Texas Tangles with North Carolina

Tony Salinas: Texas Tangles with North Carolina

Because I grew up in Texas, I always pay very close attention to sports down in that state. I think it's true for all Las Vegas gamblers that they never stop following the teams they grew up with. Because the University of Texas is a "public"team that's often overpriced because of hype...I've probably bet against the Longhorns more than I've bet on them over the years. But...

I have to admit that the Texas basketball team looked very good this past Saturday on TV against Temple. Well, the first half wasn't so great. But, the Horns dominated the second half on their way to a 77-65 victory as favorites of -7.5. What really caught my attention happened before the game though. The smart money here in Las Vegas hit Texas hard...driving an early line that was as low as -4.5 or -5 all the way up past seven. The public isn't betting much college hoops yet...so that move came from respected money.

And, it was right. This tells me that Texas may be a team to look at very closely in the coming days and weeks. The market may have overreacted to a poor start to the 2011-2012 season, and not responded quickly enough when Texas kicked things up a notch at the start of December. In their only board games so far this month:

Texas (+2) beat UCLA 69-69 (a 12-point cover)
Texas (-7.5) beat Temple 77-65 (a 4.5 point cover)

There were three non-board games that were all big blowouts. Remember, Texas opened around -4.5 and -5 vs. Temple...so the final score beat the opener by about seven points. Oddsmakers haven't been reading the Horns well this month. Some Wise Guys made them pay last Saturday.

Maybe Texas has what it takes to give North Carolina a thrill Wednesday Night on ESPN2. North Carolina is currently favored by 11 points as I write this. Wisconsin has already lost this year as a favorite to UNLV...barely got by Wisconsin as a favorite in this range on this court...and they also didn't impress at home against Long Beach State either. Be sure you monitor the markets through Wednesday afternoon to see if the smart money is making another move.

Hey, it's still the talent of North Carolina playing at home against the inexperience of Texas. This could be a blowout that the Wise Guys (and smart handicappers) leave alone. I can tell you that I will definitely be watching this game on TV with full attention until the Poinsettia Bowl gets started on another channel around halftime. And, I may devote most of my attention during the overlap to the basketball because I'll be picking a lot of basketball games in the next few weeks that involve Texas and North Carolina in basketball...but no more football games until next September that involve TCU or Louisiana Tech!

You can purchase my Wednesday Night slate here at the website with your credit card. I cover the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego...and you also get my "Mid Major Game of the Month"in college basketball. Game day releases go up a few hours before the games get rolling every day. I hope you'll visit me regularly throughout the full bowl campaign. Discounted rates for the rest of football...or football/basketball combination packages...are available at 1-888-536-8880.

Don't forget that the NBA gets started in a few days. I'll discuss pro hoops more in my web articles once football winds down.

You should be aware that there are a lot of activities here in Las Vegas Thursday and Friday. I'll be all over those because the games are being played in my backyard!

THURSDAY
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State. vs Arizona State.
Las Vegas Classic: Four college basketball games at the Orleans Arena, highlighted by Baylor/St. Mary's and Missouri State/West Virginia.

FRIDAY
Las Vegas Classic: Already scheduled are Baylor/West Virginia (on ESPN2) and Missouri State/St. Mary's.
Bonus Basketball: UNLV is at home against California of the Pac 12 in a game to be televised by the CBS Sports cable channel.

Let's build our bankroll Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for the big NFL Saturday this week on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Then we'll be in position to go for a huge score next week when the bowl schedule really explodes. My next article will be about the NFL, and will run in the hours before that special NFL Saturday.

Don't take the worst of it during the holidays betting your own plays. Make sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!

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