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College Basketball Picks, Predictions and Best College Basketball Odds [Jan. 10]

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College Basketball Picks, Predictions and Odds

TJ. Reeves:

Off another exciting weekend, here we are for a Monday on the  BetUS College Basketball show. I am merely the somewhat capable host, T.J. Reeves. These are our handicappers, we say hello to Mid Major Matt, Matt Josephs, and the Big Man On Campus, Jeff Nadu. Boys, hopefully you had a great weekend. There was a lot of exciting action. In particular, the Big 12, the ACC, some things really began to heat up. Big Man, we’ll start just with you first with an impression off the weekend. How are things?

Jeff Nadu:

Doing well? I think the prevailing thought as we start Conference play is how hard it is to win on the road. You’re going to be seeing this more and more and more. I mean, it is difficult to go on the road and win in college basketball. All you have to do is ask Kansas, who had to go on the road and lost in Lubbock. You look at a team in Texas who went on the road and lost in Stillwater. It’s not easy to win on the road, especially laying points. So it’s something that when you continue to see home teams, look, one last night prime example, it ended up being a push, but I mean, Maryland played super well against Wisconsin. So it’s real hard to win. And we’ve seen that before and we’re going to keep seeing it.

TJ. Reeves:

Alabama found that out at Missouri as well, as Missouri rose up and beat them. Mid Major Matt, how was the weekend? How’re you feeling?

Matt Josephs:

Feeling good. I’ve come to the fact that maybe the Big East is the best basketball conference in America right now. It feels like when it was with Syracuse. But I mean, you look at that top of that conference with all the teams like Seton Hall and Marquette and Nova and Providence and all these teams, the Big East is going to cannibalize itself, but it’s going to make itself a whole lot tougher, come March.

TJ. Reeves:

Well, and that Providence team with a solid win on the weekend as well. I’ve always been fond of Ed Cooley as a coach. Kind of underrated there and Providence rolling along too, along with the likes of Villanova and Xavier and others, Seton Hall, like you mentioned, that are there. We saw a great win from Miami. You mentioned tough to win on the road. Fascinating that Miami goes into Cameron as what? What were they? Like a 14 or 15 point underdog and beats Duke. And really this is almost a lost art. They out executed Duke with half court offense over and over again, down the stretch. I was very impressed with Jim Larranaga’s team, Charlie Moore, the point guard, any shot they wanted to get, off the dribble, off their set offense, they just seemed to get it. Big Man?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, that was one that if we had a Saturday show, I would’ve probably looked towards Miami. I didn’t understand that number. Look, Duke’s really good, I get it. But this is a decent Miami team, man. I mean 12 and three coming into the game, they obviously check all the boxes. When you back an underdog, do they turn it over? Do they make free throws? Do they make threes? All of which are chats. And you mentioned Charlie Moore. Charlie Moore, they never really got it. I think, Chris likes was terrific, but he couldn’t stay healthy, they didn’t get much out of him last year. Charlie Moore has been all over the place, started his career at Cal, then he went to Kansas, then he went to DePaul, and now he’s at Miami for his Senior Swan song.

Jeff Nadu:

He’s been very good for them and good for Larranaga for getting that. TJ, I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I tweeted it out. Miami was up one point. I grabbed them at four to one to win the basketball game and they were able to do it as well. So I was happy with that outcome, but yeah, I didn’t quite understand. Look, I get Duke probably would win and, and maybe win by 10, but I thought 15 was a little bit too many points in a Conference game against that good of a team.

TJ. Reeves:

Matt, do you have a thought on what we saw out of Miami, winning at Cameron, not an easy place to win?

Matt Josephs:

I’ll say this, I’ll look at Florida state tomorrow because this is the classic let down situation. Although it is a rivalry game and Florida State’s not great this year, so I’m hoping for our magical number. But how do you come down from going into Cameron and winning? So I’ll be interested to see what that Florida State line is for tomorrow’s game. And also by the way, don’t forget these guys right here. They were on a long pause and they came out and put up nearly like 150 on Pepperdine and scored like 70 in the first half. Gonzaga looked really good. They’ve got BYU this week and so we’ll see what happens. But after a long pause, you don’t usually see teams go nuts like Gonzaga did on Saturday.

TJ. Reeves:

Tells you what kind of firepower they have as well there. Can I just put one out there that we’re going to go over this numerous more times, I have been banging this drum for years and I think I’m going to get an amen from the congregation here and those watching us on the Bet US College Basketball show. Miami and Duke, latest example, both of them out of timeouts at the end of the game. If we’re going to go to any kind of a review, a review for the clock, a review for who’s the ball out of, for the love of all that’s holy, do not let the teams go huddle with their coach and diagram a play.

