A first look at USAToday’s preseason Top 25, who made the list and who did not? Any new faces to the mix? Any historic dynasties get left out?
1. ARIZONA 2. MICHIGAN STATE 3. DUKE 4. WICHITA STATE 5. KANSAS 6. KENTUCKY 7. FLORIDA 8. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 9. LOUISVILLE 10. VILLANOVA 11. NORTH CAROLINA 12. XAVIER 13. WEST VIRGINIA 14. NOTRE DAME 15. NORTHWESTERN 16. MIAMI 17. MINNESOTA 18. UCLA 19. SAINT MARY’S 20. SETON HALL 21. CINCINNATI 22. ALABAMA 23. BUTLER 24. MISSOURI 25. VIGINIA
After a quick glance, you may have to double take at the sight of Missouri being noticed as one of the 25 best teams in the country. Also, the Trojans of US climbed all the way up to the number eight spot! This is a team that has been dominated by their rivals of UCLA in basketball for years (probably forever). Now, they may get a chance for a little redemption during the 2017-18 season… Wait a minute, where is Gonzaga, Oregon, or Baylor?! Probably a mixture of bad recruitments and/or loss of solid seniors leaves them out of this year’s preseason hopefuls. Nevertheless, I am very excited (like always) for this upcoming college basketball season and the road to San Antonio!
Everyone loves to watch the big match-up’s throughout the week. We call these primetime games. Primetime games include Sunday/Monday Night Football, College Game Day, and obviously playoff competitions. Why do I mention this? Sports-books alike and Vegas will put a lot more focus on configuring the lines for these particular games. Okay, we get it. Get to the point! Okay, one tip that I like to take advantage of every so often is to find match-ups that sports-books and Vegas do not necessarily give two shits about (politely put). The odds makers will typically throw out a number and observe where the money begins to gravitate towards to come up with a more even line come closer to game time. So whether you are searching for small schools in college basketball and football, there will always be “holes” in certain match-ups for these FCS schools. It is in your best interest to find these “holes” early in the week so you can get a good line before the line begins to shift. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find lines like this in professional sports because of the simple fact that their are fewer teams. Fewer teams equates to more time being able to post a solid line. So next time you are searching for lines this NCAAF and NCAAB seasons, take a look at a Virginia Military Academy vs. Furman (for example) line and see if you can find an advantage for your next play!
Do you remember me discussing in a previous post titled Week 3, Already?! to look for significant shifts in the lines? Here are a few of the match-ups whose lines have shifted a bit that are worth mentioning. Keep in mind, go in the direction that the money is flowing towards; even if it means giving up a few points on the point-spread. Jaguars @ Steelers: starling line = Steelers -9. Line as of today = Steelers -7.5 (Pick Jaguars). Seahawks @ Rams: starting line = EVEN. Line as of today = Rams -1.5 (Pick Rams).
As always, good luck this week! I like the UNDER in the Bills and Bengals match-up for whatever its worth.