Things are getting interesting in a number of conference tournaments with the excitement building for the weekend. The top-seeded teams in the American Athletic, Big Ten and Southeastern Conferences will hit the hardwood for the first time after watching the lower-seeded teams thin the ranks. Regular season AAC champ Houston opened as a 10-point favorite for its first game against UConn. We also have a double-digit favorite in the Big Ten with No. 1 seed Michigan State laying 11.5 points to Ohio State.
A number of games didn’t hit the board on Thursday night with late contests and game information still being processed. The biggest game on the slate is the ACC semifinal clash between Duke and North Carolina. The return of Zion Williamson makes the Dookies whole again and they are a threat. They also have a score to settle with the Heels after dropping both regular season meetings sans Zion.
BookMaker.eu will have college basketball odds and live betting options for every game on the Friday schedule.
College Basketball Schedule for Friday, March 15, 2019
UConn vs. No. 11 Houston ( -10, 139.5 ), 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Ohio State vs. No. 6 Michigan State ( -11.5, 135 ), 12:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
Florida vs. No. 9 LSU ( -2.5, 135 ), 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Nebraska vs. No. 19 Wisconsin ( -7.5, 127 ), 2:55 p.m. ET (BTN)
No. 22 Auburn ( -8, 147.5 ) vs. South Carolina, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Saint Joseph's vs. Davidson ( -6, 139 ), 6 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Central Michigan vs. No. 18 Buffalo ( -12, 164 ), 6:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
Xavier vs. No. 25 Villanova ( -6.5, 136 ), 6:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
No. 12 Florida State vs. No. 2 Virginia ( -9, 126 ), 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Alabama vs. No. 4 Kentucky ( OFF ), 7 p.m. ET (SECN)
Minnesota vs. No. 13 Purdue ( -8, 141.5 ), 7 p.m. ET (BTN)
Iowa State vs. No. 15 Kansas State ( OFF ), 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
SMU vs. No. 24 Cincinnati ( -7.5, 131.5 ), 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
No. 5 Duke vs. No. 3 North Carolina ( OFF ), 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Mississippi State vs. No. 8 Tennessee ( OFF ), 9 p.m. ET (SECN)
San Diego State vs. No. 14 Nevada ( -10.5, 141.5 ), 9 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
West Virginia vs. No. 17 Kansas ( OFF ), 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Seton Hall vs. No. 23 Marquette ( OFF ), 9 p.m. ET (FS1)
Wichita State vs. Temple ( OFF ), 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Colorado vs. Washington ( -2, 131 ), 9 p.m. ET (PAC12)
Iowa vs. No. 10 Michigan ( OFF ), 9:25 p.m. ET (BTN)
Friday Opening Lines Report
Injuries are always a factor when setting lines. Players coming back from injury also impact point spreads. The Blue Devils got the future No. 1 NBA draft pick back on the floor and Williamson looked like he never missed a beat, making all 13 of his field goal attempts while throwing down 29 points in a win over Syracuse.
How did his return affect the line you ask? Well, Duke opened as 10-point chalk over the Orange and the number jumped to 13 with news of Williamson playing. Duke won 84-72. Another concern is just how the big guy responds to playing on back-to-back nights after missing several weeks.
Williamson was flawless against Syracuse and athletes like him at his age bounce back quickly. I wouldn’t want to be Luke Maye. Anyway, the line hadn’t hit the board at this writing, but you can expect the Dookies to be laying a few points when it does.
The biggest opening line on the board is for the MAC semifinal tilt between Buffalo and Central Michigan. We typically don’t see a double-digit spread when we get this far into a conference tournament, but the Bulls are far and away the class of the league. They entered this week ranked No. 18 in the country and boast one of the top offenses in the country scoring 85 points per game.
Three other games have double-digit lines, and they all feature nationally-ranked squads that are No. 1 seeds in their respective conference tournaments. Houston hasn’t enjoyed the kind of success they are having this season since the Phi Slamma Jamma days. The Cougs had a hiccup in a loss to UCF last week, but they wrapped up the AAC regular season crown and are 10-point favorites to knock off UConn.
Michigan State is expected to have Nick Ward back in the lineup once they start play in the Big Ten. Sparty opened as an 11.5-point favorite against Ohio State.
Nevada was upset by San Diego State in last year’s Mountain West semifinals, so guess who the 14th-ranked Wolf Pack get in Friday’s semifinal matchup? That was a slam dunk setup. The Pack went Dancing last season despite that loss and won a few games along the way. They are going back this season, but there is some business they need to take care of. The Pack opened as a 10.5-point favorite for Friday’s tilt.
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