TJ. Reeves:

At the end of the Duke game, the ball went out of bounds. With less than a second left, they’re trying to figure out, are we putting two tents back on? Are we not? They let Coach K huddle up and I’m not just saying him, I’m saying for anybody, it drives me bonkers. Why are we keeping track of timeouts? If you’re going to let people go over and huddle up on a review, why have timeouts? It’s maddening because Duke got a good look at the end of that game when they did not have a timeout left.

Jeff Nadu:

I think you know why that happened. I mean, that guy on the sidelines gets whatever he wants. So yeah, I hear you though. They do that a lot where you have a certain amount of a lot of timeouts and there’s constant going to the reviews. Look, going to reviews are for going to reviews plays, you can’t use it to go to review constantly at the end of the game. There has to be some sort of, right, we’re just going to let it go and go what it is. But yeah, you’re right. Look, TJ, if I could say two things real quick about two teams that were impressive. Look, you mentioned banging the drum. I’m going to keep banging the drum for LSU. This team’s really good, man, like really good. And you’re still getting decent numbers in the long term markets to bet online this team. They don’t always look aesthetically pleasing, right?

Jeff Nadu:

I don’t know if they have a really great offensive player. They have a lot of really good players that are pogo stick athletes, they’re great defenders. Hopefully Xavier Pinson’s injury isn’t something long term. I know he wasn’t… In fact, I saw him at one point, he looked pretty emotional on the bench. Hopefully, that’s not a long term thing. It looks like it’s an MCL strain. So not terrible, I guess, but they’re a team that’s really good long term.

Jeff Nadu:

One other quick point. What an impressive performance from San Diego State over the weekend. Look, I heard a lot of people telling everyone how great Colorado State was, but there’s something that you just can’t bet into, and that’s that home crowd. I know they didn’t necessarily have all their students there on Saturday, but that is one of the toughest places to play. I’ve been to that arena. It’s an arena designed where all the sound goes downward. It’s like a bowl type of stadium. It’s very difficult to go play and win there. And they took it to a really good Colorado State team. It’s Brian Dutcher, the Steve Fisher prodigy, the same defensive team, they are nails on that end. What a performance in that game?

TJ. Reeves:

They win it by 20. Yeah, go ahead.

Matt Josephs:

I’ll add two other teams that were impressive. We’ll go a little bit off the radar here. VCU, I mean, getting the win at Dayton and then getting a win at La Salle. Now look, beating La Salle’s nothing, but to come off the huge win at UD arena and then to go to La Salle and get the win. And they still don’t have all their pieces back. Levi Stockard’s still on the COVID protocol. I think the Rams are a definite sleeper when it comes to the A10, because that press, the way they play. Now, look, if you get them in a half court game, their half court offense is still atrocious, but if they turn you over and start speeding things up, that’s going to be a really tough team.

Matt Josephs:

And then look, I’ve got to give a shout out to Temple, Damien Dunn with two shots at the buzzer to win at UCF and to beat East Carolina at home. I mean, I know those aren’t exactly earth shattering wins, but Temple’s going to scare some teams in the AAC with that talent that they have. And they’re a growing team that unfortunately, without Battle being there, they missed that dynamic of point guard back court. But Temple and VC are two teams you may want to start looking at potentially in certain situations to back.

Jeff Nadu:

The problem that, and he is so right with Dunn. The problem McKie’s going to have is keeping him at Temple. I mean, there’s going to be all sorts of big programs, they’re going to want to try to come down and grab him. Similar situation to Jayden Gardner at East Carolina, he’s obviously a little bit older, but yeah, I’m hoping McKie can keep Dunn out. I think he’s the next great player at Temple. And Matt, he is so astute with his staff as always VCU. I mean, you look at that Conference, I think, do you trust St. Bonaventure right now? I mean, long term, VCU looks like a really good back. I mean, even a team like David’s, who has that great offense and are well coached.

Jeff Nadu:

If I told you, VCU is one of the best defenses in the country, would you believe me? Well, they are. And I know they haven’t necessarily played great competition recent, but this is a team that when you look at their defensive numbers, they played Baylor, okay. They played Yukon, they played Syracuse, and quite frankly, they held Baylor to 69 points, and Yukon at 70. That’s pretty impressive. This defense is legitimate under Mike Rhoades. And they look like that havoc team that we remember under Shaka Smart many years ago. Keep an eye on that group, good call.

