Best CBB bets for Thursday

Will Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Louisville cover the spread against Villanova tonight? AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Dave Tuley has resumed his Tuley's Take on the big midweek college basketball games the past few weeks for ESPN Insider and continues today with a big conference tournament schedule. The next two weeks, he'll break down the Thursday and Saturday games in the NCAA tournament.

I climbed back to the 60 percent mark last Tuesday as I went 2-1 against the spread to improve to 9-6 ATS overall since starting this college basketball column.
The one loss was ugly, as Arkansas not only failed to cover the plus-10 against Missouri but ended up losing by 30 points. Fortunately, the sports books don't charge more if a team fails to cover by 20 points; it's the same as if we lose by half a point. And that loss was more than offset by Ohio State's 67-58 win over Indiana (beating the spread by 17 points) and Boise State covering at plus-8 in a 68-64 loss to UNLV.

As ESPN Insider member m_mcconn pointed out in the comments section, if I had taken the favorites instead of just passing when I couldn't make a case for the 'dog, I would have gone 4-1 ATS. I know some people who follow me swear by that method, but I've found when I bet those faves I usually split out (at best), so I prefer to pass in those situations and look for higher-percentage plays.

We're now in the middle of an exciting Championship Week, so let's look at some of the top games on Thursday's card from my Vegas point of view:

Louisville Cardinals versus Villanova Wildcats

Opening line: Louisville minus-9.5
PickCenter breakdown