Conference races are heating up, and several leaders take the floor on the Hump Day bill needing victories to maintain their hold atop the ranks.
- Auburn-Alabama Over 161½ (-110)
- Rice +12 (-110)
- Villanova-St. John’s Over 145½ (-110)
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 – 07:30 PM ET at Coleman Coliseum
First place in the SEC is on the line Wednesday evening when Auburn visits Alabama, and sharp sportsbooks are looking for a hard-fought contest with the Crimson Tide favored by 3-3½.
‘Over’ Cashes 5 of Last 7 Meetings
This is the first of two meetings between the rivals. Alabama is set to return the favor with a visit to Auburn in 14 days, and the Crimson Tide hold the all-time advantage 101-65.
Alabama swept the season series last year, claiming a 77-69 victory on the road at Neville Arena before scoring a 90-85 overtime win in Tuscaloosa. The rivals split covers in the two games, each cashing road tickets, and the totals also halved to leave ‘over’ bettors 5-2 in the last 7.
Tigers Soaring with 11-Game Win Streak
Bruce Pearl’s gang ran their win streak to 11 – and maintained a perfect 5-0 mark in conference play – with an 82-59 romp past Ole Miss this past Saturday night. It was an entertaining match for all of about 3 minutes before the Tigers took charge, much to the delight of the home fans.
Earlier that afternoon, Alabama watched a 6-game win streak come to an end in a 91-71 loss at Tennessee. In very similar fashion, the Volunteers pulled away a little more than 3 minutes into the first half, and easily covered a 5½-point spread against a turnover-happy Crimson Tide.
Both teams love to get up and down the court, and a drop in the total since the opener is favorable to playing the NCAAB odds ‘over’ on Wednesday.
NCAAB Pick: Over 161½ (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 – 08:00 PM ET at Tudor Fieldhouse
It’s a double-Owl battle down in Houston where Rice entertains Florida Atlantic, and Caesars has FAU giving up 12 with 153 for the total.
Rice Looks to Build on 1st League Win
Dusty May and FAU were just down the road Sunday in San Antonio where they lit up the scoreboard with a 112-103 overtime thriller over the UTSA Roadrunners. Florida Atlantic overcame a 16-point first-half deficit by sinking better than 52% from the field and knocking down 17-of-35 from 3-point range.
Scott Pera and Rice made the trip to Temple last Saturday, and returned home with their first AAC triumph in the form of a 69-66 upset. Rice watched a 16-point lead disappear before rallying behind Mekhi Mason’s team-high 20 points.
Owls Meet Owls for 11th Time
These two programs followed each other to the AAC from Conference USA, giving us plenty of recent history and betting trends. Florida Atlantic has won the last four meetings after sweeping the season series a year ago, both games going ‘over’ and each side posting road covers.
Florida Atlantic really put on a show in the matchup at Rice, leading wire-to-wire and coasting to a 103-74 final. Rice will be looking for its first home win in the rivalry since 2016.
The Owls of Houston won’t get that win, but they will cover the number.
NCAAB Pick: Rice +12 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 – 08:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden
Villanova and St. John’s continue to tread water in the Big East race, and they’re each looking to put an end to short skids as they prepare to face off on the biggest of Big Apple stages.
‘Nova 1-3 O/U Last 4 Roadies
Villanova dropped both of its contests last week, letting potential victories slip their hands at Marquette and home against top-ranked UConn. Marquette went on a 12-0 run in the second half to pull away, and destroyed Villanova in the paint, 60-18.
The Wildcats then came out cold Saturday against the Huskies, falling behind 11-0 before battling back, but UConn hit late free throws to sneak away with a 66-65 decision.
St. John’s has been dealing with the flu bug, missing players as well as head coach Rick Pitino at times during the current 3-game skid. Pitino returned to the MSG floor Saturday only to watch his team’s late rally fall short in a 73-72 loss to Marquette.
Jordan Dingle missed the last two games for St. John’s with the flu, and the senior guard is listed as questionable to play Wednesday night. Dingle is fourth on the team averaging 10.5 PPG.
Johnnies’ Last 3 Stay ‘Under’
The Wildcats and Red Storm met a little more than two weeks ago in Philadelphia where St. John’s scored an 81-71 mild upset to end Villanova’s 6-game win streak in the rivalry. The Red Storm led the entire way and were fueled by Joel Soriano’s 20 points and eight rebounds.
That was the first win at Finneran Pavilion for St. John’s in nearly 31 years, and the dubya tightened Villanova’s lead in the series to 66-64.
Despite the ‘under’ trending for both sides, this college basketball pick is on the final going past the scoreboard target.
NCAAB Pick: Over 145½ (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
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