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NCAAB: Duke favored vs. UAB

The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils, who will certainly be major contenders come March Madness, will try to stay undefeated Wednesday during a busy night of college hoops betting when they host UAB. Oddsmakers like Bovada don’t sugar coat UAB’s chances, favoring Duke by 18 points in the basketball odds. The over/under at Bovada is 140.5 points.

Duke may be unbeaten at 13-0 but it hasn’t been nearly as kind to bettors. The Blue Devils are just 7-5 ATS on the season and have failed to cover the spread in two of their last three games. Still, bettors have to feel reasonably confident about their ability to cover the 18 points at home. Duke averages 89.3 points per game, good for second in the nation, and is third with a whopping 43.6 shooting percentage from three-point range.

In another key college hoops betting matchup on Wednesday, No. 21 Memphis, another common March Madness stalwart, faces a tough road test at Tennessee. The hosting Volunteers are six-point favorites at Bovada; the over/under is 147.5.

Some basketball odds followers may find it curious to see Tennessee favored by six despite a ho-hum 9-4 record and a nationally ranked opponent. The Volunteers are 98th in the nation in scoring and 182nd in scoring defense. But Memphis hasn’t played a single road game yet this season.

The visiting Tigers have flashed plenty of offense this season, ranking 17th in the country with 80.8 points per game, but they’ve been a nightmare from a college hoops betting perspective, going just 2-8 ATS. That’s possibly because of their lackluster defense, which is 236th in the nation with 70.3 points allowed per game.

Arguably the night’s biggest game comes late Tuesday when No. 15 BYU travels to UNLV. The visiting Cougars are 14-1 but are still 3.5-point underdogs at Bovada against the 12-2 Runnin’ Rebels.

BYU has won four straight games but has failed to cover three of its last four spreads. The Cougars have an elite scorer to test UNLV, however. Jimmer Fredette averages 24.1 points per game to lead the team.

UNLV’s team identity is very different. The Runnin’ Rebels pride themselves on defense, holding opponents to just 38 per cent shooting on the year and ranking 30th in the country with just 60.1 points allowed per game.

Leading scorer Chace Stanback averages just 12.5 points per game. However, he has good support. Seven different UNLV players average five-plus points per contest and second-leading scorer Oscar Bellfield shoots a whopping 50.9 per cent from three-point range.

The No. 25 Rebels have won three straight games, even covering a 22.5-point spread against Central Michigan on December 30.