Welcome to the first ever issue of State of the Book! We have a phenomenal slate tomorrow in a magnitude of different sports. If you have subscribed to the State of the Book Newsletter you have received a personal PDF of our CBB write-ups (seen below), CFB write-up (seen below), but also you received much MORE material. If you have not subscribed to the State of the Book Newsletter yet, do it now! It’s FREE! You will receive all the information you need and more!!
#3 Tennessee (7-1) vs Memphis (5-4) – Line Tennessee -9.5
We have a sold-out, Tennessee vs Memphis matchup this Saturday in what will be Coach Penny Hardaway’s first matchup against an AP Top 10 opponent. The Tigers and their home fans will be pumped up and ready. Tickets were sold-out by Monday afternoon and this is the biggest game on the Tigers schedule with the only other ranked opponent, at the moment being Houston. Tennessee has proven that they are the real-deal, going 7-1 to start the season with their only loss coming in OT to Kansas. Tennessee is coming off a huge win against then number 1 ranked Gonzaga on Sunday but that will be 6 days from the tip of this one, so don’t think Tennessee won’t be ready.
Tennessee comes into this matchup with 1 loss and that being to Kansas in OT on a neutral floor. Key wins: Georgia Tech, Louisville, Gonzaga. Tennessee and Memphis have not played the same opponent yet this season. Tennessee is led by Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. Grant Williams a 6-7, 236 lb Junior averages 19.9 ppg. Admiral Schofield is a 6-6, 241 lb Senior who averages 18 ppg. Tennessee likes to play a 7 to 8 guy rotation.
Tennessee averages 82.8 ppg, 48.5% FG, 34.7% 3pt, 44.1 rbg, 11.5 offensive rbg, and 12 turnovers per game. Tennessee defense gives up 64.8 ppg, 37% FG, 30% 3pt, 40 rbg, 11.3 offensive rbg, and forces 14.8 turnovers per game. AdjO: 14, AdjD: 13, AdjT: 196. Tennessee is 3-3-1 ATS and O/U 3-4. Tennessee is 7-3 ATS vs Memphis.
Memphis comes into this huge matchup with rival Tennessee as winners of their past 2. Memphis has losses to Texas Tech, @ Charleston, Oklahoma State, and @ LSU. Key wins: Yale & South Dakota State. Memphis is led by Tyler Harris, Jeremiah Martin, and Kyvon Davenport. Tyler Harris a 5-9, 150 lb Freshman averages 16.2 ppg. Jeremiah Martin a 6-3, 185 lb Senior averages 14.1 ppg. Kyvon Davenport a 6-8, 215 lb Senior averages 14 ppg. Memphis has depth and will play 9 to 10 deep.
Memphis averages 80 ppg, 44% FG, 31% 3pt, 41 rbg, 13.8 offensive rbg, and 16 turnovers per game. Memphis defense gives up 78.6 ppg, 46% FG, 37% 3pt, 38.3 rbg, 10.7 offensive rbg, and forces 18.2 turnover per game. AdjO: 116, AdjD: 125, AdjT: 19. Memphis is 6-3 ATS, 5-2 ATS at home. O/U 5-4.
For Memphis to win this game, they are going to have to score enough points. Defensively they are far from the caliber of Tennessee. Memphis will need to keep Tennessee in the 32 – 35% range for FG% and less than that from 3pt land. They are also going to have to dominate the glass, especially on the offensive end. If Memphis can win the rebound battle, force Tennessee to turn the ball over (15+ times) and prevent turnovers themselves (less than 10), they will be in this game. Do I see this happening? I do not.
I think Tyler Harris, a freshman stud, but freshman, will have trouble creating shots against the length and talent of Tennessee. Therefore, Jeremiah Martin is going to have to carry the Tigers to victory. Martin needs to score 35 pts plus for the Tigers to have a chance. I think this one is close to start but Tennessee wears down the Tigers and will take the crowd out of the game. This will be a good one!
Southern Illinois vs #14 Buffalo (9-0) – Line Buffalo -12.5
Buffalo averages 86.6 ppg, 47% FG, 35% 3pt, 44.8 rbg, 13 offensive rbg, and 11.6 turnovers per game. Buffalo’s defense gives up 68 ppg, 40% FG, 30% 3pt, 39 rbg, 10 offensive rbg, and forces 16 turnovers per game.
AdjO: 24, AdjD: 55, AdjT: 43. 6-1-1 ATS. 3-1 ATS home. O/U 4-4. O/U home 2-2.
Southern Illinois Salukis
Southern Illinois averages 72.2 ppg, 49% FG, 40% 3pt, 36.8 rbg, 8.2 offensive rbg, and 15 turnovers per game. SIU’s defense gives up 66 ppg, 40% FG, 33% 3pt, 36.7 rbg, 12.2 offensive rbg, and forces 14 turnovers per game.
AdjO: 141, AdjD: 90, AdjT: 278. 7-4 ATS. 5-1 ATS away. 6-5 O/U. 5-1 O/U Away. SIU has covered in 5 of last 6 and the total has gone over in SIU’s last 5 road games.
We all know that I am all over the Buffalo Bulls. From the jump, when we had the Bulls as 10 pt dogs @ West Virginia, to now Saturday, we have been all about the Bulls. We said it before the season began, we have Buffalo as this year’s Cinderella story – though ranked 14th I personally wouldn’t consider them an underdog. They are for real. CJ Massinburg is for real. They are experienced and talented and tough. At 9-0, with quality wins over West Virginia and San Francisco, they have been a cash cow for us at Between the Lines. The Bulls matched up with Southern Illinois on November 11th when they played in Carbondale (SIU). In that one, the Bulls covered as 4 point favorites. They will be fully rested, after a week off, but there is trouble in the near future, as Buffalo takes on their toughest 3-game stretch of the season. They have SIU, Syracuse, and Marquette all within a 6 day span. I love the Bulls but I don’t know if they will be 100% focused on the game at had as the next two are against Power 5 conference, ranked opponents.
