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TJ Rives:

Well, welcome and hello there and we are back with another edition of the BetUS College Basketball Show. I am the somewhat competent host. These are the handicappers, the big man on campus, Jeff Naidu, Kyle Hunter back with us for a Tuesday. Happy Tuesday, guys. Happy New Year to Kyle Hunter who we’ve not had on board. Good to see you in the new year, in 2022. How are you feeling, first of all, Kyle? Everything good in the new year?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, going good. The family was a little bit sick there a few days ago but they’ve recovered and I’m hoping to avoid it myself because I don’t need to be down again. But I hope you guys had a good new year as well and I’m looking forward to a good show here today. I know there’s not a huge card but a lot of big games here today. So, looking forward to it.

TJ Rives:

Some prominent names Oklahoma, Baylor, also Kentucky, LSU on this card today that we’ll be talking about in a few moments. Big man, I know you’re here. What a surprise last night. I know you had the Purdue Boilermakers but man, Wisconsin showed up big behind Johnny Davis and we keep saying this, conference play is different and Wisconsin was ready to go in that second half last night.

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, Johnny Davis just had one of those games, 37 points at one game is pretty incredible in college basketball. You don’t see that much often. He had 13 rebounds as well, just a pretty incredible performance. If he has just a normal performance at, say, 20 points, that game is a whole lot different. But yeah, he was terrific. He’s probably the best player I’ve seen at Wisconsin, maybe, in the last 10 plus years.

Jeff Naidu:

Frank Kaminsky was a great player, Sam Dekker was a great player, obviously, they’ve had Bronson Koenig was great but Johnny Davis is on another level. This guy’s, I think, a lottery pick, he’s terrific. You look at outside of that, him and Brad Davidson had 40, I think, five of their 74 points. So, they were both terrific and they got it done. Purdue continues to struggle in certain levels. Last night, they missed nine free throws, just a weird effort, I didn’t really understand it. I don’t think they led at any point in the game.

TJ Rives:

And Davis was just hitting one money three-pointer after another, hit three big ones in the final five minutes of the game. He made shots, helped them get the win. We also saw Arizona, they had some problems at times with Washington, both of those teams had been on COVID pause for a while but Arizona eventually pulled away and won the game in the PAC-12. So-

Jeff Naidu:

Didn’t cover though.

TJ Rives:

… that’s a little bit from last night. Right, did not end up covering in the game and they got to what? 95. We had a viewer asking this, “Can they get to a hundred? What about the team total?” They did get to 95 in the game but did not cover as you mentioned. So, all right, that leads us into here’s what the overall records are and we are going to have to make mention because Matt Joseph’s Mid Major Matt is not here but the cover by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, UTRGV, we got to talk about that here in a second but here’s the overall records. As you see, Kyle Hunter, by the way, coming in right at 500 as he joins us again for this week. And, before we get to game number one, Texas Rio Grande Valley was a play of Matt’s live on this show on Monday and you never say that it’s over.

TJ Rives:

But at 82 to 56 with four minutes and change left, that pick of his is dead on arrival. He was yanking Utah Grand Valley or Texas Grand Valley, Rio Grande Valley and a nine, I believe. He needed nine or nine and a half. 82-56, guys, you think that it’s done, it’s never done. They came back in the final four minutes of the game, hit a couple of big threes and even got some good fortune. Kyle Hunter, you were telling me this made ESPN and Scott Van Pelt’s Bad Beats on Sportscenter after Monday Night Football where Rio Grande Valley got a steal in a layup for the cover in the final seconds of the game, Kyle. Pick it up on that.

Kyle Hunter:

Just an insane game. I think it was a 20-point spread with two minutes left. Sam Houston State starts being lackadaisical, throws the ball away several times. Then, you get to the end of the game, Rio Grande Valley makes a three and then Sam Houston State coming back the other way with three, four seconds left. The big man has the ball, just holding it and they poke it away, get a layup with one second left. Just-

TJ Rives:

[crosstalk 00:04:44]

Kyle Hunter:

Oh, and I’m excited that Matt got that cover. I got to tell you, I’m really glad he wasn’t on the other side of that. That would have been just a sick way to lose a game, certainly. Savion Flagg had a really good game for Sam Houston State, he’s been disappointing this year in general. Rio Grande Valley, they kept trying all the way to the end, that’s for sure. And I imagine there had to be a couple people there in the stands that were pretty excited by the way that game ended if they had the dog.

TJ Rives:

Vaquero, right? The Cowboys, the Vaqueros, were truly point spread cowboys at the end of that one last night. Okay, so that’s enough about yesterday.

Jeff Naidu:

Real quick.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, go ahead.

