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2023 NIT Quarterfinals & CBI Semifinals Game Picks | College Basketball Odds [Tuesday, Mar 21st]

 

T.J. Rives:

Hello there and welcome back in for a Tuesday on the BetUS College Basketball Show. We are getting a little time to exhale. Aah. A little… Little relaxation for a day or two before the madness all resumes with the Sweet 16 coming on Thursday and Friday at four different sites. Madison Square Garden, the Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The T-Mobile Center. This is interesting. In Kansas City. And, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. T-Mobile gets two of them by sponsor name for this week.

Welcome back in. There’s a lot to discuss, including handicapping some NIT games and some other games today. We are glad that you’re with us. I am merely the somewhat capable host, T.J. Rives. You’re here for the handicapping of Corby Craig and hello for the first time this week to Matty Cox, who has survived the weekend. Proof of life for him. And, last we saw you, you were in Vegas. Does what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas or did you do okay this weekend with everything? Let’s get the show rolling. How are you?

Matty Cox:

Doing great. I actually met a few of our loyal fans, so good to meet the listeners in person. And, yeah. They were championing what we do on the show. Well, except for my losing ways recently, of course. But, no. It was awesome. Got to see some awesome games. The Furman buzzer beater set the tone and then just a lot of good stuff from there on out, man.

T.J. Rives:

Corby Craig, good to be back with you here for a Tuesday. We’re going to have some handicapping. You’re starting to look over the futures plays that we’re going to get to. How is everything else for a Tuesday as we begin?

Corby Craig:

Yeah. [inaudible 00:01:28] Monday. Soft slate just to recharge and refresh. Some interesting basketball but not too much to hang your hat on.

T.J. Rives:

And, some futures again that we will get into and discuss in a few moments. Again, thank you for finding us. We’re here weekdays right now at 11:00 a.m. all the way through the conclusion of things and the Final Four in Houston. We come your way Monday through Friday on BetUS TV. Loads of fun.

Now, Matty Cox did make mention of the Furman finish and I’m going to take the liberty here for just a second to lay this out. And, I realize we’re not playing the clip on the show, but Furman obviously pulled the upset of Virginia. They did so in Orlando’s Amway Center, the downtown arena where the Orlando Magic play. So, guys, I haven’t talked about this here on this show, but I’ve talked about it elsewhere and now there is a viral video of Kevin Harlan calling it on CBS with Stan Van Gundy and with Dan Bonner. They had the announcer cam, a little camera right next to them, and they’re playing this on social media, their reaction to the steal by Furman and the winning three point shot.

So, my part of the story just real quick is I had to get done with the show on Thursday. You guys were I believe both with me on Thursday. Or, maybe it was Kyle and Matty that were with me on Thursday. I had about a 90 minute to two hour drive to get to Orlando. I get to Orlando. I get parked. I get in the arena. I get the credential. And, there’s less than a minute to go in the game. The timeout horn is sounding. I make my way over to an open press row seat that turns out it’s right behind where the CBS guys are. So, they’re playing this viral video of Kevin Harlan going crazy, the winning shot, and there’s a Where’s Waldo of Uncle T.J. in the background of that video. So, all I can tell you is I keep getting phone calls, text messages, that people have discovered T.J. in the background.

So, what I’m saying to our BetUS guys that are in the live chat right now, they can put the link in the live chat and you can see exactly what we’re talking about. Take my word for it. Just look for the Kevin Harlan video of him calling that Furman play and I’m an Easter egg in the background of it in an orange shirt. There is T.J. I was on scene for that upset and I still, five days later, cannot explain to you what Kihei Clark of Virginia was doing, lobbing that ball to no one at mid-court. It’s what March Madness is all about. Great moment for Furman. Welcome to the madness and the craziness.

So, anyway, that begins the show. Again, we’ll get into some plays for today. We’ll talk a little bit about futures. We’ll get into the handicapping of the Sweet 16 games for Thursday and Friday. We’re building up to those. You’re not going to get handicapping on those today, but you will get some thoughts on some teams, the situations, et cetera. So, guys, we’ll go ahead as we customarily do and take a look at the records for the show as again the show hovers right around the 500 mark, right at 500 right now on the program, and we are ready to get things underway for a Tuesday with some different matchups, some different action. The CBI tournament has whittled down to what its final four. The NIT tournament is working its way towards the final four. The NIT, by the way, will play its semifinal and championship game in Las Vegas coming up next week. No longer at Madison Square Garden but now in Vegas.

