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NCAAB: Gophers Building Bettors’ Bankrolls

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Jan/22/2009

The Minnesota Golden Gophers could be the hottest bet that nobody knows about.

Emerging as one of the most surprising stories of the year, Minnesota is on an 8-2 run against the spread (ATS) and has a victory over Big East powerhouse, #9 Louisville, under their belt already.

Golden Gopher bettors will be looking to increase their profits on Thursday as Minnesota hosts Big Ten rival, the #18 Purdue Boilermakers on ESPN2, starting at 7 pm ET. Get the latest odds for this game on our Live Odds page and don't forget to check out our Betting Trends.

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Just a season after they went 20-14 and lost in the first round of the NIT, Minnesota is 16-2 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play. More importantly for bettors, since starting the season 0-2-1 ATS, they have been on fire and building the bankrolls of their backers. They are 5-1 ATS at home in the last six home games involving a spread.

New head coach Tubby Smith, who took over in Minnesota after 10 seasons with Kentucky, has the team playing well and in the hunt for a tournament spot.

And despite their play, and the win overly a highly ranked Louisville team, Minnesota is still in the process of earning respect as a young team that boasts just two seniors, neither of them starters. The starting lineup is comprised of two juniors, two freshmen and a sophomore, and the young talent hasn't won over the books just yet as they've been an underdog in three of their last four games.

The youth showed as the Gophers stumbled slightly last Sunday, losing to 74-65 to Northwestern as 1 ½-point underdogs. That was their first loss against the spread since losing to Top 10 ranked Michigan State on December 31st.

Statistically, Minnesota has a lot to prove on Thursday against Purdue's eighth-ranked scoring defense. With junior Lawrence Westbrook the only player scoring in double-digits in each game, the Golden Gophers have been winning with defense as well.

While not ranked as high as Purdue's ‘D' that allows just 57.3 points per game, Minnesota is allowing just 62.4 points per game. Those stats, combined with the fact that the last nine meetings between these teams have gone Under the Total, means that bettors should also take a close look at the Total that oddsmakers set on Thursday.

For Purdue, they have gotten off to a 14-4 overall start to the season but are just 6-8 ATS and have covered just two of their last six spreads.

The overall record may have the Boilermakers ranked in the Top 25 but the teams failure against the spread has backers wanting more from a team that went an impressive 15-4-1 ATS in their final 20 games last season.

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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