Jeff Naidu:

That game was 69-41, Sam Houston with 10 and a half minutes to go. They were up 28 points with 10 and a half minutes to go. You mentioned the four minute stuff, that’ll stick with you forever if you had Sam Houston.

TJ Rives:

Sure.

Jeff Naidu:

Again, I’ve always talked about this, the worst beat I’ve ever had in any sports game that I’ve ever bet on was the 2014 Bahamas Bowl.

Kyle Hunter:

Oh, Jeff. Don’t-

Jeff Naidu:

I don’t-

Kyle Hunter:

I’ll had that one too.

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, it was on Christmas Eve, it was at 2:00 and I remember betting online on it. They were up 49-14, I just-

TJ Rives:

Western Kentucky, right?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah.

TJ Rives:

As the story goes, Western Kentucky’s the team, right?

Jeff Naidu:

At the start of the fourth quarter, they were laying two and a half of 49-14 and they didn’t cover the game. If you ever have a few minutes, go on YouTube, look it up, it was one that I’ll never forget. When I’m 80 years old and doing this, I’ll remember that. That’s the kind of beat that was last night against Sam Houston.

TJ Rives:

You suppose you’re still going to be doing this at 80? You’re going to be on the yacht in the Bahamas yourself. You’re already going to be drinking-

Jeff Naidu:

Well-

TJ Rives:

… cold beverages and having a good time by that time.

Jeff Naidu:

Well, I-

TJ Rives:

Retired life with the big man.

Jeff Naidu:

I’ve always envisioned my life and I say this all the time, if you’ve ever seen Casino, in the last scene of Casino, De Niro’s character, who was based on a real person, is sitting in a room. He’s very old and he talks about how he had always been meant to do the gambling thing but he had finished his life over this crazy time where he got involved with gangsters and all this stuff. And, at the end, he talks about how this is where I’m meant to be, this is what I was meant to do and just handicap it and, yeah, I feel like this is something I’ll do my whole life. So, yeah, I’ll remember that, the Bahamas Bowl, that will never leave me. And I’m sure, Kyle, he was on and he’ll never forget it either.

Kyle Hunter:

Jeez, I will never forget that one. Being Christmas Eve made it a little bit worst too, Jeff.

Jeff Naidu:

Yes, exactly. Because you got to go face your family, yeah.

TJ Rives:

Yes.

Kyle Hunter:

I know. I was about to go to the in-laws’ place and all the way on the way down, I’m telling my wife, “Look, I’m going to have to vent for this two-hour drive. This is ridiculous.” So, I would like to talk about this for two hours [crosstalk 00:07:34].

TJ Rives:

And the kids are going, “What do you mean? Santa Claus is not coming?” “Just stop it, stop it. I have [crosstalk 00:07:40].”

Jeff Naidu:

Because that’s the thing about gambling. The people, they don’t understand how truly bad it is. No one really gets it unless you’re a gambler yourself. It was just synonymously bad.

TJ Rives:

Okay, let me do this by way of a tease. We have a game on our slate and you guys may know when I suddenly tease this that there was an epic reversal and collapse in the all-time series in one of the games that we’re going to talk about coming up on the slate where a team led by 31 points in the second half of the game and blew the game. There’s a tease, so stick with us here for a couple of minutes on the college hoops show. It is not the first game that we’re talking about.

TJ Rives:

Let’s get to the first game here for a Tuesday card and that involves, oh, by the way, the number one team in the country, the Baylor Bears, the defending national champions hosting Oklahoma. I was surprised, again, I’m educated enough to know the whys on this, I lean on you guys for inside. I was surprised that line is this big, that it is 13 for this game. The total at 141 for the over-under and both of you guys have a play on this. Let’s begin with the big man on campus, what is the play for you and why in this Big 12 matchup?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, so when I saw this number come out last night at 12 and a half, I played it. And I’m going to admit, I didn’t play it and go crazy on this, this is a tough game. I think the number is really telling you to bet Baylor and I think, ultimately, I’ll admit, I’ve had three or four games involving Baylor this year and I’ve been, really, always on the wrong side. I had a game with Arizona State where I played them plus 12 and it ended up pushing. I think Baylor was up 20 with two minutes to go and didn’t cover. I had Arizona State against Baylor, I think they missed the cover by half a point. I’ve always, seemingly, just been on the wrong side and it’s always close. I seem like I have the right side but I always am wrong but I thought 13, it just got too high for me. Remember getting on BetUS

 

Jeff Naidu:

I look at Oklahoma, I’m weirdly high on this team, maybe too high on them. They’re my darling this year as a big dog, I think, maybe, make a deep run. I think we’re going to get Tanner Groves back. Look, if he doesn’t play which, I’m sure with my luck, he won’t. But if he plays, I like some of the matchups for Oklahoma here. Look, this is a really good offensive team led by Porter Moser. We know what he did at Loyola-Chicago. He has a very similar player to that kid Krutwig he had at Loyola in Groves.