All right. So, let’s get into the games that we’re going to look at, a little bit of handicapping, some official plays, and then we’ll get to some questions and answers as we go along here. Game number one. This one in the CBI tournament with these teams having won. Guys, keep me straight on this because I’m trying to make sure on all of this. These are semifinals. Daytona Beach. Southern Utah and Eastern Kentucky on the neutral floor with Southern Utah laying the four points and a total of 155. So, each of these teams were quarterfinal winners. They now play tonight in Daytona Beach. The CBI tournament. So, let’s get some thoughts on this matchup and in fact both of you I think are going to have an official play on this game. So, Matty Cox, begin with a thought or two on this neutral floor semifinal.

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I’m looking at the side here with Southern Utah. These non-NCAA tournaments are tricky to handicap for me personally, but I think the… If you’re trying to find a team that has potential higher upside, that has underachieved down the stretch, is due for maybe a correction, that’s proven they can play at a really high level all year, I think Southern Utah is certainly in that camp. Eastern Kentucky, I agree, but I think Southern Utah has a little higher upside.

The bigger edge though, I think, is the interim coach angle. Flynn Clayman is coaching Southern Utah. He’s basically in a quasi audition taking in for his former boss, Todd Simon, who now is at Bowling Green. He’s well-respected, one of the highest regarded assistants in all of college basketball. He’s a big reason why Southern Utah was so much better than people expected this season. I kind of thought he’d be an over coach in this tournament. They’ve had a couple… I think their last game yesterday went over and the game before went under. But, I just think he’s a good coach in general and I think laying four is a little bit expensive against Eastern Kentucky, who’s been awesome. But, the fact that Eastern Kentucky is off two straight back to back overtime wins, I think they’ll run out of gas today. So, I like the situational edge and the potential coaching edge for the Thunderbirds here.

T.J. Rives:

All right. Southern Utah. Again, two point win over Rice, as you were saying. Eastern Kentucky, overtime win over Indiana State. Corby Craig, thoughts on this game? Neutral floor, Daytona Beach.

Corby Craig:

Yeah. I took the first half under 73 and a half. I don’t know if we have the graphic up yet, but it is an official for the show or a best bet. Matt alluded to it at the end. This is an Eastern Kentucky team off of back to back overtime games. [inaudible 00:06:57] They got the job done and yes, both of these teams are going to play fast. We’ve seen the market adjust to these numbers really quick yesterday. All of the games dropped, what? Three points. So, these secondary market tournaments on neutral courts continue to drop and this one hasn’t enough. So, I just imagine we’re grabbing a number better than we’re going to get at close. Two game situational they should play under with teams playing a similar style, one exhausted from two overtime games in 48 hours. So, give me the first half under here and I do lean towards the Southern Utah side.

T.J. Rives:

Again, score yourself five bonus points if you knew these teams were playing. Also, score yourself five bonus points if you knew, as Matty Cox did, that Southern Utah is the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds of Southern Utah against Eastern Kentucky. We’ll lock the guys in with an official handicapping play on the CBI tournament. Matty Cox is on the side here in this instance and that side is Southern Utah and Corby Craig again is going a first half under of 73 and a half for that matchup.

Again, let’s progress on here and we’re kind of skipping back and forth because we’re going chronologically by time. So, in the NIT… And, again, these are at home sites. That’s game number one that we’re going to talk about it. Here we go with North Texas and Oklahoma State. This one up next to discuss. This one on the home floor for Oke State. They lay four and a half against North Texas with a total of 123 and a half. NIT matchup coming here this evening. Corby Craig, give me an initial thought here, maybe something on the total. Low totals always it seems like with North Texas. Thoughts on this, Corby?

Corby Craig:

Yeah. A low total for sure but North Texas has played towards these low totals all year, so don’t be stunned by that by any means. Also, Oklahoma State’s offense for most of the year has been incompetent at best. I think North Texas is probably the better team here in the sense of it seems like the pace and the basketball they’re playing currently. North Texas looked really good last game. So, I wish there was NIT futures available at open. I would have picked up some North Texas to win this tournament. They look like a really good basketball team. So, I lean North Texas. Their defense is always fun.

