College Basketball Tuesday Preview: Odds, Trends for Key Top-25 Games

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College basketball isn’t wasting any time in the early days of March. There are three ranked showdowns on today’s jam-packed slate, including a top-5 clash in Big Ten country.

Michigan just bumped Baylor for the No. 2 spot in the top-25 poll this week, and enters tonight with an exceptional 18-1 record as well as a seven-game winning streak. The Wolverines will face staunch competition in Ann Arbor tonight at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN, as No. 4 Illinois rolls into town. The Fighting Illini are on a heater of their own, as they’ve emerged victorious in nine of their past 10 contests.

There’s been noticeable spread and total movement on this one. Michigan opened as an 8.5-point favorite with the total at 146.5. Both of those numbers have dropped, as now Michigan is listed at -6.5 and the total sits at 145. The Wolverines are also -280 on the moneyline, while Illinois is +240 to secure the upset on the road.

The majority of William Hill bettors are rocking with the favorite. Michigan has generated 61% of the total number of tickets and 77% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. Illinois, as well as 86% of the total number of tickets and 84% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets. There’s alignment on the total too, as the over has brought in 78% apiece in the two categories.

The other top-25 affair between Big Ten teams is No. 23 Purdue hosting No. 25 Wisconsin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on ESPN2. These two teams have been trending in opposite directions of late. Purdue has won three consecutive games, and all of them have come by double-digit margins. On the other side, Wisconsin has lost three of its past four, though all of them came against top-5 teams (Michigan, Illinois and Iowa).

The Boilermakers opened as 2-point favorites and have remained there, whereas the total has dropped slightly from 129 to its current number of 128.5.

Many William Hill bettors believe Purdue can extend its streak to four straight while covering in the process. The Boilermakers have attracted 74% of the total number of tickets and 86% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. Wisconsin. It’s incredibly divided on the total, however, with the over having the advantage with 81% of the total number of tickets and the under getting the edge with 94% of the total dollars wagered.

The Big Ten isn’t the only home to the biggest matchups on the hardwood tonight, as the Big 12 has a top-10 clash of its own as well. No. 3 Baylor and No. 6 West Virginia square off in Morgantown at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on ESPN. The Bears just suffered their first loss of the season this past weekend to No. 13 Kansas.

While the spread hasn’t budged from Baylor -4, the total has fallen a point from 149.5 to 148.5. William Hill bettors, though, are split regarding whether Baylor will bounce back on the road. The Bears have received 59% of the total number of tickets and 57% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. West Virginia, along with 67% of the total number of tickets for all moneyline wagers. The Mountaineers, though, have gotten 63% of the total dollars wagered among all moneyline wagers in this one. For the total, the over has seized 72% of the total number of tickets and 77% of the total dollars wagered.

Two noteworthy spread wagers have come in on today’s action. An Illinois bettor placed $5,500 on both Eastern Michigan +8.5 (-110) at Ball State and Tulsa +4 (-110) at UCF with total potential payouts of $10,500 each. Both of those lines have moved by a point since, as Eastern Michigan is now at +7.5 and Tulsa is at +3.

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

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