Jeff Naidu:

I also feel like James Akinjo, the guard for Baylor, can be forced into some mistakes. His turnover rate is quite high, I think he’s the straw that stirs them. And when you look at Baylor, two of the last three against Oklahoma have been decided by 10 points or less. We also look at Baylor this year, you look at against Iowa State, against Oregon, against Arizona State, against VCU, against these teams where they’re stepping up and playing better competition, they’ve actually struggled. The games are close, they keep things close.

Jeff Naidu:

Now, I know people will bring up the Villanova game and Michigan State for that matter, but Michigan State actually had the lead at the half, I believe, and Baylor had just a big second half. But I think this is just too many. Baylor could be a little sleepy after a big time win in AMES the other night against undefeated Iowa State. I think this is a good spot for Oklahoma to come in, hang around. I had this game at 75-65, something like that. It’s not going to be an easy cover. I think you’re going to be lying on the edge for most of this but I’m going to trust Oklahoma here that they keep it close, they’re good enough offensively.

TJ Rives:

All right, so there’s his take. Kyle Hunter, you also like a play in this game. Sooners and top ranked Baylor, what is it?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I’m going to take the under in this one and Oklahoma is the team that toyed with playing fast earlier in the season which was a surprise based on Porter Moser’s past at Loyola-Chicago. We know that they are very deliberate there all the time. It’s interesting. I always track really closely these tempo changes and Oklahoma has really slowed down drastically of late. Four of their five slowest paced games have come in the last five games of their 13 contests here so far this season. And they were using 17.1 seconds per possession in non conference play and their first game in the Big 12 against Kansas State, 19.7 seconds per possession, so big change, much slower.

Kyle Hunter:

Baylor has been a top five ranked defense in the country in two of the last three years. Drew’s teams always play good defense, they work hard on that end. And as far as Oklahoma, I think they’re going to be a good defensive team, too. They have good enough length, they’re a good defensive rebounding team. Moser’s teams have always been really strong on defense, they don’t foul that much and put you on the line. They’re 17th best in the nation in transition defense which is really important because Baylor has been trying to get out in transition. I don’t think they’ll get as many easy layups as they have against a lot of the teams they played so far and this line is moved up quite a bit here.

Kyle Hunter:

Last night, this one was about four points lower on the total. So, at this point, I have to, at least, bet the under for something. Baylor’s overall tempo is near average in the country, Oklahoma’s bottom 100 in the country, so it’s going to take a really good shooting night to get this one over the total. Now, certainly both these teams are capable of shooting well, it’s not going to be shocking, I just think that this is a less expected value bet if you take under at this number based on the way that Oklahoma is going to want to play this game and the kind of defense the Baylor plays on a game to game basis.

TJ Rives:

Okay. So, again, this one a big showdown. As Jeff mentioned, great win again for Baylor who, earlier this year, beat Villanova, squelched them. They go and beat Iowa State this weekend and the Big 12 is going to be a dogfight, top heavy conference with a lot of quality teams. It’s a fascinating matchup here, so let’s lock it in for both of our handicappers. Jeff Naidu is on Oklahoma to cover here, that is a large line. And then, again, Kyle Hunter with the under, the play is the under on the overall total. Did either one of you want to weigh in? Did it surprise you? Again, you do this and you scrutinize it much more than I did, that the line opened that large and is that large right now in this or do you think it’s right where it should be? Jeff, you alluded to that, you think it’s too much that’s why you’re taking Oklahoma, but did it surprise you?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, it definitely surprised me and I think that’s one of the concerns for the selection I made. It almost seems a bit too high to me. And, last year, you look at Oklahoma, I think Baylor beat them by 15 and that could very well be what happens here tonight. I just feel like Oklahoma’s offense is a little bit better than last year. They were just weren’t good enough offensively last year under Lon Kruger. They’ve moved on, they have a little bit of an injection, I think Groves is terrific. I really like their ability on the wing, they went and got some good transfers as well. So, it’s just a bit high. I’m hoping this is a 73-62 type of game, something like that and they slide within the number. It’ll be a finger gnawer, if you will. I think you’re going to be on the edge of your seat but, hopefully, it’s just a couple too many.

TJ Rives:

Again, just a-

Kyle Hunter:

[crosstalk 00:14:55]

TJ Rives:

Yeah, go ahead, Kyle.

Kyle Hunter:

I was going to say I think Baylor really hasn’t played that tough schedule. They have a couple of nice wins, certainly, and that Villanova win is what everybody’s thinking about. That’s probably why the line is this high. But they were actually behind the half against Oregon, Oregon has been pretty bad so far this year. They had a close game there against VCU, certainly. Honestly, the Iowa State game, I would say, Iowa State hasn’t really played anybody that good this year either. So, close game there.

