College hoops fans will only get more and more high-intensity action to digest in the coming weeks. Wednesday’s schedule in the sportsbook is a packed one, with lots of consequential games on tap.
Louisville Cardinals @ Southern Methodist Mustangs
Wednesday, 7:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Louisville -2.5
The Southern Methodist Mustangs have written one of the most special stories of the 2013-2014 college basketball season. A team that played in Conference USA last season, SMU moved over to the new American Athletic Conference this season and did not figure to join national powers such as Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati as an NCAA tournament team, certainly not in the first year as a member of the conference. The most powerful team of all in the AAC is, of course, Louisville, the reigning national champion in the sport. History says Louisville wins this game, but SMU has not lost once at Moody Coliseum in its Dallas home. The Mustangs should be able to play this game at a high level.
Pick: SMU +2.5
Dayton Flyers @ Saint Louis Billikens
Wednesday, 9:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Saint Louis -7
This is a game in which the Flyers simply have to come up with a win if they want to have a good chance of making the NCAA tournament. Dayton has lost a number of games in the Atlantic 10 Conference by large margins, and the Flyers don’t have enough road wins to make themselves a fully secure NCAA tournament team. Beating the best team in the conference would help Dayton on its face, but beating that same Saint Louis team on the road in the Gateway City would send even more of a message to the men who are selecting the field of 68 teams. Yet, as much as this game means to Dayton, this is exactly the kind of game the Flyers don’t win – and haven’t won – in early March. Saint Louis has lost two straight games and looks worn down near the end of the season. Will the Billikens lose three in a row, though? It’s highly doubtful. Take them to win and cover on the betting lines.
Pick: Saint Louis -7
West Virginia Mountaineers @ Oklahoma Sooners
Wednesday, 9:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Oklahoma -7.5
This is a game West Virginia must win, mostly because its Big 12 rivals are getting into the NCAA tournament. Baylor and Oklahoma State, two teams that have been competing with West Virginia over the past three weeks or so, have passed the Mountaineers and are almost certain to go to the NCAA tournament. West Virginia has to be able to win big games to offset the team’s large number of losses this season. The Mountaineers will need to beat Kansas this Saturday, but before that, they’ll need to find a way to beat Oklahoma on the road. West Virginia’s sense of desperation will probably be enough to cover the spread, so one can bet on the Mountaineers in that regard. Yet, Oklahoma is good enough to win the game outright at home.
Pick: West Virginia +7.5