CBB weekly betting preview: Michigan State looks to keep dominating Iowa
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Here's a betting breakdown of the week's top college basketball matchups.
Stats and rankings are as of Monday, Feb. 24
Louisville at Florida State -2.5, 140.5 (Monday)
A huge ACC game kicks off the week when the Louisville Cardinals travel to Florida State on Monday night. The Cardinals have righted the ship after losing two straight, rebounding to defeat Syracuse and North Carolina by a combined score of 162-121. Louisville has won 12 of 14 games since losing 78-65 to Florida State at home on Jan. 4.
The Seminoles are a slight 2.5-point favorite at home, where they're unbeaten this season. In the first meeting between these teams, FSU's defense forced 16 turnovers and the Seminoles shot a sizzling 60% from the field.
Florida State's 13-point victory at Louisville is one of the most impressive wins from any ACC team this season. This game should be much more competitive, and the trends point to the over. The over is 4-0 in Louisville's last four games as an underdog, and 4-1 in Florida State's last five as a favorite.
The road team has also been profitable in this series while covering five of the last six meetings. The lean here is Louisville avenging its earlier loss and cashing as a small road 'dog.
Iowa at Michigan State (Tuesday)
Under Tom Izzo, Michigan State typically gets stronger as March rolls around, but the Spartans have lost four of their last six entering Tuesday's game. Despite the disappointing season, Michigan State is still one of just five teams that rank in the top 20 in offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
The good news for Michigan State is it hosts an Iowa team that's been much better at home than on the road. Seven of the Hawkeyes' eight losses have come away from home. Iowa relies heavily on an offense that ranks fifth in efficiency and averages 78.5 points per game. However, a Hawkeyes defense allowing 72 points per contest can be an Achilles' heel, especially on the road.
Michigan State has won eight of the last 10 meetings between these two teams, and with Iowa's struggles away from home, look for that dominance to continue. The Spartans should get a much-needed win and cover the projected 6-point spread at home.
Kentucky at Texas A&M (Tuesday)
On paper, it appears the red-hot Kentucky Wildcats will enjoy an easy game Tuesday night when they travel to face 14-12 Texas A&M. However, the Aggies are playing much better lately and are a threat to pull off the outright upset.
After a miserable start to the season, Buzz Williams' group has won three straight to sit at 8-6 in the SEC. The Aggies still struggle shooting, but they've steadily improved defensively throughout the season.
Texas A&M will need to play its best game of the year to upend a Kentucky squad coming in after winning 11 of its last 12, including six straight. The Wildcats have been getting it done with defense, allowing just 66 points per game during their winning streak.
Kentucky is playing its best basketball of the season, but this is a dangerous conference road game, especially with a rematch against Auburn on deck for the Wildcats. Look for the Aggies to keep it close and stay within the projected 8-point spread.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.