Jeff Naidu:

That’s the thing, Kyle. They’ve really hung … A lot of these teams on these levels of solid power five teams have hung around. Like I said, Arizona State, he mentioned Iowa State, VCU, these teams hang around. And Oklahoma, I think we can contend is better than all those teams probably. So-

TJ Rives:

Okay.

Kyle Hunter:

[crosstalk 00:15:45]

TJ Rives:

There you go on the plays officially with Oklahoma for Jeff and the under play for Kyle on game number one. Game number two is an SEC showdown. Kentucky rolling LSU off a recent first loss and the Bayou Bengals are a two point favorite in this one at the Maravich Center and they are going to rename the court for Dale Brown, the legendary coach of LSU. After more than 30 years as the LSU coach, they are finally going to name the court and he is still alive and kicking at 86 years of age. So, it’ll be named Dale Brown Court. Here we go. Kentucky and LSU for this matchup tonight in the SEC. Big man on campus, what do you like and why?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, I love LSU. I’m just going to say it, I love this team, I love this spot. Out of all the teams in America, this is the team I probably like the most. And, again, whether it’s warranted or not, I don’t know, but I’m not a big Will Wade guy but I just love the makeup of this team. I think that Kentucky’s coming in. This is their second true road game, okay? We go back to their only other true road game at Notre Dame, a game they lost. This is a young team, we know that. Every year, they’re going in.

Jeff Naidu:

This is going to be a very difficult game. This is, quite frankly, the toughest game, I think, they’re going to play for the next couple of weeks and have played outside of Duke all year. This is an incredibly difficult matchup for a couple different reasons. You look at how good LSU has been defensively, it’s been really been a mirage. They have been, over the years, horrific defensively. You almost look at it and say, “That can’t make sense.”

Jeff Naidu:

This team is long, they’re lengthy, they’re ball-hawking and that’s the concern when you look at Kentucky, young guards. Kentucky is a team that can turn the basketball over a little bit. I think LSU is going to pester them, you’re going to turn up the pressure here, I think that is concerning. Again, it’s a road game and also, keep in mind, one of the things, if you look at the advanced metrics and [HASDA 00:17:55] Metrics does a great job at measuring this. They have a stat called near proximity percentage defense which is, basically, rim defense. What do you allow at the rim? Kentucky has gotten punished at the rim and, not only punished, but they’ve allowed a ton of rim opportunities this year. The front court defense has not been good and, while Tshiebwe is a great rebounder, he’s not the greatest defender in the world. I think there’s pass to offense and pass for great defense for LSU tonight. I think it’s a tough spot on the road, it’s going to be a great atmosphere. I like LSU here.

TJ Rives:

All right. Kyle Hunter, a thought here on Big Blue, Big Blue Nation coming in there to play LSU in Baton Rouge?

Kyle Hunter:

I think the biggest battle here, the key is the battle on the boards. Kentucky’s first in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. Last year, LSU was pretty bad on the defensive glass but, this year, they rank a solid 79th. They should be pretty good on defensive rebounding with adding Efton Reid, Eason is a great rebounder as well. They have plenty of height, certainly, and great shot blockers. LSU’s defense has been so underrated this year. In fact, it’s pretty stunning to see them at first [inaudible 00:19:09] in defensive efficiency. I think that LSU is probably not the best defense in the country, they’ll probably regress, at least, somewhat. But still, this is a team that the last couple years, guys, is crazy. They were 179th and 124th in defensive efficiency and, this year, they’re first. We’re talking about quite a few games here, 13 games.

Kyle Hunter:

So, it’s not a couple games sample size where it’s a total fluke, this team’s a good defensive team. That length, Efton Reid has been really big for them. Good defensive rebounder, good shot blocker. Kentucky, the key here to me as well, has been in transition on 26% of their possessions on offense, that’s actually first in the country. LSU is ninth in transition defense, though, so a fun matchup there. LSU does a good job getting back, Kentucky wants to score and transition, they’re not great in the half court. Here we are at game 14 and, like Jeff mentioned, Kentucky’s second road game of the year which certainly lends me to lead toward LSU here and this one as well. LSU has played a relatively weak schedule overall. Kentucky hasn’t played a great schedule but LSU coming off that loss to Auburn, I think, makes it a better spot to play LSU here than if they had won all their games coming into this one.

Kyle Hunter:

And the total’s been bet up by several points here in this one So, Jeff, I’m curious your input, what’s your thoughts on the total in this one? Because the pace would suggest this would be an over but the two defenses are really good, we’re getting a pretty high total at this point. I’m just wondering if you had a lean on this one.