Total-wise, my numbers are always going to say overs for North Texas just because this number is so low, but North Texas is one of those teams that has proven they can play in the teens pretty easy.

T.J. Rives:

Matty Cox, it’s Oklahoma State. It was one of the teams obviously right on the cut line that the selection committee did not choose to get in. They didn’t do themselves any favors with losing some games at the end of the year, including losing to Texas in the Big 12 tournament right away. They did defeat Youngstown State, who was one of the top teams in the Horizon League, and beat them at Youngstown State, for whatever that’s worth. So, this is Oklahoma State at home. Any thoughts if no official play here?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I mean, just the way North Texas shot it to start this tournament, you got to give the feels like they could be turning into more of an over team if you assume that current form of shooting continues. But, yeah. It’s a tough one for me to handicap. I do think it’s an ugly grind it out affair. But, as Corby mentioned, you can’t just bet unders at this point in the season because it feels like an under game. That’s all priced in. What’s changed recently? What…? Is there really value? Yeah. I don’t see anything but I’m not a totals guy, so.

T.J. Rives:

All right. Good enough. Again, the total in this one… Corby, I believe I had it at 123 and a half on the BetUS line if you’re interested in trying to play that under. That was what he was discussing there. No official play on the matchup in the NIT that is again at Stillwater on the home floor for Oklahoma State.

All right. Let’s skip back in the chronology, back to the CBI tournament, while we handicap. And, we will get to some questions and answers from you folks live here on a Tuesday in a moment. Back to Daytona Beach. This is the Charlotte 49ers and Radford, the Highlanders. Give me some bonus points for knowing that, that Radford’s the Highlanders. Neutral floor. Charlotte favored by three. The total, 124 and a half. So, this is the second semifinal, up around 9:30 Eastern time or thereabouts in Daytona Beach. Some thoughts right away. Matty Cox, right back to you. Anything on this matchup that stands out?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I’m looking to play Radford here, although I’m looking at the screen. It looks like Charlotte’s getting steamed, so good timing for us to come in here and give this play out. So, before you play Radford, if you’re looking to hop on the dog, make sure you wait. There’s some big steam coming in here on Charlotte. I know Radford had a couple of key injuries, but I just think that they’re deep enough with the guys they have in there. They play slow, methodically, and I think we’re seeing a team that was kind of in a rut down the stretch because they had a key injury to Bryan Antoine, who came back from the conference tournament.

They beat Tarleton in overtime. They beat San Jose State by 10, who’s been a monster down the stretch. I think just they’re a good team. Well-coached team and I think they give Charlotte problems even though Charlotte kind of plays that pack line type of defense, their offense. So, it’s kind of a Virginia lite type model. I think Radford matches up well with that. They’re long enough on the perimeter. It’s a team that’s got a bunch of long guards. That’s the DNA Darris Nichols likes to build. I just think it’s a good matchup here and a good spot here, catching Charlotte here on the Tuesday’s part.

T.J. Rives:

Again, these teams both played on Monday night with Charlotte beating Milwaukee out of the Horizon League on the neutral floor. Meanwhile, Radford beat one of the teams that had been hot at the end of the year in the Mountain West, San Jose State. They had to come all the way east to play in Daytona Beach, Florida. Radford beating them by 10 on Monday night. Corby Craig, any thoughts? CBI semifinal here. Charlotte and Radford.

Corby Craig:

Yeah. Hopefully we can grab Matt the better number here and I think fives are available across the board at this point.

Matty Cox:

Yeah.

Corby Craig:

At five… At five, I feel pretty decent about Radford. At three, two and a half, I kind of like this Charlotte team with the exception being there’s not going to be a lot of points in this game, so I think five points is probably at least asking for a backdoor in a lot of cases in this matchup. I personally absolutely hate this Radford team. I have bet against… I’ve bet unders in these last… No. I bet the over yesterday. We talked about it on the show. 125. Ends 124 after not fouling with 20 seconds left. Whatever. And, then an overtime having an under the day before. So, this Radford team can rot in a special place but I do think five is too many points and Charlotte plays so slow and methodical that I think any case that you can get this many points, especially in such an important tournament, I think you’re probably good.