In all honesty, these two teams are two of my favorites this season. They have been the conductors on the cover train for us. I like the Salukis a lot. Like Buffalo, they are experienced and talented. I have the Salukis coming out of the Missouri Valley this year. The thing that scares me with SIU, they do not have a true quality win. They have played both Kentucky and Buffalo tough. Losing by 12 and 9. They also have a loss to Massachusetts in which they got blown out and Murray State. They have beat Tulsa, Saint Louis, Colorado St, to name 3. The keys here that are going to give some value to Southern Illinois are the fact that they lost at home to Buffalo by 9 and they lost to UMass by 22 and Murray State by 28 . As these are factored into the spread, they elevate the number, making this a tough cover for Buffalo as Buffalo has their two toughest games up next, both within 6 days. SIU couldn’t catch Buffalo at a more opportune time.
Old Dominion vs #25 Syracuse – Line Syracuse -10.5
Old Dominion averages 65.6 ppg, 40% FG, 35% 3pt, 43.6 rbg, 11 offensive rbg, and 10.5 turnovers per game. Old Dominion’s defense gives up 56.6 ppg, 36% FG, 32% 3pt, 39 rbg, 8.7 offensive rbg, and forces 12 turnovers per game.
AdjO:196, AdjD: 26, AdjT: 329. 6-4 ATS. 1-2 ATS away. 3-7 O/U. 1-2 O/U away. 4-1 ATS in last 5. 10 of last 13 has gone under.
Syracuse averages 72 ppg, 42% FG, 29% 3pt, 42.8 rbg, 12 offensive rbg, and 11 turnovers per game. Syracuse defense gives up 62 ppg, 39% FG, 30% 3pt, 41 rbg, 10.2 offensive rbg, and forces 15 turnovers per game.
AdjO: 38, AdjD: 10, AdjT: 307. 4-5 ATS. 3-3 ATS home. 3-6 O/U. 1-5 O/U home. Under has hit in last 5 games.
This game is very intriguing to me and with an opener of Syracuse 11.5 I like the dogs at that number. I had this ending at 56-66. So I would love the 1.5 cushion in my books but since the opener and the time of this writing, it has moved down to Syracuse -10.5 which I feel is getting to be a risky bet. Any lower and it’s a stay away for me personally and if he gets below 9 then Syracuse starts to come into play. At the time of this writing a total has not been determined but as you can tell from my score prediction, I think this one is going to open up way low. I don’t think the books have the balls to put this at 119.5 or below but I do think its going to open up right around 125.5 which means ill be hammering the under. In this one, Old Dominion is coming off a win vs Fairfield and have Richmond on Wednesday and then Morgan St. Syracuse is coming off an emotional win vs Georgetown on Saturday and then face a ranked and scary Buffalo on Tuesday. I think Old Dominion has this game circled and will be hungry, and this early start time of 12am ET will help keep this one low scoring. I might just be playing the Under 1H and game and we’ll see where the number falls but I think Old D can stay in it and shoots well enough to keep it relatively close.
College Football Bowl Special – New Mexico Bowl: North Texas vs Utah State
New Mexico Bowl Key Betting Numbers:
Average Victory Margin: 10.5
Average Line: 2.7
Favorite ATS: 4-8
Average Total: 57.7
O/U Record: 8-4, O/U Margin: 2.5
Utah State opened up in this one as an 11.5-point favorites and has since been sliding and is now sitting at a light -7.5. We are seeing public bettors run to the tables and take Utah State and a heavy amount of the public is going with the Over and I mean why not, these teams can score it with the best of them. Sharp money has been falling on North Texas though. This one, as mentioned, opened up USU as 11.5 pt favs. Since, 54% of tickets have been on North Texas and 72% of money have been on North Texas. Lots of liability on North Texas has caused the books to continue to drop this line.
In this one, we have the 11th (USU) and 15th (North Texas) best offenses in the nation. Both teams sling it around, as USU is the 18th best passing team in the nation but that’s behind North Texas who is the 11th best. USU is a better running team on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 203.7 yards per game. Utah State averages 47.2 ppg, and UNT is averages a healthy 36.4 ppg. Defensively, USU is giving up 23 ppg, and UNT is giving up 21.8.
North Texas is the fourth C-USA team to pay in the New Mexico Bowl. The conference is winless and 1-2 ATS, averaging 16.7 ppg in those. The Mountain West is 7-5 SU and 8-4 ATS.
If a bettor was to just quickly glance at this one, they would be salivating over USU and the Over. I mean seriously? Why then, do we see such a drastic line movement in the opposite direction. Well ill tell you why, and why I will be riding with the dogs, a live dog. North Texas can stop the run, in fact they are the 15th best run stopping team in the nation and have the 42nd ranked defense in the nation. I believe that North Texas is not going to try to get in a up and down battle with Utah State, and I think North Texas will prevent Utah State from reaching their season average of 47.2 ppg. In fact, I think they keep Utah State under 31 points in this one. North Texas has only given up more than 31 points twice this season. This will be a tight game, from start to finish, and I will be putting some units down on North Texas and therefore the Under!