The college basketball season rolls on, and Wednesday night features a handful of intriguing December 16 CBB lines at BetRivers.com. Conference play has officially begun, meaning a lot of competitive matchups with teams perhaps not quite ready for the step up in competition just yet.
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Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network, analyzes the December 16 CBB lines, and can’t quite figure out what to make of the Clemson-Virginia Tech numbers.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16 CBB LINES
PITTSBURGH (4-1) at MIAMI (3-1), 6 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Pitt -159, Miami +130
SPREAD: Pitt -3
OVER/UNDER: 134 points
Click here for the full list of Pittsburgh-Miami odds.
I really hate myself for what I’m about to type because it means that we are going to be betting on Pitt to win a game on the road, but the injury situation that Miami is currently dealing with is unlike anything that I can remember seeing in the high-major ranks.
Chris Lykes, who was their leading scorer last season, is out. Kam McGusty, who had 18 points in that comeback win against Purdue, is out. Earl Timberlake, the five-star freshman and potential lottery pick, is out. Sam Waardenburg is done for the year. Matt Cross, who has started every game this season, is out. Deng Gak and Rodney Miller, who provide all the frontcourt depth, are both out. Stony Brook transfer Elijah Olaniyi is not yet eligible.
Miami has six healthy players on their roster. Two of them are walk-ons!
Now, Pitt certainly has the ability to go out and lose this game. But they’ve won four in a row since a season-opening loss to St. Francis PA, and that includes a win at Northwestern, who is a top 75 team this season.
So I’ll begrudgingly click that button to invest some of my hard-earned dollars on the Panthers.
#21 DUKE (2-2) at NOTRE DAME (2-2), 9 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Duke -167, Notre Dame +140
SPREAD: Duke -3.5
OVER/UNDER: 146 points
Click here for the full list of Duke-Notre Dame odds.
Speaking of injuries, Duke’s most talented player, Jalen Johnson, will not be in action tonight after a foot injury.
So what does that mean for this game?
Well, the line over at KenPom says that Duke should be favored by six, so what that’s telling us is that the linemakers value Johnson at two points here. That seems low at first glance, but I think there’s some logic here that says we should be on Duke.
For starters, the reason that we faded the Blue Devils against Michigan State and against Illinois is that both of those teams could overwhelm Duke with talent and athleticism. But I’m not sure that will be the case against Notre Dame. For example, Jordan Goldwire should be able to eat up Prentiss Hubb defensively. Matthew Hurt has been Duke’s best player this season, and he certainly can hang with Notre Dame’s guys.
The most important thing that Johnson has done this season is provide a level of rim protection, and defensive rebounding, that Duke is lacking elsewhere. But Notre Dame is not really a team that thrives on dribble penetration, and they certainly are not a great offensive rebounding team.
So for my money, I think the play for me is going to be to wait and see if this line drops and try and buy Duke low.
BUTLER (1-0) at #7 VILLANOVA (5-1), 7 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Villanova -1000, Butler +650
SPREAD: Villanova -12.5
OVER/UNDER: 132.5 points
Click here for the full list of Butler-Villanova odds.
This one is easy for me: Butler spent two weeks in quarantine after a positive COVID test. They were not all that good to begin with, even if they had more than a week out of isolation. Villanova has not been firing on all cylinders yet this season, but they are still pretty clearly the best team in the Big East this year.
I like Villanova pregame. I also am going to try and grab a bit of Villanova on a live line if Butler can keep things close early.