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, I had it at first to 70 wins. Again, I think LSU finds a way. 72-68, something like that, I had it in that neck of the woods. I think KenPom has around the same number, that’s where I put it. Totals have been an issue. I went back and looked at all my selections that I’ve made and totals, for me, had been a problem. I think 144 is a bit high to me, I’d probably lean under. Like I said, I think it’s first to 70. I think the team that wins gets 70. So, I think we’ll almost stay in the 60s, probably.

TJ Rives:

Okay. Before we lock this one in officially, I did tease this, so I’m going to pay it off. As much as we were talking about Sam Houston State up big and then Texas Rio Grande Valley sliding in the back door, was scoring a bunch of points late. Boys, I’m going to refresh your memory if you don’t remember this, it’s now 27 years ago. Can I be that old? It is known as the Mardi Gras miracle for Kentucky. February 15th, 1994, Rick Pitino’s Kentucky team down 31 in this building, the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, came roaring from behind with 11 three pointers in the final 15 minutes of the game and reversed a 31-point deficit to win the game 99-95 against LSU. And to this day, whenever Kentucky and LSU play there, I think the motto and the mantra is no lead is safe.

TJ Rives:

Big man, I’m not trying to put the hex on your pick, I’m just saying, no lead is safe even if it’s a big lead after what happened with the Mardi Gras miracle back in 1994. They still talk about that. That was Walter McCarty, Tony Delk, the Kentucky team of the early ’90s that, again, hit 11 threes. They scored 62 points in the last 15 minutes of the game to come back and win. Incredible offense those teams that Pitino had in the early ’90s. Part of the Kentucky-LSU lore in this one. Nevertheless, the big man is undaunted, he is on LSU. Let’s lock in the official play here and he’s with LSU on the money line for tonight’s game to get the win. However they get the win, he’s got them to win the game for this one tonight.

TJ Rives:

All right, get your questions and answers ready by the way. We’ve got time for that here in a couple of moments. One more game that we’re going over on our docket that you see on the left side of the screen and that is a Big East contest that is Seton Hall and Butler. And we do know that Seton Hall was on COVID pause, came off of it and had a tough night in Providence back last week. So, now, they will take on the Butler Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse as a road favorite here with the total at 131. Kyle Hunter has the play on this one. What do we like and why on a Tuesday, Kyle?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I’m going to take the under in this one. And, at the risk of sounding like I always take unders, I did want to bet on over here today but that game got canceled on me. So, we’ve got Seton Hall and Butler, Butler Bulldogs elite at controlling the tempo of the game. And for me, totals, I’m on the other side of what Jeff said. I’ve not been as good at sides as I have been at totals long term. So, I’ll defer to Jeff on some of these sides, certainly, but the Butler Bulldogs are elite at controlling the tempo of the game.

Kyle Hunter:

To me the key is not just what pace they played at in general but how good are they at forcing the other team to play their pace. Because some teams just play one way but, if the other team’s good at forcing the issue, they just turn into that, they’re the chameleon team. Butler is not that type of team, they’re 346th in overall tempo. They haven’t played a game all season with higher than 69 possessions which really isn’t that fast. So, very, very consistently slow-paced, their defense is quite a bit better than it was a year ago. They rebound really well on defense, don’t foul much at all.

Kyle Hunter:

Seton Hall is playing fast. So, this is not me saying I think Seton Hall is a team that’s going to stall but they’re just a decent offensive team. They’re tremendous on the defensive end though. Seton Hall is 15th in effective field goal percentage defense so far this year. These two teams played twice last year 68-60 and 61-52. Both of those games were played to a really slow pace, Butler led those to lower scoring games. And Butler, they take a bunch of three pointers and Seton Hall is ninth in the country in three point percentage defense. So, I don’t think Butler is going to get too many easy looks.

Kyle Hunter:

Also, Seton Hall ranks 242nd in the nation at the website shot quality and shot selection. So, they’re taking quite a few bad shots here but they’re holding opponents to the ninth toughest shots of anybody in the country. So, Willard’s team is definitely a defensive team that’s questionable on offense. I think both of these teams are really highly ranked in transition defense, so I think those quick, easy looks aren’t going to be there like they have been at some of the other games. And 131 is not that low of a number so you’re not getting down to that 120 territory where you really get worried. So, I’m going to take under 131 here for Seton Hall and Butler.