TJ. Reeves:

If you told me that, I would believe you. I would believe in Major Matt as well. The American Conference is one more thing on that. I know there are people watching us going, “Where’s the handicapping? Where’s the picks?” We’re coming people. It’s a shorter card today. We’re coming to it, get a couple of questions ready in the Question and Answer session too. We’ll get to that in a second.

TJ. Reeves:

But the American Conference, I was talking with Dave Woloshin, the play by play voice of the Memphis Tigers. I was on with him on his show, Memphis beat Cincinnati on the weekend. He said, “I don’t know how many people realize, but the Americans got six teams right now in the top 70 of the net.” Temple, I believe is also one of them, along with the likes of Houston. And I’m going to leave one out, SMU, whoever else they have. Six in the top 70. So that is a Conference that, it’s not just going to be a one-bid league, but it might end up being a three-bid league, depending if they continue to win and hang in there with what happens. So the American Conference has got good basketball going as well right now.

Jeff Nadu:

Also, real quick, final point on long term, whenever you’re betting online a future, so a team, let’s say it’s a 100 to one. Matt alluded to the fact that Brigham Young is going to play Gonzaga this week and then they got San Francisco. Listen, 100 to one is available right now in Brigham Young. If they go a beat Gonzaga, that number’s going to be chopped in a half, probably. You have to be [crosstalk 00:10:55]

TJ. Reeves:

You’re talking 100-1 to win the whole thing, is what you’re talking about?

Jeff Nadu:

Right. Correct. And look, every year, you can’t just bet on Kentucky and Duke to win the NCAA tournament, you’ve got to look outside the box. When we look at Brigham Young, they surely have some very good wins. I mean, beat San Diego State, beat Oregon, beat Utah State. They obviously have some big games on the dock. This is a huge game for them. So teams like that, you want to get out ahead. Now, look, losing the Gonzaga in San Francisco, they’re not going to move off 101. They lose those games, they’re going to stay where they are. But if you somehow could go in and beat Gonzaga in Spokane, which is obviously easier said than done, that number’s going to chop in half. So keeping an eye on that stuff is important as well.

TJ. Reeves:

Fair enough. UCF is the other team I left out. They have the win over Michigan. They’re looking good in the American too. So we’re covering the whole country here, kind of big picture broad. Let’s get to our records and congratulations to the guys. Another good Friday, if you were with us, a three and O Friday, Mid Major Matt, with a couple of wins. The Big Man was one for one on his picks. So you see, both of them are over 500 here at the moment and trending up. And that will lead us right into game number one. Again, it is a short card from our handicappers.

TJ. Reeves:

The first one here is a Southern Conference game with Western Carolina and East Tennessee State. We have talked about both of these teams on the show previously. Mid Major Matt has the play with the Buccaneers. I love my Tampa bay Buccaneers who finish as the number two seat in the NFC. And they’re going to play somebody’s Eagles, Matt and Jeff in the playoffs this week in the NFL. But this is the East Tennessee State Buccaneers laying nine and a half points. Our number is 151. Mid Major Matt, what is the play for you, sir?

Matt Josephs:

So at first, I looked at the game over and I said, “Eh, I don’t know, East Tennessee State’s offense isn’t great.” And then I looked at the East Tennessee State team total over and I was like, “Eh, they’ve gone over it.” But it’s kind of high. It was a little higher than I wanted. And I was like, “Well, let me look at Western Carolina.” And their offense, I mean, look, it’s not great. It’s not on any sort of levels here. I mean, there’s not a single bit of green on their side, but it’s good enough. If you look at this team right now, they’ve gone over this total of 70 or more. I got at 69 and a half. It’s a little higher now, 11 times this season.

Matt Josephs:

And it’s not a bad offense. And you look at East Tennessee State in the past, they’ve been really good on defense, but right now, they’re 311th in two point defense. They don’t have a big man right now because the big man that they originally thought they were going to have left the school. And then the other big man is still kind of rehabbing. He wasn’t available on Saturday, I don’t think he’ll be available for this one. So there’s no ring protector for East Tennessee State. Pace should be there. Last year, this was the higher scoring game between the two, was the one they played at East Tennessee State. So as I said, I got at 69 and half. It went up, I think it’s 71 now. I still think Western Carolina could provide some points here. The value’s gone on the game over because I don’t trust East Tennessee State’s offense. But I think Western Carolina could put up some points here and I took their team total over in this one.

