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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 7:00 AM

There were definitely a lot of skeptics saying that the Big 12 was overrated this year as a power conference. Fans of the ACC…fans of the Big 10…fans of any conference that wasn’t getting enough love from the media! But, early action in the 2015 NCAA Tournament certainly drove home the case that the best computer rated teams in the Big 12 weren’t as good as everyone had been lead to believe.

Iowa State lost to Alabama-Birmingham

Baylor lost to Georgia State

Texas (a computer darling) lost to Butler

Iowa State won the conference tournament last weekend. Baylor was a popular darkhorse pick to at least give Arizona a scare. Texas kept insisting they were only NIT caliber with their sub-par scoreboard results…but nobody running computer ratings would listen to them!

From that ignoble beginning, it was a matter of saving face for the league. Oklahoma State will get one of the last chances to save face when they play Oregon Friday Night in Omaha (Oklahoma of the Big 12 also plays Friday night, taking on Albany in Columbus).

Should handicappers just avoid the Big 12 like the plague in this event? Or, will an off-the-radar team make a statement just as America is deciding that the league isn’t worth the time. Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about the matchup.


Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

Oregon: 113.3 per 100 possessions (#16 in the nation)

Okie State: 109.3 per 100 possessions (#50 in the nation)

Big edge here to the Pac 12 entry, as Oregon makes the most of its pace preference to find good looks and score easy points. Of course, they weren’t particularly scary in their blowout loss to Arizona! But, Oklahoma State’s ranking of #50 looks even worse now that Ken Pomeroy may have been overrating the entire Big 12. His strength of schedule adjustments sure weren’t anticipating the early Thursday debacle.


Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Oregon: 100.6 per 100 possessions (#130 in the nation)

Okie State: 96.4 per 100 possessions (#60 in the nation)

The problem with falling in love with Oregon is that their defense is horrible. They don’t guard with a passion. They gamble too often for steals in a way that allows easy buckets. Teams like this only win and cover when all of their shots are falling. That certainly could happen here because Okie State only ranked #60 on defense in a league that was overrated by computers. It will be up to Oregon’s offense to exploit that weakness. So far….the combination of Oregon and Over might be making some sense. The Ducks can score on soft defenses.


Pace Ranking

Oregon: #89

Okie State: #257

Big difference here…as each will try to take the other out of its comfort zone. Oklahoma wants to patiently work for great looks against the very poor Oregon defense. The Ducks want to run and gun to get good looks against what’s probably a mediocre Cowboys defense. Worth thinking about the Over some more there. Both have options that work. And, whatever pace we end up having…SOMEBODY’S going to be able to score productively at that speed.


Against the Spread

Oregon: 18-15

Okie State: 14-14

Oregon was slightly underrated during the season…and it was 18-14 ATS before the blowout loss to Arizona last Saturday night in Las Vegas. Just a small profit for backers overall after you count the 10% vigorish. Okie State was 50/50, which loses money at the sportsbooks unless you’re juice-free.


Early Line: Oregon by 1.5, total of 136

It will be interesting to see if Friday betting action drives the number higher in response to early Big 12 woes. For now, Oregon is a slight favorite in a battle of inconsistent teams who are really capable of anything. Looks like the most entertaining possibility of the evening card…which is why we picked it for the prime time preview!

JIM HURLEY will make sure you get the best betting options in both the early and late sessions. You can purchase the final word for Friday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 before the early games tip off. BIG JUICY WINNERS are always easy to find!

Back with you tomorrow with an expanded preview for the best of the late tipoffs. The TV networks are certainly shocked to be featuring teams like Georgia State and Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday. We’ll pick the best of the late games to study for betting edges. Then we’ll do the same thing for Sunday’s schedule a day later.

Reports from Las Vegas suggested a very muted opening day. The general public hates it when favorites can’t cover spreads! Regardless of how your first day went…you’ll be best positioned to GET THE MONEY if you sign up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!


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