There hasn’t been a stronger trend bet this season than backing home teams in Big 10 conference games. Home teams have absolutely dominated league play, to the tune of 86% winners. When you toss out the results of Nebraska and Northwestern, the only two bad teams in the league, that number jumps all the way up to 92% winners for home teams in Big 10 play.
The books have started adjusting their numbers to reflect this home floor dominance, but the public being the public, just haven’t gotten on board, as they are still consistently backing road teams. We saw that in both Big 10 games yesterday where the public moved the opening line towards the road team in the games between Indiana and Rutgers and Penn State and Minnesota.
So, I do as I almost do, and jumped on the other side, followed the strong trend, faded the public, and backed Minnesota at home, laying -2-points. The number opened up at Minnesota -3.5, and in my pick yesterday, I said that not only was the closing number of -2 a bad line, it was an awful one.
And not shockingly, the Golden Gophers used a big second half to pull away for the win and cover. Oh, and the same thing happened in the Rutgers and Indiana game as the public backed Indiana, and Rutgers won and covered at home.
No nights off. ? pic.twitter.com/boXPWYfXvk
— Minnesota Men's Basketball (@GopherMBB) January 16, 2020
You will rarely find spots where you can basically collect free money like we are doing right now in the Big 10, and you have to take maximum advantage of it. At this point, if you can get any Big 10 home team not named Nebraska or Northwestern as underdogs, you should take it blind.
This trend has helped us win eleven out of or last thirteen bets, which is good for 85% winners and a 62% ROI. For today’s pick, we will head to the Pac 12, where the Arizona State Sun Devils host the Colorado Buffalos.
- Colorado Buffaloes (13-3) at Arizona State (10-6)
- Wells-Fargo Arena, Tempe
- 6:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPN 2
The Arizona State Sun Devils are looking to get their season back on track tonight, as they host the Colorado Buffaloes is a Pac 12 league game. The Sun Devils have fallen on hard times recently as after starting the season out by winning eight out of their first ten games, they have now lost four out of their last six. The Sun Devils have played a brutal schedule this year, as their SOS is currently #26, and all six of their losses came to teams inside of the top-50.
Business Trip in AZ, Part I ?#GoBuffs
? 7 PM MT
? Desert Financial Arena pic.twitter.com/ftJIxkRLWK
— Colorado Men's Basketball (@CUBuffsMBB) January 16, 2020
For Colorado, the Buffaloes look to be one of the favorites to win the Pac 12 regular season title this season and must find a way to win tough games like this one on the road. The Buffaloes have won six out of their last seven games and have two of the best wins of any team this year, as they beat both Oregon and Dayton.
Arizona State Sun Devils
We already talked about have tough of a schedule the Sun Devils have played. It has been game after game against tough competition from day one of the year. Arizona State has played ten teams currently ranked in the top-100. The problem for the Sun Devils is that they have lost to basically all of the truly elite teams they have played.
While losses to teams like Virginia, Saint Mary’s, Creighton, Oregon, Arizona, and Colorado certainly are not bad ones, the Sun Devils have yet to prove they can actually beat top-50 teams, something you are going to have to do if you want to go dancing in March.
The best win of the year came against Oregon State last week, as the Beavers are currently ranked at #66. They also have wins over #66 Georgia, #82 St. John’s, and #96 San Francisco. Those are nice wins, but they aren’t going to be enough to get this team a bid into the NCAA tournament. A win tonight over Colorado would be by far the best win of the season so far for Arizona State.
Unlike the Sun Devils, the Buffaloes have shown that they can play and compete with the best teams in the country. The win over Dayton was huge as the Flyers look like a Final Four caliber team and beating Oregon has given the Buffaloes a clear path to the Pac 12 championship. They do have three losses, but none of them are bad, as the worst one came against #60 Oregon State, and they also have a loss to top-ranked Kansas on their resume.
The main concern for Colorado in this one is the fact that they haven’t had much success on the road this year. But that is mostly because they haven’t really played many true road games. The Buffaloes have played just two road games this season, against Kansas and Colorado State. They lost to the Jayhawks, in possibly the toughest building to play for a visiting team in the country, and they easily dispatched a decent Colorado State team by double-digits.
Who Do I Like?
How much is home-court advantage worth? That is the question we need to ask ourselves in this one. These two teams met up on opening night in November, in China of all places. The Buffaloes led throughout, led by as many as sixteen points in the second half, and coasted to a ten-point victory. A lot has changed since then, but you have to wonder just how much the change of venue is going to affect this matchup.
As we get closer to the halfway point of league play, we are going to start seeing a lot of these rematches in conference. Normally we don’t ever get to see conference games played out on neutral floors. Usually, we get a home and home series, and the home teams tend to win more often than not, so it can be hard to predict just how much of a difference the venue change will make when teams play a second time on each other respective campuses.
But in this game, we saw what these teams looked like on a completely neutral floor, and Colorado was the far superior team. Even with Sun Devils star Remy Martin having one of his best games of the year, the Colorado win was never in doubt. Will the fact that this game is being played in Tempe be enough to swing the scales toward the Sun Devils?
I know that I have been saying all season long that home dogs in league play are my favorite play, and they still are, but I am going against that tonight in this one. I just think Colorado is a much better team. The fact that they have played so few road games certainly gives me a little anxiety, but Arizona State just hasn’t shown that they can beat a team of this caliber, no matter where the game is being played.
This line has been moving all over the place as it opened up with Colorado -1.5 and then quickly moved to -2, and I even saw some -2.5’s floating around out there. But the number is now quickly moving back towards Colorado, as it is back to where it opened at -1.5. It is hard to say where this number will land, but I am going to lock it in now where it stands at -1.5. Give me the Colorado Buffaloes as road favorites tonight in Tempe!