TJ. Reeves:

Jeff Nadu, do you have a thought here, if no official play on this matchup?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, this is an angle that I bet last week with Virginia Military Institute in a very similar spot with a similar number against Eastern Tennessee State. This is a group that is not good enough to defensively and the VMI one came in. They’re not good defensively. He’s 100% right. But it’s not like they’re playing a murder’s row sketch. I mean, they gave up 79 to UNC Asheville. This is a team that struggle on the defensive end. And he mentioned the kids that are out. The kid, Charlie Weber, he’s out. He mentioned the kid that left school. So you’re right, they don’t have a ton of room to action. And Ty Brewer is more of a perimeter threat as opposed to a stand down low and block everybody that comes into the lane.

Jeff Nadu:

So yeah, I think this is a good one. I think the overplay has some value as well. West Carolina is not a good defensive team either. So yeah, I don’t know what books they continue to put these SoCo numbers in the 60s with some of these teams, they’re just too low. I think he has got a great player, I agree.

TJ. Reeves:

Okay. So let’s lock it in. And Mid Major Matt is on the Catamounts of Western Carolina and their team total in the Monday night matchup at East Tennessee State. They’re in the Southern Conference. Again, get your questions and answers ready. Several of you are already doing that in the live chat because you only see one more game officially on our sleep from our handicappers. That game is a battle in the Dakotas, University of North Dakota hosting South Dakota. And South Dakota comes in as a five point favorite here, the total at 147 and a half. The Big Man On Campus has a play on this game. Jeff Nadu, what do you like?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, one of my favorite pastimes is when we get to Conference play, betting against North Dakota. This team defensively early over the years has been quite shocking, actually. I didn’t know that they could have actually gotten worse than they were defensively last year, but hey, here we are. This is the worst team statistically in the country in defensive deficiency, there’s nobody worse. Matt, I know you would know this, I never thought that a team would actually be worse than Mississippi Valley State defensively, but, hey, here we are, as I said. This is a dreadful defense in North Dakota.

Jeff Nadu:

I’ve watched them a few times defensively, and it’s a lay line against this group. You look at over the last seven games, they’ve allowed 85 points per game. Again, that’s per game. That’s not in one or two games, it’s per game. They can’t guard to anything, from three, from two, it really doesn’t matter. And look, South Dakota, am I going to write home and say, this is a great team under Todd Lee. No, I’m not. But you look at when they play lower end competition, let’s not talk about the latest three games in Conference because those are against all three decent teams, particularly two in which, Oral Roberts and South Dakota. But UMKC is a low speed team, they’re great defensively.

Jeff Nadu:

You look at some of the games they played Bellarmine, Northern Arizona, even Nebraska, Tennessee State, Southern. I mean, they did some good things offensively, and I think in score here, you’re going to be able to do what you want to do against North Dakota. So for me, pretty simple, I think South Dakota gets back on the horse tonight and does some good things offensively and probably surely push 80 here. Again, the team that’s going to give up 80, like it’s their day job. South Dakota team total, 76 and a half over the number tonight. I’ll continue to bet against North Dakota, defensively.

TJ. Reeves:

Okay. So he is got a strategy there against, it’s anti North Dakota. Mid Major Matt, any thought on this?

Matt Josephs:

Summit League overs, that’s why I love this Conference. I mean, nobody plays defense and there’s some great scores. I mean, you look at Max A’s miss over at Oral Roberts, you look at some of these other guys, the Denver team total over I had on Saturday nearly hit it halftime. And Denver’s not exactly a great offensive team. My one worry is that South Dakota’s offense isn’t great and the pace that they play with is actually slower. So my one worry is sometimes when you go on the road, you want to have a team that wants to try and push it, or you want the team at home that tries to push it. But as he said, you can’t get much worse defensively, 358 is the low of the low. And so I’ll certainly trust him on this one.

Matt Josephs:

I just wish one of them was a little bit more pace hungry. But you look at the games last year. Last year, they were both high scoring games as well. And now, granted Rabacha was there for North Dakota, but I don’t see a problem with his play in this one.

TJ. Reeves:

All right, fair enough. Let’s lock it in for the Big Man and he is on the team total for South Dakota going against that North Dakota defense, that team total being 76 and a half on our Bet US line for his official play for this Monday.

