Edwards: Ospreys have thrived as underdogs, are catching big number tonight at Liberty

North Florida (18-10 straight up, 20-6 against the spread) brings a six-game winning streak both straight up and against the spread to Lynchburg for tonight’s showdown at Liberty.

First place in the Atlantic Sun Conference will be on the line. As of early this morning, most betting shops had Liberty (24-3 SU, 13-11-1 ATS) installed as a nine-point favorite with a total of 134.

The Ospreys have the nation’s best ATS record (20-6). They’ve been underdogs nine times this year, producing an 8-1 ATS record with a pair of outright victories.

North Florida has played the best of the best in non-conference play, going on the road to take on Florida, Iowa, Creighton, FSU, Syracuse and Dayton. UNF came up short against those elite teams, but it thrived in those spots for our purposes, compiling a 12-2 ATS record.

The Ospreys beat Liberty 71-70 when they collided in Jacksonville earlier this season.  The Flames are undefeated in 12 home games, but they’ve limped to a 3-6-1 ATS mark in their 10 lined home contests.

I like North Florida +9.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

Iowa, a 2.5-point home favorite tonight vs. Ohio State (as of early this morning, that is), has won 12 of its 13 home games. The Hawkeyes are 9-2-2 ATS at home. The Buckeyes are 3-5 both SU and ATS in eight road assignments. Iowa guard CJ Fredrick is ‘questionable’ with an ankle injury that kept him out of Sunday’s win at Minnesota. Fredrick averages 10.7 points per game and has drained 46.7 percent of his 3-point attempts. Ohio State’s D.J. Carton remains ‘out’ indefinitely due toe personal reasons. In the Buckeyes’ first 20 games, Carton averaged 10.4 points, 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. He was hitting 40.0 percent of his 3-pointers. Ohio State is 5-1 both SU and ATS in its last six outings.

–As of early this morning, most books had Michigan State listed as a 12.5-point road favorite for tonight’s game at Nebraska. The Spartans have limped to a 1-7 spread record in eight true road games. However, the Cornhuskers have been terrible at home, going 5-8 SU and 4-9 ATS. The total is 154 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. on Fox Sports 1.

BYU (21-7 SU, 17-10 ATS) is in a vintage look-ahead situation tonight when it hosts Santa Clara (18-9 SU, 12-13 ATS) as a 14.5-point home favorite. The Cougars, who are 12-1 SU and 8-4 ATS at home this year, host Gonzaga on Saturday. They’re on a six-game winning streak and have won 15 of 18 games since Dec. 7. BYU is sporting an impressive No. 18 ranking at KenPom. Three of the Cougars’ seven defeats have come in overtime (72-68 at Boise State, 102-95 at Utah and 87-84 at Saint Mary’s). Two of BYU’s other losses came at home vs. unbeaten San Diego State (76-71) and vs. Kansas at The Maui Classic. BYU starting center Yoeli Childs was serving a suspension when his team lost to San Diego State, at Boise State and vs. KU, and he was injured in the loss to the Gaels. Childs averages team-highs in scoring (20.7 points per game), rebounding (8.4 RPG) and blocked shots (1.1 BPG). The Cougars lead the nation in 3-point accuracy (42.6%) and are ranked third in field-goal percentage (50.2%).

–Seton Hall bounced back from a blowout loss at Providence to edge Butler at the buzzer last night:

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