TJ Rives:

All right. Big man, do you have a thought on this one with the Butler team? They’ve been interesting. They did get a win against Oklahoma. We were talking about it earlier in the show, they beat Oklahoma in the Big 12, Big East challenge in Norman. Purdue beat this Butler team badly. They’ve had a couple of games lost due to COVID-19 in Big East play. Any thought here on Butler hosting Seton Hall if no official play?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, look, I think the number has gotten a little low to me. I think Seton Hall is worth a look at this number. Look, as Kyle alluded to, I don’t think it’s going to be a high scoring game or anything. But look, Seton Hall is starting to figure out life, at least for the next couple of games, without Obiagu and Samuel. I guess if you get those guys back, for some miracle, it’d be great. But you still just look at what Seton Hall has, they’re still very capable. Rhoden’s terrific, Kadary Richmond’s a terrific defender, Yetna has been great for them as far as coming over from where he was. I just think they’re a better team. This should be a brutal loss if Seton Hall had it. This would be three straight losses, you got to go then pick Connecticut on Saturday.

Jeff Naidu:

We’ve seen Seton Hall, they’re very capable winning big time games. Obviously beat Michigan, beat Texas, beat Rutgers, beat very capable teams. I know Kyle said, tempo wise, this game is going to be slow but Butler is not a great defense. I think Seton Hall can score and probably get high 60s here. This game screams 70 to 60 to me, something like that. I think three and a half is just too low. If you’re going to give me anything under four, I would have some interest in Hall here. I think they have to bounce back and Butler’s just not very good to me.

TJ Rives:

All right, let’s lock it in officially on this matchup with Seton Hall at Butler on a Tuesday night in the Big East and Kyle is on the under for the total in this matchup this evening. Okay, time for some question and answer for those that are watching us live. Again, we’re here Monday through Friday at 1:00 Eastern time. We love the participation element of this. Let you guys ask some questions and see what our handicappers think. Jack is up first, he goes back to the SEC. He says, “What do you think of Auburn in South Carolina? I’ve been doing great with them against the spread,” meaning Auburn, I’m sure. Speaking of LSU, they jumped all over LSU. What did they score? Sixteen of the first 17 points of the game, I think, against LSU at home in that win. So, I assume he means he’s been doing well with Auburn. Guys, do either one of you have a thought on that matchup with the Gamecocks?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, I’m not running to jump in front of Auburn right now. South Carolina has turnover problems, particularly just protecting the basketball which isn’t good, especially when you’re playing Auburn, very handsy as well like LSU. Yeah, I’m not really interested in stepping in front of Auburn. I’ve read several people that are, obviously people that I respect and I think are really good at what they do, they’ve all talked about Auburn being a top five, seven team in America. This is a really good team. Kessler has been awesome, Jabari Smith is an NBA caliber player. Yeah, [inaudible 00:28:58] has been impressive, [inaudible 00:29:00] been good but, yeah, I don’t want to step in front of Auburn. I know the number has come down a little bit, that might be good here. I think they’d probably win by double digits.

TJ Rives:

Kyle, any thought about Auburn?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I don’t know. Auburn has been a really good defensive team, a sneaky under team some of the time because their defense is much better than people realize, fifth in the country in defensive efficiency. I don’t trust South Carolina enough. Like Jeff said, the turnover issue really worries me against a team like Auburn. So, slightly into Auburn.

TJ Rives:

Okay. Another viewer, Mark, says, “Thoughts on Texas and Kansas State?” That matchup is coming in Manhattan and Texas is a hefty eight-point road favorite at a Big 12 conference game. Any thoughts from either one of you? Kyle, got a thought real quick on Texas?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, eight points seems like quite a bit to me. I would lean toward Kansas State in this one, I also would lean to the under. I think Bruce Weber’s team’s turn a lot of these games into ugly games, low scoring games. Texas is playing really slow this year. In fact, they’re 355th out of 358 tempo in the country. I know it’s a low under but I would lean to the under also lean toward Kansas State in this one.

Jeff Naidu:

I will admit, just as we’re talking here, I actually just bet Kansas or, sorry, Texas at seven and a half and I’ll tell you why. There’s a lot of info coming out. Kansas State has major personnel issues in this game.

Kyle Hunter:

[inaudible 00:30:28].

Jeff Naidu:

Markquis Nowell is out of this game. Bradford, the big seven-footer, he’s out. And according to reports, there’s other players that aren’t going to play here. Severely depleted, as far as one of the reporters said on Twitter. So, if we get this game tonight, I’m sure it’ll be canceled as soon as I play it, but, yeah, I got a seven and a half [crosstalk 00:30:48]-

TJ Rives:

Is that injury and COVID situation or what are you seeing reading between it? Is it both or is it just COVID situation concerns or what?

Jeff Naidu:

All coronavirus from what I understand so-

TJ Rives:

So, we could be looking at another one that goes by the wayside here again.

Jeff Naidu:

Maybe.

TJ Rives:

[inaudible 00:31:02] stay tuned. Yeah.