TJ. Reeves:

Okay. So that’s it for the Official Plays, but let’s get to the Q&A and what some of the folks that are out there watching us. And again, thank you to all of us. We had a lot of people that were waiting for the show to begin. We’re here, one Eastern time, Monday through Friday, all the way through the college basketball season, which means all the way through March, you’re going to find us, be able to count on us at one Eastern time here. So we get to the Q&A and some of the peeps have questions about certain games here. We’ll take a look at what a couple of people have for tonight. One is Phillip. He says, “Hey, how is Prairie View at Owen 13 still favored by 11 and a half over Arkansas-Pine Bluff?” He says, “I know they’re bad. But wow, for a team that’s not won a game, it seems like a lot of points.” Jeff, you chuckled, what about this here on Prairie View?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, so this is an interesting game that I’m sure I’m glad someone brought up. So Prairie Review is the only winless team in America. There’s nobody that’s winless outside to them. We talked about how… Look, their schedule’s murder. Now, how they went on at home, how they lost to Mississippi Valley, I have no idea. They were, I think, 19 point favorites and I’m blown away they lost, quite frankly. I would have to imagine the ears are perked up at this point. The reason they’re a favorite of this numbers, because Pine Bluff is really bad. But I guess, my thought on Prairie View is maybe they’re not as good as I thought they’d be in this Conference. They did lose Cameron Mack, who was really good for them. And maybe they’re just not the same team.

Jeff Nadu:

But yeah, look for me, I think you just have to realize that in this Conference, Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley are just on different levels than everybody else. I get your sentiment. You don’t want to lay 13 with a team like this, but again, they are, if you can believe it, one of the better teams in this Conference. But yeah, it’s not easy to do.

TJ. Reeves:

Interesting. Matt, any thought here about this? I mean, granted, it’s a lot of points for a winless team.

Matt Josephs:

No, not really. I mean, I’m just looking at Pine Bluffs page on Kenpo. They’re better offense technically than you would think, 77 at Creighton, 71 at Carolina State and 71 against Texas Southern. So they’re not a bad offense. I know their team total’s probably around 69, 70. And it’s not like Prairie View plays any defense. And we certainly know that this game’s going to have a lot of pace considering Prairie View’s the home team and their sixth in adjusted tempo. So I would consider maybe team total over for Pine Bluff because their offense isn’t atrocious, but I would not play anything in this game.

Jeff Nadu:

Keep in mind, when Pine Bluff lose, it is generally by a lot. Now, again, that was really good competition beating them, but I mean, they lost to Alabama and A&M by 20, I mean that’s kind of bottom of the barrel. They lost to Seattle by 21, specific at 24. I mean, when they lose, they get crushed. Listen, I’ll tell you right now to whoever who asked this, I wouldn’t be taking Pine Bluff here, personally. If I’m playing it, it’d be Prairie View or I would just look elsewhere.

TJ. Reeves:

So one of those teams is Texas Southern that just played Arkansas-Pine Bluff and beat them by 19. That’s the same Texas Southern team that Florida at Florida back a few weeks ago, but they took a loss. I mean, welcome to Conference play. I was thinking about this when you said, how does Mississippi Valley State beat Prairie View that badly when they were that big of an underdog? Conference play, you got to be careful in Conference play. So another viewer that’s watching is Joseph. He says, “Hey, Texas, Southern Mississippi Valley State. Do we now have a thought on that after Mississippi Valley State won in the SWAC?” Either one of you?

Jeff Nadu:

I wouldn’t put too much stock in the fact that Texas Southern lost to Southern. Southern’s pretty good as well. And they’re going to be towards the top of this league. Got great guard play, so I wouldn’t… That’s not that bad, 250 points was bad. I mean, that’s not something you want, but they followed it up with two wins. Look, Mississippi Valley just had their Super Bowl win. Okay. They won, They’re on the road against one of the besties of this Conference. Now, basically, 36 hours later, you got to come over and play another really good team on the road. So yeah, this is probably where Texas Southern cruises and wins by 30. If you’re going to bet something in the SWAC tonight, this is what I would, I would play personally.

Jeff Nadu:

Texas Southern has ability. You look at both… I think they played one game last year against PSCI and won 82 45. So yeah, I’d lean Texas Southern here. I think they represent this Conference in the tournament. So they should be able to handle Mississippi Valley off a huge win. I mean, how late was Mississippi Valley celebrating? They haven’t won in like six years, I feel like. So, all right.

TJ. Reeves:

I don’t know. Is that number confirmed? I’m not sure that that number’s confirmed. It sounded made up. Let’s continue here. Somebody’s actually got a question just on Penn State, not a specific game. Alex wants to know how impressed are you with Penn State. Micah Shrewsbury, is he going to turn that program around? They do have a win over Indiana. What? A week ago? Anybody with an opinion on Penn State here on the show?

