Thursday College Basketball Betting Breakdown: Illinois Chicago Finding its Form

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Handicapping an entire college basketball slate can be next to impossible, making our tools like public money percentages, PRO Systems and Bet Signals helpful in your handicapping process.

Each day, I’m going to highlight a few interesting betting-related storylines from that night’s college hoops slate, some insights and systems from our Bet Labs database and some notes from our betting market data.

Here’s Thursday’s breakdown.


Odds as of Thursday at 3 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.


1. One Up, One Down

I’m always experimenting with ways to weigh recent form heavier in my betting decisions, because I don’t think the market always catches up to certain teams quickly enough. I still rely on season-long data, but I want to grab some value before everyone catches on.

The team rounding into form that I’m looking at tonight is Illinois Chicago -3 at home against Milwaukee.

Illinois Chicago is 138th in overall adjusted efficiency over the last 30 days with a points per 100 possessions differential of 3.2. Milwaukee is 309th and -12.2 in those same categories.

Illinois Chicago began the season with pretty high expectations (top 150 nationally) but plummeted in every ratings system after a 6-12 start and 1-4 start in conference play. But the Flames appear to be figuring some things out, and are just a few points undervalued in this spot.

2. Biggest Public Sides

  • Liberty -9.5 (88%) at Jacksonville
  • Austin Peay -3.5 (87%) at Tenn. State
  • Delaware -2.5 (83%) vs. Towson

Austin Peay has been a covering machine all season at 15-5-1 against the spread. The Governors had a nine-game cover streak snapped in their last game, but bettors are jumping right back on the horse.

Liberty is the class of the Atlantic Sun by a wide margin and will frequently draw heavy action against conference opponents.

Towson has actually been excellent in the last 30 days, ranking 87th in overall efficiency in that time. So it’s a little surprising to see the Tigers get no love at Delaware, which ranks 214th in the same category over the last month.

3. Biggest Line Moves

  • UCLA +7.5 to +5 at Arizona State
  • Sacramento State +3 to PK at Weber State
  • UConn +5 to +2.5 at Tulsa

Sharp action is behind UConn’s big move, which is a little surprising considering how good Tulsa has been in the last few weeks.

Sacramento State has lost five of its last six, but boasts an elite defense that held Weber State to 57 points in their first meeting.

4. Tailing Reverse Line Movement

It’s not always wise to blindly follow sharp action, since you’re likely getting the worst of the number, but this profitable Bet Labs system fits UConn getting 2.5 points at Tulsa tonight.

Teams getting less than 25% of the bets that see the line move in their favor have covered the closing line at a 57% clip.

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