Jeff Naidu:

But again, they have the allotted amount of players so they’re going to have to play in Texas. And I know [inaudible 00:31:08] didn’t have much on Saturday, beat them by 15 but look, I thought Texas did some really nice things, Carr looked terrific. I don’t think Kansas State’s very good in the frontcourt anyway, so I think this is a great matchup for Texas. I think they’ll probably win by double digits. I don’t know if the line movement will matter much.

TJ Rives:

Okay, fair enough. One more and it is also in the Big 12 from Darius. He says Kansas and Oklahoma State are also playing tonight, this one in Stillwater. Thought from either one of you guys? Kansas, obviously, has looked very impressive recently. Any thoughts?

Jeff Naidu:

I’ll let Kyle have at it if he wants it with this one.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah.

TJ Rives:

Any thought on Kansas?

Kyle Hunter:

I was going to say I don’t have any strong opinion here. Kansas is a team that, to me … I have a tough time reading Kansas a lot. So, in general, you’re going to see me wanting to pass on Kansas’ games. Oklahoma State’s defense is good. I don’t trust Oklahoma State’s offense, they’re not efficient enough, major turnover problems for them. But they have a really good home court advantage and we see some really strange things happen there at Gallagher-Iba Arena. So, I don’t have any strong lean. I guess I would lean to the under if I had to bet it.

Jeff Naidu:

I will say, from a long-term perspective, I mentioned yesterday about futures and I was looking around after the show yesterday. So, I brought my show back, Big Man on Basket, just to the end of the season. It’s once a week and I talked with one of my colleagues yesterday and we were talking about Kansas and I think this team has a real problem long term. David McCormack has really found himself in the doghouse of Bill Self. This guy hasn’t played, it’s become clear that he might not be real interested in playing. And I don’t know what it’s been with these issues at Kansas the last couple years. Silvio De Sousa, they had issues with off the court. It was a big fight on the court involving him and, now, McCormack just can’t seem to figure it out.

Jeff Naidu:

I don’t know what’s been the issue of bigs at Kansas recently but this is problematic because you have to play Mitch Lightfoot at the five. Mitch Lightfoot is undersized, he’s not real strong, frankly. Oklahoma State, I think, is trendy here. This could be a nice little spot for them to hang around at home. This could be a good one tonight.

TJ Rives:

Then again, the Jayhawks have won what? I think seven in a row since their first loss for whatever it’s worth. They did not cover against George Mason, they did have the big blow out of Missouri. Who knows? Conference play again, folks, pay attention here at Stillwater and the guys are warning you that that may be something for Oklahoma State. A couple of other games just real quick. Duke is back in action playing Georgia Tech in conference play tonight, that one in Cameron. Again, they have been on pause, they are returning. And what else? My Memphis Tigers. Will the real Penny Hardaway Memphis Tigers stand up or not? They were beaten by Tulane a week ago, although Tulane looks better. Tulane validated the Memphis win by beating Cincinnati at Cincinnati.

TJ Rives:

So, Memphis has a lost to Tulane but then, they clobbered Wichita State Saturday at Wichita State. And now, Memphis playing Tulsa, living on Tulsa time tonight. So, a little American Conference basketball making the show as well here guys. So, yeah, there are some other interesting games that are going to be going on and we got one more viewer, I’m being told, that is curious about Providence and Marquette tonight, that one in Milwaukee. No official play from either Kyle Hunter or Jeff Naidu. Any thought though on Providence and Marquette?

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, Providence continues to really just play awesome. I thought on Saturday, maybe, DePaul would hang around and keep that close. It seemed like a great spot for DePaul, line didn’t make a lot of sense. I think Providence was a one point favorite on the road at DePaul but David Jones wasn’t feeling well, didn’t play much. He’s their best player, so that didn’t work out. I got to tell you, I talk about these spots all the time on this show. Listen, if you’re going to give me one point at home with Marquette in this spot, it just seems, Kyle, doesn’t it? Like Providence is just on the willy nilly and they’re going to lose here at some point. This seems like the spot that they’re going to lose and they’re back at home on Saturday. This is a tough spot to me. Marquette’s frantic and play quick and they’re always good at that building even though they’ve lost two straight. They’ve lost four in a row. What does this line tell you? TJ, what’s the line in this game? Was it one?

TJ Rives:

I think it was one last I looked on the BetUS line, yes.

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, I’m going to tell you right now, you should probably play Marquette here. I mean-

TJ Rives:

He’s enticed. He’s enticed-

Jeff Naidu:

Something’s going on in this game.

TJ Rives:

[crosstalk 00:35:57]. Something’s up.

Jeff Naidu:

[inaudible 00:35:58] the line is what it is. Marquette’s lost four in a row. Providence hasn’t lost since Halloween, it seems like. Why is this line what it is?

