NCAA basketball betting lines

NCAA basketball betting lines

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1.Rankings Matter
2.Strong Conferences
4.Margin of Victory
5.Point Spread Victory

UCLA BRUINS (3-2, 3-1 ATS) at KANSAS JAYHAWKS (6-0, 3-1 ATS) Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series
2010-12-02 using Kansas -16.5

Two legendary programs, one dynamic college basketball setting, history, tradition. That is about all that undefeated Kansas (6-0) and UCLA (3-2) will have in common when they take the court Thursday night in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks bring a nation-best, 64-game home winning streak into play, and the Bruins will be about as welcome in Lawrence as LeBron James will be welcome Thursday night in Cleveland.
Kansas has been clicking on all cylinders, and they have yet to add top recruit Josh Selby to the rotation. The NCAA ruled recently that Selby can play beginning on December 18. So far without Selby, Kansas is shooting a Division I best 57.8% from the field. Their average margin of victory (35.3 PPG) is also tops in the nation. As a team, they are averaging 22 assists per game. The Morris brothers have been outstanding so far. Marcus Morris leads the team in scoring at 19 PPG, while brother Markieff is averaging 12.3 PPG and a team-high 9.5 RPG. Tyshawn Taylor has been stellar so far at the point, averaging a team high 7.2 APG to complement his 9.2 PPG.
After a 3-0 start, Ben Howland’s Bruins lost in the semifinals and then the consolation game of the Preseason NIT Championship in Madison Square Garden. Sophomore forward Reeves Nelson leads the Bruins in points and rebounds (17.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG), and totaled 30 points and 23 rebounds in the two losses in New York City. Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt (14.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG) are both sophomores, and headline a young Bruins club that does not have a single senior on the team. The poise and discipline of this UCLA team will be sorely tested on Kansas’ home floor. The Bruins have totaled 84 assists and 81 turnovers this season. The combination of a young team that doesn’t protect the basketball, playing in a hostile road environment against an experienced team that has won 64 straight on its home floor and loves to pressure the ball looks like a bad combination for the baby bears. Normally when Kansas and UCLA play, that smell in the air is tradition. Thursday night in Lawrence, that won’t be tradition you’re whiffing, but more like the smell of a young team getting smoked.
69% of action at is betting that the Jayhawks will cover the big spread against the Bruins.
KANSAS is 20-5 ATS (+14.5 Units) when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) over the last 3 seasons. The average score was KANSAS 80.3, OPPONENT 63.6 - (Rating = 3*).

(7) BYU Cougars vs. (2) Kansas State Wildcats (-4.5)

As expected, bookmakers are receiving heavy betting action on the favorite, 2-seed Kansas State Wildcats over the underdog, 7-seed BYU Cougars. 

This corresponds with’s betting trends, currently reporting a 68%:32% ratio in favor of Kansas State at (-4.5).  Twenty-four hours ago, the betting trends reported a 92%:8% ratio in favor of Kansas State at (-4.0).  We can see that bookmakers have adjusted the line a half point to reach a closer balance in bets, but still rather unbalanced. 

We know the bookmakers have a process (line movement) to balance the bets in order to eliminate betting risk from the books.  We believe the bookmakers’ non-balancing of bets are predominantly intentional, and an indicator of risk tolerance, and positioning.  In simple terms, this tells us, the bookmakers like the Cougars’ chance of covering the spread and are comfortable exposing themselves to that risk.       

With another twenty-four hours left until tip off, and the current unbalanced 68%:32% ratio, we like the underdog BYU Cougars (+4.5) pick at    

BYU’s first round game resulted in a double overtime victory over the Florida Gators (99-92).  It was their first NCAA March Madness tournament win since 1993.  Cougars star shooter Jimmer Fredette hit two 3-pointers in double overtime, and finished the game with 37 points. 

Fredette must have a big game in order for BYU to keep up with Kansas State.  He proved he can carry the team, scoring over 30 points in eight games, including 45 points and 30 points performances in the Mountain West Tournament.  Fredette and the Cougars are extremely impressive statistically, ranking third in the nation in 3-point shooting, and first in free throw shooting at 78.6%.  This year, the Cougars set a Mountain West tournament record for free throws, shooting 88.9% (48 of 54).

In addition to his scoring responsibilities, Fredette and company will be challenged by Kansas State’s two speedy guards, Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente.  The two Kansas State guards average a combined 35 points per game, and run transition ball as good as any team tandem in the nation.  In their first round game against North Texas, Pullen and Clemente combined for 32 points, but even more impressive, committed only two turnovers in the (82-62) victory. 

Kansas State coach Frank Martin will definitely review the BYU vs. Florida film and recognize the trouble BYU had keeping step with Florida’s quick guard Kenny Boynton late in the game.  Expect Coach Martin to be aggressive with Pullen and Clemente, designing a game plan to capitalize on their speed and BYU’s lack of speed.   

We believe the X-factor in this game will be free throws.  BYU leads the nation in free throw shooting at 78.6%, and should be effective at the line.  On the other hand, Kansas State shoots less than 67% from the line, a huge disadvantage when the end of the game comes down to fouls and free throws, especially against a spread.  This ‘Free Throws’ X-factor gives BYU an edge in terms of covering the spread. 

We are not counting on an outright victory, just a covering of the spread by BYU.  We like aligning our picks with the bookmakers and we like the underdog.

On, the pick is BYU (+4.5).