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College Basketball Picks, Predictions & Best NCAA Basketball Betting Odds [Thursday, Feb 23rd]

TJ Rives:

Well, hey there and welcome back aboard. It’s the BetUS College Basketball Show for a Thursday. I am merely the somewhat competent host TJ Rives. We are back off a four and one night for the show last night. We’re getting revved up for March. Excited to be back with Mattie Cox. Nice play doubling up on South Alabama. We gave out a lot of good handicapping advice yesterday on the program. Mattie, how are things here off of Wednesday?

Mattie Cox:

Good. I’m going to try to replicate that approach going forward. Just bet the obvious team first half, full game. If only it were that easy every night.

TJ Rives:

See if we can pull the trigger on that. Kyle Hunter, good to have you with us back for the first time this week. Ready to roll up the sleeves. We definitely saw a shocker last night with Boston College. Is this a prelude of what’s about to happen in conference tournaments and in the NCAA tournament? Where again, teams’ records, throw it out the window, point spread, throw it out the window because Boston College just completely outplayed Virginia from beginning to end. How does that happen, Kyle? Welcome in.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, good to be here. Virginia has been a bit inconsistent here of late. I don’t know that I trust them going into the big dance, but I think we should expect the unexpected this year. No clear favorite, should be a lot of fun this March.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, no doubt about that. Boise State, by the way, got a late night big win for them over New Mexico mid-week here. And it looks like Boise State’s going to be an interesting study. Net ranking is good, but number of Quad 1 wins, not as much as some other places for at-large purposes. So it’ll be interesting on how they stack up. How many teams does the Mountain West get in? All of these are topics up for grabs. Lots of plays on the board. Thank you for finding us here live 11:00 AM Monday through Friday. We are here all the way through March, all the way through The Final Four. The audience continues to find us. We thank you. Hit that like button. Make sure you’re subscribed. If you’re just joining us for the first time we have been here, we will be here handicapping games. You’re going to get several official plays today on the show and then some time for some Q&A in a little bit.

Guys, you ready to go? You ready to get things underway? Here for a Wednesday or for a Thursday off of Wednesday? Let’s go ahead and do it. Let’s take a look at our records. As I mentioned, a four and one night last night. The show continues to hover right around 500. You see Kyle comes in for the first time this week above 500. Mattie Cox working his way to get back up there.

Let’s get into it with game number one. Lots of discussion and official plays upcoming, we’re going to discuss six games officially on our slate. And let’s begin with Michigan and Rutgers, intriguing one in the Big 10. Both teams need it. Rutgers traditionally good at home, they’re getting five and a half at home. A Michigan team off an emotional win over Michigan State last weekend now needs this one away from Ann Arbor. The total is 135. Kyle Hunter, let’s begin with you with a thought or two on Michigan and Rutgers.

Kyle Hunter:

Rutgers at the RAC is the different team than on the road, that’s for sure. This has always been a very good home court advantage. Home court performance so far this year, according to Haslametrics, they’re fourth out of 363 teams. Michigan’s 216th on the road. They’re also 363rd when it comes to consistency out of 363. So Michigan been wildly inconsistent. I couldn’t bet Michigan in a game like this. I would only be able to bet Rutgers or the under. Kind of like the under here. The Rutgers defense has not been up to par here lately, but usually they’re very good at home. I kind of think Rutgers can lock them down a bit in a game like this. So that would be my two leans would be Rutgers laying the points and/or the under.

TJ Rives:

All right, interesting, Mattie Cox, that again, a Rutgers team that got a win at Wisconsin, they have been good at home last year and this year. Any thought here? Because again, for both of these teams, this is a resume-building situation, particularly for Michigan if they can get the win for NET ranking purposes, I don’t know if it qualifies as a Quad 1 win. We’ll look at that in a second while you give me a little bit on this game. Can it help Michigan even more because it’s away from home? Any thoughts, Mattie Cox on this one?

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, two key injury question marks tonight, Jett Howard for Michigan and then Caleb McConnell on the Rutgers side. I think McConnell’s doubtful, did not play last game against Wisconsin. Somehow still able to knock off Wisconsin there on the road. And then Jett Howard average 15 a game. This team’s not very deep, Michigan neither of these teams really are. So I think both these injuries are critical. Howard’s more likely to play. I think he’s questionable. So it’s something you might want to wait if you want to get involved in this game until closer to tip off. You have more information on lineups. And at this point, yeah, why would you go against the Big 10 home team? 71 and 41 against the spread.

TJ Rives:

Wow, just the home team, just look at the home team. And again for Rutgers, they’re in the top 30 of the NET right now, so it would definitely be a Quad 1 win for Michigan if they get it on the road. They weight them differently on neutral and road wins. Michigan comes in right now 62 in the NET. They need it more than Rutgers tonight in this matchup. So let’s see what happens. Rutgers got five Quad 1 wins, Michigan only two Quad 1 wins. This is an important one in the Big 10. No official play here for this matchup at the moment.

