College Basketball Thursday Preview: Odds, Trends for Top Contests

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March is in full swing in college basketball, as a few mid-major conference tournaments have already tipped off today while several top-25 intriguing matchups around the country also await later on.

There are two ranked showdowns in the Big 12 tonight along with one top-5 Big Ten team looking to rebound against its rival after being humiliated in its worst loss of the season.

The potential No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft faces one of the best teams in the country at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. on ESPN2. Cade Cunningham and surging No. 17 Oklahoma State are looking to win their sixth straight, but face a tall task on the road against No. 3 Baylor.

When this contest was first posted at William Hill, the Bears were an 11.5-point favorite and the total sat at 149. Now Baylor has crept up to -12 and -700 on the moneyline while the total has fallen to 147.5. Oklahoma State is listed at +500 to emerge victorious in Waco.

The majority of William Hill bettors are rolling with the underdog in this one, as the Cowboys have seized 75% of the total number of tickets and 83% of the total dollars wagered for all spread bets against the Bears. Meanwhile, the over has attracted 82% of the total number of tickets yet it’s an even 50/50 split for the total dollars wagered.

The other major Big 12 clash is No. 16 Oklahoma hosting No. 15 Texas at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on ESPN. The Sooners have sputtered of late, as they’ve dropped three in a row, including back-to-back games against Oklahoma State. They’ll be looking to get back on track against a Texas team that they beat 80-79 earlier this season in Austin.

Oklahoma is a 2.5-point favorite (-135 ML) over Texas (+115 ML), while the total is currently positioned at 143. The Sooners have ticked up slightly from their -2 opener.

With what is expected to be a tight affair, it’s no surprise to see William Hill bettors split on these two foes. Oklahoma has grabbed 61% of the total number of tickets and 56% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. Texas. The Longhorns, however, get the nod for the moneyline wagering thanks to 51% of the total number of tickets and 79% of the total dollars wagered. Where William Hill bettors are very aligned, though, is on the total, as the over has racked up 84% of the total number of tickets and 99% of the total dollars wagered.

In its first game since earning its highest ranking of the season, No. 2 Michigan suffered a 23-point defeat at the hands of No. 4 Illinois this past Tuesday. The Wolverines now square off against Michigan State in Ann Arbor at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN. The Spartans have won four of their past five, highlighted by upending No. 4 Illinois and No. 7 Ohio State.

Neither the spread (Michigan -12) nor the total (140) has budged since William Hill first released the odds for this game. William Hill bettors are divided on which team will cover, as Michigan State has snagged 51% of the total number of tickets yet Michigan has received 58% of the total dollars wagered. For the total, the over has generated 62% of the total number of tickets and 51% of the total dollars wagered.

There have been two noteworthy spread bets taken thus far at William Hill for tonight’s action. A $5,000 wager has come in on both West Virginia -13 (-110) at home vs. TCU ($9,545.45 total potential payout) and Northern Colorado +10 (-120) at Weber State ($9,166.65 total potential payout).

Check out William Hill’s latest odds for every college basketball game tonight featuring a top-25 team below.

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