Jeff Nadu:

I mean, there are a 500 team. I’m not trying to battle that on this commenter, but I mean, there’s nothing much that’s really impressive, I guess, beating Indiana at home’s cool. But I mean, you win at home. I mean, that’s what happens in that Conference. I don’t know about Matt, but I don’t know how impressed I should be. I mean, there’s seven and six. I think they’re a middling big 10 team, I think that’s what they are.

Matt Josephs:

That sounds about right.

TJ. Reeves:

They play Rutgers coming on Tuesday. Right now, two and three in the big 10. Matt, anything else on Penn State or no?

Matt Josephs:

Sounds about right. And Rutgers has a game in Happy Valley. So I’d probably maybe lean towards Penn State because Rutgers is not as good outside the rack. But yeah, it’s a mediocre team. It’s a team that’s going to win some game. They’ll probably pull an upset, but they’ll also potentially lose to somebody they shouldn’t.

Jeff Nadu:

But to answer the question, how impressed am I? Not at all. I mean, they do nothing for me. I’m not going to bet them generally ever. I don’t think Shrewsberry is a long answer for them. I’m sure they want better, but they just have to realize that this basketball program’s never going to be what the football program is to them. And that’s kind of how they treat it, I think.

TJ. Reeves:

Fair enough. Mark is watching says, “Guys, thoughts on Wofford and UNC Greensboro, please.” Major Matt, you got anything there? No official play. You got anything there?

Matt Josephs:

I tried to fade Wofford on Saturday with this East Tennessee State team, it didn’t work out for me. I’m just… Wofford’s okay but they don’t play defense. They’re 304th and two point percent, 334th and three point percent defense. The one thing you know is that Greensboro’s going to slow the game down. They’re going to make it ugly. De’Monte Buckingham, who’s on like his seventh team. I feel like, in college basketball, he’s a really good player. They were coming off a very nice win in Lexington against VMI. I don’t necessarily understand why Greensboro is a home dog in this one. I would lean that way, but I didn’t play it.

TJ. Reeves:

Jeff Nadu, anything else on that?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, it’s well said. I mean, when you look at Wofford, I think you’ll see these… Look at their schedules. There’s a lot of variance. Like they’ll win and beat Richmond and then they’ll… Or they’ll lose to Richmond, then they’ll beat two teams, then they’ll lose another. They’re very volatile due to their three point stuff. If you look at Virginia Tech, they’re similar teams, remember or Mike Young used to be at Wofford, now, he’s at Virginia Tech. They’re the same team. If they don’t make threes, they can be atrocious, quite honestly.

Jeff Nadu:

I remember last year, prime example, this is crazy guys, listen to this. So middle of January, around the same time last year, they played the back to backs in the SoCo. Wofford went in and played Greensboro. First game, 84-75 fun game back and forth. Three days later, they play each other. It’s 48-45. It was a totally.. There’s a total volatility involved in Wofford.

TJ. Reeves:

They turned the shot clock off in that game. What happened there? Do we have an investigation?

Jeff Nadu:

I think they were like four for 25 from three. When they don’t make threes, they can get run out of the building or just look really bad offensively. And Greensboro’s a great three point defense. They really take you off the line. And it seems like if you could take Wofford off the three point line, you’re going to have some excuse. Guys, I would lean Greensboro here. I think it’s a good spot for them at home. Always a good three point defense under Mike Jones.

TJ. Reeves:

Okay. Oregon and Oregon State are slated to play tonight. Again, the PAC 12 is trying to make some games up. So the battle of Oregon, they used to call the football rivalry the civil war. Now they don’t want to call that in these politically correct times, they don’t want to call it that anymore. I don’t know if the basketball series was ever deemed that. This one though, in Corvallis. Interesting for Oregon State, they have been on pause, but they’ve won a couple of games after losing 10 in a row. Again, they were an NCAA tournament darling, last year, the Beavers. Oregon and Oregon State tonight, guys. Any thoughts on this? I know we don’t have an official play, but it’s probably the marquee game of the teams, at least in the west on a slower Monday night?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah. I mean, this is your prototypical why is that number what it is? I would be in Oregon State here, quite honestly. This is what matters for Oregon State. [crosstalk 00:28:18]

TJ. Reeves:

So we’re clear, they’re getting four and a half at home. So we’re clear, Oregon State. Go ahead.

