Daily Bet: Indiana -9.5 vs. North Carolina

If sports betting in general makes your hair gray, betting on the NBA makes that gray hair fall out of your head—and makes you borderline homicidal. Case in point: Last night, after a 10-day break, I came back and supported the Cavaliers as a 12½-point underdog at Memphis. Thought I made a solid case for backing Cleveland, and sure enough after three quarters, my 12½-point dog had a seven-point lead. Then the fourth quarter started, and so did the cold sweats, as Memphis woke up and the Cavs went to sleep. In the end, we got paid, as the Grizzlies won 84-78 (outscoring Cleveland 22-9 in the fourth quarter). Unfortunately, my winnings were added to a collection for a hair transplant.

Shifting focus to the college hardwood tonight and laying the big chalk with top-ranked Indiana in one of these made-for-TV ACC/Big Ten Challenge games. We haven’t even flipped the calendar to December, so it’s way too early to make any concrete college hoops declarations, but we can say that Indiana has at least lived up to its preseason ranking. The Hoosiers are not only off to a 6-0 start, but they’ve covered in five of those six contests. Sure, four of those opponents were Bryant, North Dakota State, Sam Houston State and Ball State, but in those games, Indiana respectively covered spreads of 32 (winning by 43), 20½ (winning by 26), 30 (winning by 49) and 27½ (winning by 48). And while Georgetown took the Hoosiers to overtime in a preseason tournament in Brooklyn a week ago, Indiana still prevailed 82-72 as a nine-point chalk.

Now, North Carolina has also been a moneymaker so far, cashing in four of its five lined
games. However, the one non-cover was also an outright defeat, as the Tar Heels got drilled by Butler in last week’s Maui Invitational, falling 82-71 as a nine-point favorite (note that Butler is the only quality team the Tar Heels have faced to this point). UNC, as usual, is extremely gifted athletically, but it is also young and inexperienced compared with Indiana. And that youth and inexperience will show up tonight in Assembly Hall, where the Hoosiers are 22-1 since the start of last season, going 9-1 ATS in the last 10.

Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆

Monday’s: Cavaliers +12.5 at Grizzlies (win)

Record: 67-56-1