups with the Hoyas (3–4 ATS).