Jeff Nadu:

This is what they are. They’re not ever going to be… I mean, they weren’t that large team last year. They won their Conference tournament and got in the NCAA tournament and made an unbelievable run. Okay. Are they a great team? No, not this year, but they weren’t last year either. This is what they do. They’re going to try to compete in Conference. But you ask yourself, I mean the whole world’s going to bet Oregon here. You know that. I guess, you’re really just asking yourself, “Do I want to get in bed with Oregon State?” But they played well recently. Two straight wins, beat a pretty good Utah team. And you can poo poo the win at Nicholls State, but Nicholls State is a damn good Southland team, as Matt knows. So yeah, I’d be on Oregon State here at home. This at any rate, I think it’s a close game. I don’t know if the Oregon magic is there. I think they’re a team that can have issues as well. So yeah, I lean Oregon State here.

TJ. Reeves:

Again for Oregon State. Their last game was a win over Utah. And they had lost 10 in a row, they’ve now won two in a row. That win came right before new years, back about eight or nine days ago here. And again, give Wayne Tinkle’s program a little credit here because it could have, I guess, gone way south. They could correct a lot tonight if they get a win in the rivalry game with Oregon. Alatishe is the player that played well in the postseason last year. He had 16 in the win back for whatever it’s worth 10 days ago against Utah. Let’s see if he comes back around. You don’t know what you’re going to get here, Matt. Just one more thought on that because they’ve been on COVID pause for about 10 days here, Oregon State waiting to make this game up with Oregon.

Matt Josephs:

It’s a game I’m not going to get involved in tonight. The lean would probably be to Oregon State at home. Once again, I kind of look, maybe the students are back tonight. Who knows? That would be a nice to help with the atmosphere for this game. But who knows, Almond’s team always tend to flip the switch late on the season. So we don’t know if it’s time yet, or if there’s still going to be a sleepy team until maybe the middle of the month is more of their time. So too many question marks in this one. I kind of pass, but I would lean to Oregon State.

TJ. Reeves:

One more just from me here on the Q&A. UCLA, again, they came off the long pause. They did defeat Cal on the weekend. So Cal lost both games to USC and UCLA. Any thoughts on UCLA? I know Mick Cronin was saying, “Hey, we just had to get back into some kind of groove and play somebody besides scrimmaging and practicing with ourselves day in and day out.” Any thought on UCLA here and them coming around in January?

Jeff Nadu:

Yeah, they look good. I mean, they’re winning different types of games. Look, you go on the road and win against Cal who’s tough. I mean, they play hard. They got to give that Mark Fox team credit. It’s not pretty, but they got the job done. And that’s the kind of games Mick Cronin’s used to. These 96, 90 games, he’s not used to those games. He wants to play a game in the high 50s, low 60s. He wants that dog of defense. And you better believe, I’m sure he was happy with the 52 point defensive effort on Saturday. So yeah, listen, I’m not really worried about UCLA there, they’re going to be a long team deep into March and deep into the season. So yeah, I’m not too worried. I have to ask TJ, Paco Healy says, do you have a national championship pick? Can I give my pick for that or we’re only dealing with hoops here? [crosstalk 00:31:45]

TJ. Reeves:

Absolutely. Why not? He’s asking you for a pick. It’s January the 10th. What do you like?

Jeff Nadu:

Georgia. Of course, I like Georgia. Come on, man. I’ve had a great season [crosstalk 00:31:54]

TJ. Reeves:

You’re talking about the football tonight. Okay, yes.

Jeff Nadu:

Oh, yeah.

TJ. Reeves:

I wasn’t sure if you were going to go ahead and prognosticate the April basketball winner.

Jeff Nadu:

I’ll play [crosstalk 00:32:01].

TJ. Reeves:

So, yes, the College Football Playoff Championship game, we’re now talking about crossing over to the College Football show. And by the way, Gary Seegers, Kyle Hunter and the college football guys on the Bet Us show have been doing a great job previewing that. Even if you didn’t catch the live version, catch them on the playback this afternoon through Bet US on the YouTube channel there as well for the preview. I got Alabama in this tonight in the revenge game. How do you go against the better coach, Nick Saban? How do you go against the better quarterback? How do you go against the Mojo after they beat him badly in the first game? Mid Major Matt, do you want to break the tie or are you not weighing in on Alabama, Georgia?

Matt Josephs:

I didn’t play the cider of the total. I’ll just say, tonight’s going to be George Picken’s night. He’s getting a touchdown. He’s getting like six receptions for 100 yards. People forget about this guy. And coming off the injury, I think this is George Picken’s night to remind everybody how good of a wide receiver he is. So that might mean I think I like Georgia tonight, but I think it’s a load up on the George Picken’s props on the overs, because he’s scoring tonight and going crazy.