T.J. Rives:

Very interesting. There’s some conversation in the chat obviously all the time but especially about this game. Some interest in it as well for Radford on the side out of the Big South. They had a 20 win season in the Big South. They’re regionally a little closer to Daytona. So, semifinal game. Charlotte obviously close to Daytona as well. Charlotte and Radford playing on the neutral floor for a spot in the CBI tournament final.

All right. One more game to discuss. We’ll get to some live Q and A in a few moments, some futures plays and more. Again, Matty Cox on Radford plus three. There is plus four or five out there now, including on the BetUS line. Again, we do this. We say this all the time. We do this about an hour before the show where the handicappers have to lock in at a certain price for the graphics that you see and everything that we’re doing. You can get Radford right now at four, four and a half, BetUS line included, for this game tonight. So, there you go. Official play from Matty Cox.

All right. One more game to discuss. It’s the NIT game between Wisconsin and Oregon that’ll play on Tuesday night in Eugene. Oregon four and a half point home favorite. Total is 134 in this matchup. Corby Craig, thoughts on this one tonight as the NIT progresses along here with a quarterfinal in Eugene, Oregon?

Corby Craig:

Yeah. Somebody likes Wisconsin because they’re just also getting steamed. I believe it’s the same group betting everybody.

Matty Cox:

Yep.

Corby Craig:

But, Wisconsin’s down to two and a half at this point. I see somebody in the chat and it’s nice to have people around looking at sports books because I can’t. I’m on this. But, it says… Trevor said Bet Online still has a four. So, haven’t looked at the BetUS line, but maybe you can grab a better line at BetUS. Not all markets are going to move to the steam of these groups.

Matty Cox:

[inaudible 00:15:01]

Corby Craig:

So, be sure to shop around and look and try to get the best line. I don’t tend to agree with the Wisconsin steam. I think that Oregon is probably a good enough team to stop Wisconsin in most cases. This being such a low total, [inaudible 00:15:15] worried about any points at all. So, four was a rough number. I think if you can get Oregon at a two, you’re plenty fine. So, I’ll be looking to back Oregon if this thing continues to fall down.

T.J. Rives:

Again, it’s an Oregon team that beat UCF in the last go round at home in Eugene. Now they host Wisconsin, Matty Cox. And, the BetUS number again is four and a half. That’s the latest I see, that Wisconsin is getting four and a half in this matchup. All right. Thoughts, Matty Cox, on this NIT game?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I could maybe understand the Wisconsin money. I mean, I’ve been a Wisconsin hater all year and I’ve been mostly… One of the few things I’ve been right about. But, they looked like a completely different team the last two games. They beat Bradley and Liberty. Liberty was closer, but Bradley comfortably. Two teams that had a lot to play for, [inaudible 00:16:01] mid-major programs looking to prove themselves, two teams that have been good start to finish all season. So, maybe you get a little bit of a buy low.

We’ve seen some of these kind of middling power conference teams make non-NCAA tournament postseason runs and maybe you can argue that Wisconsin is on that same archetype. I’m just not all the way convinced that they’re there yet and this also could be a sell of Oregon who’s had some behind the scenes stuff that’s been going on there. I just feel like Altman, his disdain for the team and how they’ve been inconsistent, the injuries coupled upon that… There’s a few things that add up toward Wisconsin. But, again, I don’t like Wisconsin. I’ve been burned far too many times trusting them. Just not a talented team. But, again, maybe. I think the current form probably is the better point there.

T.J. Rives:

Corby, you had something else?

Corby Craig:

Yeah. I also don’t like Wisconsin but I thought it would be fun to note because I’ve talked about this kid all year. Did y’all see Andrew Rohde for St. Thomas is transferring? He’s in the portal and Wisconsin is the only place that makes sense. So, if he goes to Wisconsin, I think next year I got to be a Wisconsin Badger.

Matty Cox:

Yeah.

Corby Craig:

Because, that’s my guy.

Matty Cox:

That’s true.

Corby Craig:

But, he is… He is a good point guard and I’m excited to watch him.

T.J. Rives:

And, again for the Badgers, Chucky Hepburn is the guy that scored 27 in the win over Liberty. Interesting for Wisconsin. They won both of the games at home previously. Now they’re traveling out to Eugene where Oregon’s already won a couple of home games to play as the road team. No official play but we gave you a lot of info there on that NIT matchup. We’re here to service you. Again, we’ll talk more about the Sweet 16 games obviously as we get into tomorrow and then make official plays on them for the Thursday show. We’re also here Friday. All of it at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.

