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It’s a big day Monday for college hoops fans with top ranked teams squaring off in important conference games that could go a long way in impressing the selection committee come March.
Here are some betting tidbits on the three biggest games:
The biggest challenge for Miami will be keeping pace offensively with the Blue Devils. Duke ranks first in all of college basketball in offensive efficiency with 1.22 points per possession and the team averages 93.2 points per game on 51.1 percent shooting from the field.
Duke’s defense is dreadful but the Hurricanes don’t have nearly as much fire power as their opponent. Miami’s leading scorer, Dewan Huell, averages just 13.6 points and its star freshman, Lonnie Walker, averages just 8.6 points per game.
The Over is 12-3 in Duke’s 15 lined games this season.
Kansas isn’t an underdog too often in Big 12 games and this is its largest dog tag since February 2004 when oddsmakers had the team getting the same 7.5 points on the road against Texas.
Close observers of the Jayhawks wouldn’t gripe about this spread though. Coach Bill Self is dealing with a dearth of talent the likes of which hoop heads in Lawrence haven’t seen in more than a decade. Star recruit Billy Preston is still ineligible to play leaving the Jayhawks with just eight scholarship players on their roster.
Point guard Devonte Graham has played 190 out of the 200 total minutes of game play in the Jayhawks’ first five Big 12 games.
“I’m trying to rest him, but right now we can’t play without him,” Self told reporters the Saturday before last. “This might be the hand we’re dealt and the hand he’s dealt all year long. I hate to say that we might need to play zone or run a different offense so he can rest some when he’s on the court. He’s worn out.”
The Jayhawks are 0-4 straight up in their last four trips to West Virginia and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against WVU.
Michigan is coming off its first double-digit win at MSU since 1997, so there might be a bit of a letdown here in this spot. The Wolverines improved to No. 19 in the nation in defensive efficiency – something Big Blue supporters aren’t accustomed to seeing. Michigan finished 172nd in the same stat category last season.
The season-ending injury to sophomore forward Justin Jackson hasn’t slowed down the Terps. Maryland is 7-2 straight up and 4-2 ATS since losing Jackson. The Over is 8-2 in the Terps’ last 10 lined games.