Stanford Slumping Versus the Spread
Stanford Slumping Versus the Spread
By the KING of Las Vegas WAYNE ALLYN ROOT
Back around Thanksgiving, Stanford impressed the nation with a competitive loss to Syracuse in Madison Square Garden. The more Syracuse kept winning, the better that game looked. But, that result may have caused the markets to overrate the Cardinal, who are just 3-8 ATS their last 11 board games heading into Sunday's huge Pac 12 showdown with rival California.
At the moment, Stanford and Cal are seen as the two best teams in the Pac 12 by the most respected computer rankings. Yet, Stanford entered the weekend in 5th place in the league standings, and really isn't in very good form entering this game against their most hated rival.
Stanford got swept on the road in Washington last weekend, losing 76-63 to Washington as a 4-point underdog, and 81-69 to Washington State as a small favorite. That was almost two double-digit non-covers against teams that shouldn't be outclassing Stanford at this stage of the season.
Not long before that, Stanford barely beat a truly horrible Utah team 68-65. They were 23-point favorites over one of the worst teams in the country and almost lost outright at home! It's odd to think of a win as the low point of the season...but this was pretty low!
Stanford opened Pac 12 play with a one-point win over UCLA. It's great to win the close ones...but Stanford was laying six at home. UCLA isn't very good this year...and Stanford was fortunate to win the game.
Stanford closed out non-conference play with a loss to Butler. Most years, there's no shame in losing to Butler. But, this year's team isn't playing very well, and Stanford was favored in that game by 12 points! They would miss the spread by 17 in a 71-66 home loss.
Frankly, Stanford isn't playing like one of the two best Pac 12 teams at the moment...and they're not currently playing like an NCAA Tournament team either. A good loss vs. Syracuse helps on the resume. The number of negatives since then may end up sending the Cardinal to the NIT.
So, tonight's huge game (to be televised by Fox Sports on cable in a conference twinbill with Oregon State and Oregon) won't just impact the league race. It could determine where a few teams play in the postseason. Stanford is in serious danger of falling off the radar with a loss. That would drop them to 5-4 in a conference that isn't getting much respect this year.
You regulars know I pay a lot of attention to the Pac 12 and all the Western conferences. Readers who live on the East Coast don't have it in them to stay up late and study these leagues. But, with Las Vegas in the Pacific time zone, these games are all prime time or earlier for WAYNE ALLYN ROOT! If there's an edge to be found in Sunday's Pac 12 doubleheader, I'm going to find it. And, you can be sure you're getting the best plays on the board in both college and pro hoops if you sign up for service. In fact, today I have my Bounce Game of the Month, a very strong play.
You can do that here at the website with your credit card. Or, call my handicapping office at 1-877-766-8946. Be sure to ask about the Super Bowl when you call. It's easy to add my Super Bowl Extravaganza to any basketball package. You need go focus on building your bankroll between now and next Sunday with my best in the baskets.
I hope everyone reading this gets to spend at least one Super Bowl Sunday in their lives here in Las Vegas. The atmosphere is electric. The weather is probably better here in early February than wherever you're living. If you do come visit, be sure to check out the Vegas "Walk of Fame." I'm the only handicapper included. If an oddsmaker ever gets a star, he'll naturally be a few steps behind me!
With the Super Bowl now just seven days away, we've reached the most important wagering week on the Las Vegas calendar. Every dollar you win these next few days has time to double and triple before the big football game...and then really multiply when you cash your Super Bowl tickets. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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