All right, guys. So, let’s get to some questions and answers. Trevor wants to know. You were mentioning Trevor in the live chat about futures talk that he’s interested in some of the futures play. You were asking me what Princeton is on the BetUS futures line. Princeton right now at 150 to one still. Not being thought of very highly obviously as a 15 seed that is still left. Interesting. Alabama at the top is plus 375. Houston right after that at four to one. But, right in the middle… I mean, you’ve got some interesting ones, like San Diego State playing Alabama. They are 40 to one to win the NCAA tournament. Miami, 50 to one. They have Houston immediately and then potentially Texas as the two seed after that. But, Miami right now a 50 to one.

Guys, thoughts on some futures right now where you can still get them with four games to go until somebody wins the national title. Any thoughts, Matty Cox, on future plays?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. In this bracket… Again, with all the futures at this point in the tournament for all regions, make sure you do some back of the napkin math with the money line prices. It’s not anything very complicated when you basically have two games to begin. So, just a reminder on that. Don’t take a stale number on a future when you can just basically bet the team you want to bet on a future money line back to back games.

I am not touching San Diego State. I know there could be some value. I’d argue they have some potential matchup concerns for Alabama, but every time we try and nitpick this Alabama team, it’s like they just… They go out and win by 30. I mean, their only losses this year were or struggles were in that kind of latter part of the season with the Brandon Miller stuff. Got waxed by Oklahoma in that, what I would call a throwaway non-conference game. Just a weird one-off result. But, yeah. They look like they’re back to just beating the absolute crap out of people now. If you’re laying… I’m sorry. If you’re taking the points with San Diego State or betting them on a future, I would say good luck to you. I look to bet Creighton or just stay away here.

T.J. Rives:

All right. Interesting that in the East bracket… And, why don’t we do this, Kevin? Go ahead and put the East bracket up here for a minute on the futures plays and the BetUS odds. Again, this is Florida Atlantic, Tennessee, Kansas State, Michigan State in the East bracket, that for Tennessee… I want to get all of my numbers correct here. On the futures play right now, they are 11 to one, plus 1100. Michigan State still 25 to one to win the national title as the seven seed out of that bracket. Michigan State is the only program out of this group of four that’s been in the Final Four. It’s the only one that’s won an Elite Eight game. Corby Craig, thoughts on Tennessee, Michigan State futures just real quick? And, somebody’s got to emerge out of the East bracket.

Corby Craig:

Yeah. Out of this bracket, I kind of like… I’m assuming you’re getting a really good number for FAU at probably 40 to one.

T.J. Rives:

FAU. I’m looking. Is in fact 40 to one. Good call for the Owls.

Corby Craig:

Yeah. So, I think you’re getting a good number there. They’re going to be a five point dog versus Tennessee. And, then what would they be versus Kansas State? Michigan State, probably five and a half, six versus Kansas State, and [inaudible 00:20:47].

Matty Cox:

Ooh. I bet it’s lower.

Corby Craig:

[inaudible 00:20:49]

Matty Cox:

[inaudible 00:20:48] lower I think against.

Corby Craig:

[inaudible 00:20:50]

Matty Cox:

Tennessee, I think the market has priced in the clouds. Yeah. I’m with you. I like FAU.

Corby Craig:

Yeah. [inaudible 00:20:53] Trying to be as generous as possible. I think you’re getting a decent number at 40 to one, FAU. Usually, mechanical parlays, as Matt talked about, is going to be the easiest way to do it and probably get the best number because holds on futures are crazy. But, 40 to one for this FAU team who’s looked good. Tennessee, they’re rough around the edges. I mean, you know what you’re going to get. If they’re allowed to play rugby, then yeah, they win this game. But, if it’s a basketball game, I think Tennessee struggles. I’ve been betting overs in Tennessee games, just assuming that at some point these referees have to catch up on the foul calling and you’re going to get a lot of free throws and if FAU has the ability to do that, I think they can win that Tennessee game easy. And, then you’re sitting at 40 one in the Elite Eight and I think you’re in a pretty good spot.

Matty Cox:

Yeah. They should be.

