2013 NCAA Tournament odds – Colorado Takes on No. 7 Illinois

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Colorado had to sweat an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament much like Illinois, but the winner of Friday’s game in Austin between two similar teams will be headed to the Round of 32. The Illini opened as 1.5-point 2013 NCAA Tournament odds favorites on WagerWeb. Check our current game lines here.

2013 NCAA Tournament oddsFor the first time since the early 1960s, the Buffaloes are in the NCAA tournament for consecutive years. Colorado gets next to nothing off the bench, but, within the starting lineup, this is a balanced team. Four of the starters average in double figures with Xavier Johnson right behind them. Spencer Dinwiddie is the key guy because he has the ball in his hands the most, but no one Buffalo can be keyed on. Junior Andre Roberson is the leading rebounder in the nation. Roberson is hardly an offensive go-to guy, getting most of his 10.8 points per game off rebounds. The Buffs’ assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t good (0.8, last in the Pac-12). Ball movement is essentially their biggest problem.

The Buffaloes are 28th in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency. Colorado allowed teams to shoot 32.3 percent from 3-point range, 102nd in the country, and 40.4 percent from the field, 62nd in the country.

The Illini’s season under first-year coach John Groce has been a roller-coaster ride. It began with the highest of highs, a 12-0 start to the season. Then came the precipitous drop, a 2-7 start in Big Ten play and then another uptick as the Illini went 6-1 before finishing the season 22-11. It begs the question: Which Illini team will show up in the Big Dance?

Illinois has proved it can beat anyone, including a pair of top teams in Gonzaga and Indiana. Senior guard Brandon Paul, who canned the game-winning shot versus Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, has never met a shot that he doesn’t think he can make. Paul averages a team-high 16.6 points, and only shoots 40 percent (33 percent on 3-pointers), but he’s still the man– that’s why Illinois tells Paul to keep shooting. A valid argument could be made that D.J. Richardson, not Paul, is actually the team’s MVP this season. Richardson’s defense has improved as the season has worn on, and he stuffs the stat sheet on a nightly basis (12.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.5 SPG).

CU (21-11) and Illinois have only played four games, with the Illini winning three. Their last meeting was in 1987 in Champaign, where the home team won 69-65. I

WagerWeb.com trends: Buffaloes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten. Buffaloes are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games. Buffaloes are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games. Fighting Illini are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Fighting Illini are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Fighting Illini are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

Here’s a full list of the NCAA Tournament odds outright winner odds:

Louisville +500
Indiana +600
Kansas +800
Gonzaga +800
Duke +800
Miami FL +1,000
Georgetown +1,000
Ohio St +1,500 Bet
Michigan St +1,200
Marquette +2,500
Florida +1,000
New Mexico +1,500
St Louis +2,000
Syracuse +1,500
Michigan +1,500
Kansas St +3,000
Oklahoma St +4,000
UNLV +3,000
VCU +3,000
Wisconsin +4,000
Memphis +7,500
Butler +7,500
UCLA +5,000
Arizona +4,000
Creighton +7,500
Illinois +10,000
San Diego St +10,000
Notre Dame +10,000
Colorado St +10,000
North Carolina St +5,000
North Carolina +5,000
Pittsburgh +5,000
Missouri +5,000
Temple +10,000
Villanova +10,000
Wichita St +10,000
Cincinnati +10,000
Colorado +10,000
Oklahoma +10,000
Iowa St +10,000
Middle Tennessee +30,000
St Marys +30,000
Bucknell +20,000
Minnesota +15,000
Belmont +20,000
Oregon +15,000
California +25,000
Akron +30,000
Ole Miss +25,000
New Mexico St +50,000
Montana +50,000
South Dakota St +50,000
Boise St +50,000
LaSalle +50,000
Valparasio +50,000
Davidson +50,000
Northwestern St +100,000
Harvard +100,000
Albany +100,000
Pacific +100,000
Florida GC +100,000
Iona +100,000
Liberty +100,000
North Carolina A&T +100,000
LIU-Brooklyn +100,000
James Madison +100,000
Western Kentucky +100,000
Southern +100,000

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