College Hoops Revenge Games

The more time you spend around sports, especially when you’re betting on sports, the more you will hear that a team is playing with revenge on its mind. I think it is probably more relevant to college sports than professional sports, but you will hear the term used in both. Yet, revenge is a very real thing and a great betting angle if you can identify it. This past weekend’s college hoops slate offered a couple of excellent examples. But first, let’s go a little farther back in time to see how the revenge was set up.


On January 5, the previously unbeaten (14-0) University of Nevada Wolfpack traveled to Albuquerque to face a 7 win 6 loss New Mexico Lobos squad.  This was the second Mountain West Conference game for each team. Nevada went into Albuquerque with a KenPom Rank of 6. The Lobos were sporting a middling KenPom rank of 173. One team clearly superior to the other, right? A beatdown was imminent, right?

Not so fast…

Final Score: New Mexico 85 Nevada 58

The beatdown happened, that’s for sure. But it was the Lobos issuing Reno its first loss of the season, in convincing fashion.

Two weeks later, Texas A&M Aggies hosted the Missouri Tigers. The Aggies opened their SEC campaign with 3 losses and 1 win. The Tigers early SEC campaign wasn’t any better, losing all three of its SEC matchups before this contest in College Station. Another beatdown was issued. This time the visiting Tigers hammered the home squad…

Final Score: Missouri 66 Texas A&M 43


It’s quite easy, if you don’t follow this stuff closely, to think what happened before will happen again. History repeating itself. Or, that one team simply has the other team’s “number.” That can be the case sometimes. But it would be a costly error to think that pride won’t show up and defend itself.

The rematches happened Saturday. Nevada, as 20-point favorites and revenge on their mind, hosted New Mexico. The Wolfpack is a damn good team. But bettors may have been tempted to ride New Mexico based solely on the beatdown they issued last time. I didn’t really have to handicap this one. Sure, I looked at the numbers and injury report, but there was NO WAY the Wolfpack was going to allow history to repeat. The Lobos were never in the game.

Final Score: Nevada 91 New Mexico 62

And the score was really not as close as the final would suggest. The Wolfpack proved their point and took their foot off the gas. Nevada could have won be fifty, easy. So covering the 20-point spread was never in doubt.

Next up, the Texas A&M Aggies traveled up to Columbia, MO, for its rematch with the Missouri Tigers. Both teams have continued to play a very challenging conference schedule, with few wins to show for their efforts. You could think the Aggies, after getting crushed in the prior matchup, might just come in and take its beating and head back home. If that is how you think, then you do not understand Revenge…and Pride. The Aggies were 4-point underdogs and got down early. History repeating itself?

Final Score: Texas A&M 68 Missouri 59

We spend a lot of time on this site talking about handicapping. And yes, we are trying to teach you how to handicap. But it is not always about the numbers. Sometimes, it’s about that one small point of Pride…and Revenge.

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