T.J. Rives:

[inaudible 00:21:34]

Matty Cox:

Just for reference, they should be about a pick or… Well, technically they should be around a pick against Kansas State or Michigan State. They’re rated about the same in Kenpom and Michigan State’s been shaded up pretty heavily. I would guess they’re a short dog to both those. So, yeah. I love the value here on FAU. It’s been my darling team all tournament. I think they’re a real sleeper.

T.J. Rives:

The only other team out of that bracket while we look at it that we didn’t talk about on a futures is Kansas State, 30 to one. Still, off the win over Kentucky. Again, Michigan State. Very pricey at 25 to one, sitting there with the experience of Izzo and his team coming on. Let’s see. But, keep in mind. Again, these are futures to win the national title. Izzo’s only got the one national title win for all the March success. 2000 in Indianapolis against the Florida Gators is the only national title win for Izzo. They’ve been there. They’ve been in the title game several times since then, but not been able to hoist the trophy, cut the nets down, for a futures play.

Let’s look at one more bracket that will be interesting here and that is the Midwest bracket. Again, Houston and Miami, Xavier and Texas. So, Kevin, nice job there on the Midwest. Right in the middle. Houston, Miami, Xavier and Texas for future plays for a moment. We told you Miami is 40 to one. Houston right now at four to one, as you would expect. Texas at eight and a half to one is interesting. Xavier on down a bit is 30 to one. Thoughts on this, Corby Craig, on futures numbers there? Texas might be interesting as that two seed.

Corby Craig:

I would go opposite. I would go Xavier 30 to one. I like this Xavier team. Sean Miller is a great coach and they looked good. I saw a stat in the Pitt game that they had like I think 26… Their first 26 points, every single one had an assist connected to it, which is impressive. 30 to one. I expected this number to be closer to 18. I haven’t looked at any of these. Just when you were talking, I assumed 18. I believe Xavier to the Final Four before the bracket started was 11 to one and I think I only know this because I’m sitting on one. And so, if you’re getting a better number at this point.

T.J. Rives:

Well, right now you can get it at 30 to one. So, it was 11 to one but now it’s 30 to one because they know it’s Texas and potentially Houston that’s in that pod. Right?

Corby Craig:

Yeah, which would make no sense because that’s basically what you assumed in pre-bracket draw, so.

T.J. Rives:

Well, right. True. True.

Corby Craig:

If you’re getting 30 to one, I think that’s a really good number for an Xavier team who is… I mean, do I think that they make it? No, but they have a lot of chance.

T.J. Rives:

Matty Cox, any thought on a futures play out of the Midwest between Houston, Miami, Xavier and Pitt?

Matty Cox:

Yeah.

T.J. Rives:

Or, I’m sorry. Xavier and Texas. My bad. Xavier and Texas.

Matty Cox:

Yeah. Texas would be who I’d go with here. I’m not as impressed with Xavier. I just don’t think it’s that great and they exposed a bad team in a favorable matchup and then they should have lost to Kennesaw, to be honest. However, I think people have been sleeping on them in general. The team that’s more value in my opinion is Texas. Just looked like a different beast. I think beating Penn State in the way that they did… I know Penn State got that late game nonsense cover, but that was mega impressive. And, Houston, while they came back against Auburn and were making shots for once, to be down at half to that Auburn team, who I’ve not been a fan of all year, was a little discouraging and I think Houston’s still the best team but Texas has the best value in this region from a futures perspective.

T.J. Rives:

All right. Again, I see our live audience number is growing. We’re still going to be here for a few more minutes. Get us a live question or two if you still have those here in the chat. We’re here all the way this week at 11:00 a.m. as you see on the screen. We’re here at 11:00 a.m. weekdays all the way through the Final Four in Houston. We’re going to be here for you, peeps, and plenty coming on the Sweet 16. Obviously, we’ll ramp it up a little bit Wednesday but there’s going to be official handicapping plays on Thursday to get you ready. We’ll be talking about Thursday and Friday games that are coming up.

While we have a moment, get a live question or two in. Let’s put another bracket up and this one is the South bracket. Let’s go to the South bracket where Alabama plays San Diego State, Creighton plays Princeton. We already made reference to a couple of those futures that are there in that bracket. Alabama is plus 375 right now. San Diego State head to head with them is plus 4000 or 40 to one. Creighton, interesting, is 10 to one, while Princeton all the way at the bottom is 150 to one. Interesting thought. Matty Cox, thought on Creighton, who played very well against Baylor? 22 of 22 from the foul line. Experienced coach in Greg McDermott. Kalkbrenner the big man, Nembhard at guard. I mean, they are… They are talented and an interesting future play at 10 to one right now. What do you think, Matty Cox?

