College Basketball, NBA Betting Wed Feb 3, 2010

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Big East and Missouri Valley in spotlight

Whenever Pittsburgh and West Virginia matchup up in any competition it is charmingly known as the "Backyard Brawl". This evening, these bitter rivals will go head to head again, each trying to avoid falling further behind front-running Villanova in the Big East. In the heartland, the often underrated Missouri Valley will have its top two teams clashing, with Northern Iowa creating an insurmountable lead with a win or Wichita State climbing within a game with a victory. Get the latest odds on these games on the Sportsbook.com.


Pittsburgh at West Virginia 7:00E

Both of these universities are more well known for football, which would explain why this is just the fourth meeting out of the 179-game series history that both teams come in ranked. Pittsburgh (16-5, 10-7-2 ATS) has fallen to 22nd in the country, having lost three of four, as their point production has fallen. The Panthers are not an offensive juggernaut to begin with, averaging 67.5 points per game, but in the last four outings they are scoring just 62.7 PPG. In their upset loss at South Florida this past Sunday, they missed Jermaine Dixon, a known defender, as Bulls guard Dominique Jones hung 37 on Pitt. The Panthers are 11-3 ATS after playing a road game over the last two seasons.


West Virginia (17-3, 7-12 ATS) was like a movie in their 77-74 win over Louisville. The Mountaineers had a great beginning and ending (outscored the Cardinals 31-4 in those segments) but were rather dull in the middle. They have been very good team all year with the likes of Da'Sean Butler among others; however they have lacked a big man, until now. 6'9 freshman Deniz Kilicli makes his debut after sitting out 20 games for NCAA rules violation and he is the skilled wide body coach Bob Huggins needs, it's just a matter of changing team chemistry this far down the road. Playing at home will help the Mountaineers who are 32-13 ATS on their own floor off a home win.


West Virginia, a 9-point favorite at Sportsbook.com, has reeled off four straight wins and is 6-5 SU and 4-7 ATS hosting Pittsburgh the last 12 years.


Wichita State at Northern Iowa  8:00E

The Panthers of Northern Iowa (19-2, 15-5 ATS) have been one of the best bets in college basketball all season and have just one loss in the Missouri Valley Conference. That was administered 15 days ago by tonight's foe, Wichita State (19-4, 9-7 ATS), who travels to Cedar Falls. UNI plays at a controlled pace in scoring 64.8 points per game, with a very balanced attack. What makes them challenging club to play is their defense, holding opposing teams to 55.1 points per game on 40 percent shooting. The Panthers are 9-2 ATS after allowing 60 points or less two consecutive games this season.


The Shockers are a 6.5-point underdog and trail Northern Iowa by two games in the Valley standings. They too spread around the ball for scoring purposes, with the top three scorers separated by just one point. Third leading scorer J.T. Durley did most of the damage in the last meeting, tallying 19 points. Wichita State is off a 55-54 win at Southern Illinois and is 22-9 ATS in road games coming off an Under.


The duo of Adam Koch and Jordan Eglseder is handful for any opponent and the Northern Iowa guards value each possession, a reason why they are 9-2 ATS after three straight games committing 14 or less turnovers this season. In the last 12 years the Panthers are 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS at the McLeod Center vs. Wichita State.


Head over to Sportsbook.com for all of your basketball action.


NBA conferences still show disparity

After a run of the East seemingly gaining ground over the past few years, the Western Conference has been superior this season. This is evidenced by the fact that the Eastern Conference has six teams with winning records (one is one game over .500) and the West has just four teams with losing records among its 15 members. Let's dig into the details a little further and see if we can't use any of the findings to profit on Wednesday's NBA betting board. See all of the wagering options on the Sportsbook.com LIVE ODDS page.


One thing to consider this year besides the overall dominance once again, the wagering aspect comes into play more than one might think. The West holds a 160-122 SU (56.7%) edge in head-to-head competition against those from the other conference. It would make sense the West would also be grabbing most of the money when these teams meet, however their stranglehold ends up being a little tighter than traditional numbers. The West is 150-126-6 ATS, 54.3 percent, just over two percent off the SU winning percentage.


As to be expected there are winners and losers in each conference, thus let's take a look at who is profiting and who is not on either side of the Mississippi River.


The two West squads that have taken everyone aback are up and comers Oklahoma City and Memphis. Unquestionably these are two young and talented teams who could change the dynamics of the Western Conference if they can keep their nucleus' together while adding more quality to their rosters in the seasons to come. Each has grown this season by beating up the East. The Thunder is 16-6 SU and ATS, while the Grizzlies are 9-6 and 10-5 ATS. Oklahoma City in particular has been impressive in winning by 6.6 points per contest.


The Los Angeles Lakers have enjoyed the most non-conference success at 17-3, but most nights are fighting the oddsmakers for their supporters and are a fair 10-8-2 ATS. The other club that plays in the Staples Center is actually a better bet and has shown real signs of improvement despite lacking players they thought they could count on like No. 1 pick Blake Griffin and Kareem Rush, both injured all or most of the season. The Clippers are 11-8 and 12-6-1 ATS.


A number of other teams have winning records, however are not at least to this point an overwhelming wager. Denver has 13-6 (11-8 ATS) record, San Antonio 13-5 (10-8 ATS), Utah 13-6 (11-8 ATS) and Dallas is 14-5 with only 9-10 spread mark.


The biggest disappointments out West have been Houston at 5-9 ATS with six wins and Sacramento at 6-13 SU and ATS when they face teams from at least two zones away. Golden State may be 6-13, but their style of play leaves Eastern teams confounded and the Warriors are 11-7-1 ATS.


Not every East team is horrible versus the West, it just seems that way. Six Eastern teams have winning records against their Western counterparts; however a couple of those are a loss or two from being .500 or less straight up. For those laying down the cash, Atlanta is the best at 12-7 ATS with a 13-6 SU record. The Hawks are where Oklahoma City and Memphis envision themselves in a year or two or possibly sooner, a good team that has young veteran talent which still has an upside.


Cleveland is the best of the East bunch at 18-5, handing the Lakers two of their three Eastern defeats. Nonetheless, like L.A., oddsmakes often leave the Cavs too many points to overcome with a 13-10-1 ATS mark. Boston has a representative 10-6 record, but being a public team and injury-plagued are a crestfallen 4-11-1 ATS.


The lousy teams in the East are rotten pretty much against whomever they play. Here are their crummy numbers.


Philadelphia 7-14, 9-12 ATS

Washington 4-14, 7-10-1 ATS

Detroit 4-15, 7-12 ATS

Indiana 4-14, 6-12 ATS


You are probably wondering about New Jersey, because they have been so insufferable, thought the Nets deserved special mention at 1-19 and 5-15 ATS. Their Atlantic Division partner New York, is a sleepy 6-11 vs. the West, yet about even money bet at 9-8 ATS.


In conclusion, when East meets West, the teams in the Central and Eastern Time zones consistently come up short and are poor wagers.


Log on now to Sportsbook.com to cash in on the NBA.


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