TJ Rives:

All right.

Kyle Hunter:

This is-

TJ Rives:

[crosstalk 00:36:11], Kyle. Go ahead.

Kyle Hunter:

This is one of those lines that stinks. Yeah, it looks like one and a half now but Marquette minus one and a half against the Providence team that’s been playing that well. And honestly, the thing that makes me a bit cautious about this one, Jeff, is that Marquette did have that double overtime loss in their last game where they were way behind against Creighton. Down 17 points, I think, come back, put it in overtime, then double overtime and lose. So, this is a circle the wagons game. Do they have the energy? Marquette is a fairly deep team so they would have a better chance than some other teams. I like Providence better than I like Marquette long term but I understand where you’re coming from as far as this spot.

Jeff Naidu:

That’s a good point. Listen, on these kinds of games, these shouldn’t be the best bets every night but I would have money on these. LSU tonight and Marquette, I think, are very similar as far as the spots. When you have the betting public, you generally want to go against what they’re doing. I think a lot of people are going to see Kentucky tonight as two and a half point dogs or two-point dog and say, “I got to be on that.” I’m going against the system. The state of Nevada, last year, made $8 billion in casino revenue. And I think in a worldwide thing, the worldwide casino business made $260 billion. So, I think they’re the ones I want to side with as opposed to gamblers. No offense.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, I like that. And again, you point this out from time to time and it’s a good observation, this is a Marquette team that has lost four games in a row going into this game, yet they’re favored. So, what is up with that? They are a favorite against a good team, Providence.

Jeff Naidu:

Well, Providence is now a favorite in this game. But still, it’s a toss-up game.

TJ Rives:

Forgive me. Yes, it’s only one.

Jeff Naidu:

Yeah, that’s the point.

TJ Rives:

It’s only one if the line is moved. So, yeah, just pay attention to these things. You said that going back to a good memory for me on the Memphis game with Alabama where you said, with all the problems Memphis is having, four game losing streak, “Why is the line not bigger?”, is what you kept saying. And you said beyond Memphis that night and, sure enough, they put it all together that night. Best they’ve looked all year and actually won the game outright. Sometimes you’re suspicious when you look at the line. I’m never suspicious of these handicappers. They’re here, they’re doing what they do. Again, we thank all of you for hanging in there with us. Keep those live questions and answers coming. The guys sometimes answer them as well during the chat as I often self-deprecate on me. I’m not savvy enough with everything I got going on to answer you or see it in the chat. They’re seeing you sometimes and we verbally get the questions on the show as well, so keep them coming in the Q&A.

TJ Rives:

Recap time. Let’s see what our handicappers have officially for tonight. Jeff is on the Oklahoma Sooners as the road team at number one Baylor, he is on Oklahoma and the 13 points. Kyle has the under, the total under in that same game. And you can see Jeff is taking LSU to win outright on the money line, no points needed. And Kyle likes the under in the Big East matchup between Seton Hall and Butler. So, not a tremendous amount of plays and interesting that both of you are on that Oklahoma-Baylor game that we’ll be seeing later tonight at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas for one of the big matchups early on in the Big 12. All right, anything in closing from either one of you that we haven’t covered? Anything else you want to get off your chest? Big man worked in a De Niro Casino reference, I’m proud of him for that on a Tuesday. Anything else you want to get in there?

Jeff Naidu:

No, just looking forward to another night in college hoops. It’s conference play which is great and this is where the big boys play. So, yeah, very happy to be here and thanks for having me. I will be back again tomorrow, another great show.

TJ Rives:

Kyle Hunter, anything else? We good?

Kyle Hunter:

We’re good. Illinois-Minnesota has a game that I’ll be paying close attention to tonight. I want to mention that. One of the viewers did ask about that one as well. I tend to want to bet the under in Minnesota games but Illinois is a tremendous offense, really efficient. So, I’m going to pass on that one and look for Minnesota unders later on in the season. It’s going to tell us a lot about whether Minnesota is the real deal here as they host Illinois tonight. So, that’s one to watch and, guys, I’ll see you back again next week and tune in to the College Football Show also here on BetUS. We’ll be talking about the national title game.

Jeff Naidu:

Keep in mind, Marquette now a favorite, by the way.

TJ Rives:

About that. So, Marquette now favorite as well in that game with Providence. Yes, the SEC redo is the college football playoff championship game a week from Monday. So, Kyle is on the BetUS College Football Show as well. Kyle, thank you for the input today. Big man, we always thank you, we’ll catch up with you tomorrow. We thank you for watching a Tuesday edition of the BetUS College Basketball Show.

Kyle Hunter:

Thank you.

 

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