Matty Cox:

Yes, they are and I think they probably get by Princeton, although Princeton’s a real threat. I think people think that was kind of a fluky run, but I tend to think there’s some real momentum with how they’re playing. Tough to prepare for, although with the time off that McDermott has coming in with the timing, right? It’s not a round of 32 [inaudible 00:26:31] games, the Sweet 16 game. Good coach. I’m not as worried about the 15 seed biting me like maybe you were worried about with St. Peter’s last year.

But, again, just betting against Alabama in this region, I can’t get there. I think the value play is probably Creighton but betting against Bama just seems like a fool’s errand at this point.

T.J. Rives:

Corby Craig, any thoughts here on the South bracket and the value on Creighton maybe? We haven’t had a… We haven’t really discussed them a bunch over the last couple of days. Any thought, Corby, on the Creighton Bluejays?

Corby Craig:

Yeah. I tend to agree. Creighton’s probably the side but the side gets vanished. All value’s gone when it loses. So, I don’t think I want to bet against Alabama by any means.

T.J. Rives:

Yep. They are definitely the favorite team out of that bracket in Louisville. It will be interesting to see how they play in that venue with the pressure being ramped up. One more. All right. So, while we’re at it, let’s just show you the West bracket as well. Kevin, if you can go to the West bracket. These games in Las Vegas with Arkansas playing UCONN and then the two seed UCLA playing Gonzaga in the West. You see them right there in the middle of the screen in the Sweet 16.

The futures odds. Again, UCLA at plus 750, seven and a half to one. Gonzaga, 10 to one. That is enticing. That’s me saying that. I’ll see what the handicappers think in a second. UCONN also 10 to one and Arkansas, 30 to one out of this West bracket. Corby Craig, a quick thought on Arkansas getting 30 to one and the Gonzaga…? Still… Still holding at 10 to one there because of their path, having to go through UCLA. Corby, a thought?

Corby Craig:

Yeah. They have the toughest path in the nation and it was noted before the bracket even got set. Gonzaga was going to have quite the road. So, I don’t… I don’t… I’m not too surprised by that 10 to one. UCLA is the favorite in this game, though curious injury information. I haven’t really kept too close with UCLA injury updates, but I do think Gonzaga has the team. They can get it done. They have worried me so far in this tournament. They’ve had some struggles. They ended up looking good versus TCU at the end of the game.

But the top of this bracket is the more interesting game. UCONN Arkansas I think is going to be a really good game. People are sleeping on Arkansas. Arkansas for quite some time now has looked a lot better. Since Nick Smith came back, this team has been… They have all the talent output to beat a lot of teams. I’ve heard a lot of media at this point saying that UCONN’s the most impressive team in the nation so far and now to run into the brick wall of Arkansas, right? As they get the media hype. Just seems like the most UCONN thing that could happen.

So, excited. I think if Gonzaga can get the UCLA win, they get UCONN or an Arkansas team that they can beat and slip into the Final Four. Also, I love in the back end. The people on YouTube can’t see this, but we have convinced the media team, Kevin and everybody behind the scenes, Gonzaga’s going to win this thing too. They told us to talk about it and said [inaudible 00:29:18]. There they are. Gonzaga, our national champs. So, we got everybody on the bandwagon this year.

T.J. Rives:

All right. So, Matty Cox, any thought on the futures in the West bracket, including Arkansas still being 30 to one?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I think Arkansas is a pretty good bet here but I also think UCONN’s the best overall team. That’s even with UCLA in the field because UCLA’s injuries give me some concern and I think Gonzaga’s probably the best value pick here to be honest. Arkansas in their tournament format certainly has been successful and the way Arkansas proves that they can slow down Gonzaga last year I think gives them a little bit of momentum here. But, man, UCONN. St. Mary’s and Iona. Two of the best coached teams in college basketball [inaudible 00:30:00] should have given them matchup issues. Won both those comfortably. I might go with UCONN here.