TJ. Reeves:

We’ll see what happens with Stetson Bennett. I did the Georgia Alabama game a year ago in Tuscaloosa, national radio. Stetson Bennett threw it to Alabama three times in that game. He threw it to him another two times in the SAC title game. You better not be throwing it to him tonight in Indianapolis. I’ll be very curious to see what kind of atmosphere it’s in Indianapolis. It’s freezing cold. The Georgia fans and the Alabama fans have descended on the Upper Midwest. Let’s see what happens in that matchup tonight.

TJ. Reeves:

We got everything for you, by the way, on all the Bet US channels, not just the college basketball channel where we are here, the NFL playoffs are set. So you’ve got the NFL channel. We’ve even got tennis, guys, for the Australian Open. The Bet US Australian Open show is up and running here in a little while if you’re watching us live in the one Eastern time hour. So if you want the tennis, either live or on demand from Bet US, we’ve got that as well. [crosstalk 00:33:50] Go ahead.

Matt Josephs:

Yeah

TJ. Reeves:

Go ahead, Matt.

Jeff Nadu:

I just really wanted to honestly quickly send my condolences to the family of Brian Blessing. Brian did a show on this channel. He did NHL show. I talked to Brian once or twice in my career. He does some videos with other colleagues of mine and really sad to hear about that. Brian’s a familiar face out in Vegas, if you’ve ever followed any of that stuff and I wish his family solitude.

TJ. Reeves:

And let me follow up on that. Brian was in the Buffalo television market for 25 plus years as a sportscaster, working in and around Buffalo Sabres games, went to Las Vegas and began doing stuff in and around gambling and sportsbook networks and then the Vegas Golden Knights as well. He had joined the launch of the Bet US NHL show. Just a shocking thing from those around him. Died suddenly Saturday night, they still don’t know why. He was found on Sunday morning. Horrible for all of us here at Bet US to wake up to that news Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, as they will press on on the NHL show without him. Very knowledgeable, great guy. I met him once. I know a lot of people that spoke very highly of him in Buffalo and in Las Vegas. Horrible, sad news for Brian Blessing, his family and our NHL folks with Bet US, that is what’s happened. Matt, anything else here that you want to add on that or anything else before we’re done?

Matt Josephs:

Just real quick. I saw a lot of people talk about Wright State and IUPUI in the chat. Wright State, last game didn’t have Devari Franklin or Jaylen Warren or Michael Diggins. If they don’t play, I mean, they should still beat IUPUI, but this might not be the slaughter you think it is. So try and get their statuses before the game, because yeah, that’s one of their big time scores and a couple other key pieces. So this is just what you have to watch out for in games like these.

TJ. Reeves:

These guys are all over it. Let’s circle back to the best bets before we get out of here. Only two games officially being played by our handicappers tonight. Mid Major Matt is on the Western Carolina Catamounts and their team total. And Jeff is on South Dakota tonight in their game with North Dakota. And the South Dakota team total is what he is playing as well. And again, the guys have been knocking it out of the park here, mixed metaphor, over the last couple of weeks, getting their records up above 500 and climbing, climbing as we want to do towards March.

TJ. Reeves:

That will just about do it here for a Monday edition of the Bet US College Basketball show. Guys, any thoughts here in closing? A lighter card tonight, we’ll get back into the groove with much more Conference play on Tuesday, but it’s lighter tonight. Whether it’s Southern Conference, Summit league, the lone PAC-12 game, not a lot there besides the College Football Playoff Championship game. By the way, real quick, that’s by design. ESPN doesn’t have their Big Monday tonight with all the Conference games because they want everybody watching the college football game. Welcome to what ESPN does with their programming. Any final thoughts though, guys?

Jeff Nadu:

I have a play tomorrow that I’m going to pound out of the park. A team coming off a pause that’s pissed off and ready to take their frustration out on a bad opponent. Maybe from my town, you’ll have to come and check out.

TJ. Reeves:

Oh, now that is a hall of fame tease for the Tuesdays show. I love that.

Jeff Nadu:

I’m a tease. What can I say?

TJ. Reeves:

From the Big Man. Matt, anything in closing here before we’re done and goodbye?

Matt Josephs:

No, I guess I’m going to have to tune in to tomorrow and see what this is.

TJ. Reeves:

Which is fantastic. Whenever this man’s teasing, we are waiting for the follow-up and the payoff. All right boys, great job. Thank you to our Bet US crew. We will talk to you on Tuesday, one Eastern time for the Bet US College Basketball Show. Bye.

Jeff Nadu:

Thank you.

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