Trio Of Games Between Ranked Opponents Highlights College Basketball Betting Action For 1/14/2024

Written By Derek Helling on January 14, 2024
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After a Saturday that boasted two meetings of ranked opponents for college basketball bettors, Sunday comes out on top for the weekend with three such matchups. For the Pac-12, the games on Jan. 14, 2024 could represent a significant reshuffling of the standings.

Four of the six teams involved in this action hail from that conference, at least for now, while the other two represent the ACC. For bettors, all three games offer some interesting opportunities to potentially snag some wins.

Virginia Tech at Florida State details, handicapping

The No. 11 Virginia Tech Hokies visit the 21st-ranked Florida State Seminoles to start off this action with Virginia Tech trying to maintain its place atop the conference standings.

  • Tip-off: 1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024
  • Venue: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Broadcast: ESPN
  • Previous matchup: Feb. 12, 2023, at Virginia Tech, 84-70 Hokies win
  • Last 5 games: Florida State WWLWW, Virginia Tech WWWWW
  • Average points for: Florida State 83.6, Virginia Tech 80.1
  • Average points against: Florida State 69.3, Virginia Tech 56.8
  • Florida State record: 13-4 overall, 901 at home, 4-1 ACC
  • Virginia Tech record: 13-2 overall, 2-1 on the road, 4-0 ACC

Florida State holds a 30-12 edge in the all-time series between these teams but Virginia Tech has won the past two games. The Seminoles have won four of the past five against the Hokies in Tallahassee. Both teams come into Sunday relatively healthy.

Legal North American sportsbooks have a spread favoring Virginia Tech by about 5.5 points with a total around 148.5 points. Florida State on the spread and the under could be the plays on this contest.

The Hokies have been among the best teams in the nation in terms of blocking shots but on the other hand are also one of the most turnover-prone teams in the country as well. While Virginia Tech also has one of the highest overall field goal percentages so far this season, the Seminoles can counter that with simply the sheer volume of shot attempts they usually get.

Stanford at Colorado details, handicapping

Two games featuring top-10 Pac-12 teams begins with the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal visiting No. 5 Colorado, promising to knock one of these two squads off the ranks of teams without a conference loss so far.

  • Tip-off: 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024
  • Venue: CU Events Center, Boulder, Colorado
  • Broadcast: Pac-12 Networks
  • Previous matchup: Feb. 23, 2023 at Stanford, 73-62 Cardinal win
  • Last 5 games: Colorado WWWWW, Stanford WWWWW
  • Average points for: Colorado 82.1, Stanford 82.9
  • Average points against: Colorado, 64.1, Stanford 57.1
  • Colorado record: 14-1 overall, 7-0 at home, 4-0 Pac-12
  • Stanford record: 15-1 overall, 3-1 on the road, 4-0 Pac-12

Stanford has dominated this series, taking 27 out of 32 meetings overall including all of the last six games. Additionally, the Cardinal has won four of the past five contests in Boulder and average outscoring the Buffaloes by almost 12 points per game. Both teams come into this contest healthy and

Legal online sportsbooks have Stanford favored by a narrow 2.5 points with a total around 141.5. The smart money could be on the Cardinal to cover and the over on the total. When it comes to Colorado’s strengths, the Cardinal are able to match if not exceed each one. Additionally, the Cardinal bring in a massive edge in rebounding into this one.

Potentially providing some extra motivation for Stanford in this one is that head coach Tara VanDerveer is just a win away from tying Mike Krzyzekwski’s all-time record for career wins as an NCAA basketball head coach.

UCLA at USC details, handicapping

The nightcap, at least on the eastern coast of the United States, for Sunday features the No. 2 UCLA Bruins paying a visit to its cross-town rival, the ninth-ranked USC Trojans. For the host, there could be nothing sweeter than knocking its rival out of the slim company of unbeatens.

  • Tip-off: 5 p.m. ET, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024
  • Venue: Galen Center, Los Angeles, California
  • Previous matchup: Dec. 30, 2023, at UCLA, 71-64 Bruins win
  • Last 5 games: UCLA WWWWW, USC WWLWW
  • Average points for: UCLA 86.2, USC 77.2
  • Average points against: UCLA 59.1, USC 57.4
  • USC record: 12-1 overall, 8-0 at home, 2-1 Pac-12
  • UCLA record: 14-0 overall, 2-0 on the road, 3-0 Pac-12

Since 1990, this series has been somewhat competitive. UCLA does have a 32-24 advantage, including winning the last nine in a row. The Bruins have also won four of the past five games in which USC was the home team. Both teams come in with essentially their full complement since UCLA lost Emily Bessoir for the season in mid-December.

Spreads for this contest range from a mere point and a half to 2.5 points. Totals show a little variance as well, going from 136.5 to 137. UCLA on the spread and the under on the total might be the smart moves.

The Bruins have the largest rebounding margin in the country and a big part of the reason why they have yet to lose is their defensive efficiency to boot. Opponents average under 13 two-point field goal attempts per game and overall are shooting under 35% from the field.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA and the managing editor of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of the gambling industry with business, the law, and technology.

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