T.J. Rives:

They shot the ball incredibly well in both of those games in Albany and if that continues, UCONN going be very tough to beat for anybody, for Alabama, for Houston. Pick one. Michigan State, Tennessee. All over the board. Besides UCLA or Gonzaga if UCONN shoots like that. Let’s see if it can continue in the new venue. They got to go all the way from the northeast all the way out to Las Vegas, as does Arkansas. Again, Gonzaga, UCLA are regionally closer for those games coming up in the West. Great stuff there on that discussion.

Real quick on the Q and A. Several people, because Corby’s not on the show tomorrow, they know your allegiance is with UAB. Handicap it, though. The NIT matchup with Vanderbilt. Give them a quick handicap, Corby Craig.

Corby Craig:

It’s a tough one, T.J. I’m not going to lie to you. Listen, I like to consider myself not biased at all. That’s a [inaudible 00:30:54].

T.J. Rives:

That’s like saying you’re not dark headed at all. Yeah.

Corby Craig:

Yeah.

T.J. Rives:

I mean, obviously you’re biased. You’ve been biased for five months. Continue.

Corby Craig:

Yeah. I think this is a tough matchup, though I do think that Vandy doesn’t really have the bigs to stop Trey Jemison down low and we kind of saw in the Michigan game. They would just keep going to Hunter Dickinson over and over because they have no bigs. The issue is UAB is a mostly guard-heavy team, pretty long athletic guards, but Vandy fits that notion really well and I think that they have the guys to stay in front of Jelly and if somebody like a Todd Brewer who had 27 in their last game… If he can step up again, I think that we have a chance. But, I don’t think that that’s the case in most options, honestly. Two felt like a really soft line. I think Vandy has to be the side at two.

T.J. Rives:

Yeah. I’m seeing on the BetUS line, it’s pick right now. It’s a pick em.

Corby Craig:

[inaudible 00:31:41]

T.J. Rives:

Anything on the total as well? Total looks like 152 and a half, 153.

Corby Craig:

I think if it plays to 153, UAB had their way and they were able to do what they wanted to do. Vandy, I don’t think wants to play this game in the 153 range. I would lean towards an under because I do think that Vandy’s going to be able to stop them and lean towards… If it’s pick em, I probably would be on Vanderbilt, to be honest.

T.J. Rives:

And, again, Memorial Gym. Different because the benches are on the ends, so it is a little quirky with that. We’ll see how that part works out. Matty Cox, I don’t know if you have any thought. That’s obviously tomorrow for UAB and Vandy. Before we get there. Corby not on the show tomorrow. Anything else there, Matty Cox, on that?

Matty Cox:

No. Yeah. Just money coming in pretty heavily on UAB and I agree that the Blazers seem to be respected by those out there that know what they’re doing.

Corby Craig:

I’ll take it. I’ll take it.

T.J. Rives:

The live chat. Interesting. There was a debate, a poll question going on about right now who would you take on the futures. Alabama, Houston, UCLA or other. It is right now either Alabama, the prohibitive favorite, or everybody taking somebody other than Houston or UCLA in our live chat, for what it’s worth. Most people are thinking that it could be a surprise and obviously somebody’s got to come out of the East out of Florida Atlantic, Tennessee, Michigan State, Kansas State. That’s going to have the same puncher’s chance to be able to convert at the Final Four.

All right. I think we are good. Let’s go back and take a look at our best bets here for a Tuesday show. Here’s what the handicappers are officially on. Three different plays. They are both on the same game in the CBI tournament. Corby with an under in the first half, Matty Cox on the side of Southern Utah. And, then the other CBI game, Matty Cox is also interested in Radford on the side. And, look at that. We’re giving you the five points. Now the BetUS line is plus five, Matty Cox, so we’ll give you the plus five in the matchup with Charlotte coming up tonight. So, some handicapping there as well for a Tuesday.

CBI games, NIT games. The real McCoy is back Thursday with the Sweet 16, Friday with four more games as well in the Sweet 16. We’re looking forward to all of those. Guys, great job today. Matty Cox, thank you. Corby Craig, thank you. Remember to check out our sportsbook webiste. You boys be well. Kevin and everybody at BetUS, great stuff. Again, we are gearing up for the Sweet 16 coming later this week. Find us at 11:00 a.m. weekdays. Make sure you hit the like button. Make sure you subscribe on the way out the door. We’re almost to 5,000 subs. Get us to 5,000 subscribers by this weekend of March Madness. I want to see it happen. We thank you for being with us on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

 

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