Let’s move on though to a game that will have an official play. Let’s swing all the way from Piscataway, New Jersey, all the way out to Weber State. Weber State and Eastern Washington makes the show. This is Eastern Washington coming in as a point and a half favorite, total 140 and a half. Kyle Hunter, I’m back to you. What drew you to this game for an official play?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I think Eastern Washington’s overvalued at this point. I know it sounds crazy to be fading a team that has won 17 straight games. Just a wild run here for Eastern Washington. I think that says a couple things. Number one, it speaks to how weak the Big Sky is. No doubt about that. Eastern Washington in the non-conference didn’t have much success. They lost by 20 at Hawaii, lost by 12 at Santa Clara. They did have a close loss to Texas Tech, who’s who’s not tremendous this year. They lost by 11 at FIU. They get in the conference, they keep winning these close games. If you look at Shock Quality, a site that I’ve referenced quite a bit, they’re the second luckiest team so far this year. There’s a lot of teams ranked right up there as far as lucky when it comes to Shock Quality.

But Eastern Washington has won like 10 games they shouldn’t have won according to Shock Quality. So this is a team that their record’s 20 and seven, according to Shock Quality, there should be 11 and 16. So a big difference there. That’s kind of a battle there. Is the advanced analytics side going to win out or is Eastern Washington actually that good? I think this is a good spot to fade them. Weber has a good home court advantage, they’re at elevation. This Weber team is above average for a Big Sky team. They also don’t give up second chances. They force some turnovers. I think Eastern Washington will need to shoot the ball well to win a game like this because Weber is the better defense. You give me a pretty decent defense in a Big Sky game, getting a point and a half here at home. I think this is a good spot for them to get knocked off.

TJ Rives:

Okay, Mattie Cox Steele Venters, what a great name in Eastern Washington. Steele Venters averaging 15 a game. As Kyle Hunter mentioned, they are unbeaten in the Big Sky. 15 and O, 17 straight wins overall, that’s the longest wind streak in Division 1, Weber State at home. Any thought if no official play with Eastern Washington the short favorite on the road?

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, it’s tough to fade Eastern Washington. I actually have the Monday game, [inaudible 00:07:48] Valley against Montana State circled as the game to fade them. But I think this is a good angle here tonight that Kyle talks about. Weber State kept them to 61 possessions first matchup, four point loss on the road. Now they get him back at home. I think Weber’s proven gate can keep Eastern Washington out of transition, which is where they’re most dangerous. They can score in the half court very efficiently, but when they can supplement that with transition threes, they’re like unbeatable. I think Weber can take that away, make this more of a half court game. And then pound for pound talent wise, Weber’s right there with Eastern Washington. So I think everything sets up here for a pretty good value. But if you’re looking to fade Easter Washington and I also have the Monday, February 27th game against Montana State, circled. Thursday, Saturday and then Monday will be the finale. It will be a tough scheduled spot for the Eagles.

TJ Rives:

Interesting on that. Again, whenever we can reference Harold the Show Arceneaux. Kyle knows I’m speaking the language. Mattie might be a little young. Whenever we can bring that up for Weber State. I don’t know if Dylan Jones, their leading scorer can make like Harold the Show Arceneaux from Weber State in the big upset of North Carolina and the NCAA tournament about 20 years ago. Let’s see what Weber has tonight. Kyle Hunter says, “Lock me in on Weber State to get the victory.” Or at least well, look, you’re getting a point and a half. You practically think they’re going to win the game tonight for the Weber State Wildcats against Eastern Washington. Nation’s longest wind streak on the line in this game for Eastern Washington at 17 straight.

All right, let’s continue on the show. Move to Big 10 Country. This is a large one for Northwestern and for Illinois.Northwestern likely has played its way into the field at large, Illinois likely in as well. But just to make sure either Club would love to have this game, Illinois laying six against Northwestern who’s been hot as of late, total 136. We do not have an official play, but Mad Cox, I’m coming to you right now. This is one of the marquee games in the Big 10 midweek here. Illinois off a tough loss to Indiana. As I mentioned, Northwestern has been rolling at home. Now they venture away from home to Assembly Hall in Champaign. Thoughts on this one tonight. What about that line with Illinois being favored by six?

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, I think it is a little bit high given how awesome Northwestern’s been. I think at this point, if you’re trying to poke holes in Northwestern, which I was doing up until very recently, I think you’re grasping for straws. You have to really look at the defense as being super legit and the way their guards are playing. It’s a real team and it’s a tough spot for Illinois. They played over the weekend, really tough battle with Indiana without Terrence Shannon. They almost won that game, just a war.

Then they go Monday against Minnesota won by nine, were mostly in control of that game. But now they have to play two days later after already playing Saturday, Monday at this point in the year. I think it’s a tough spot here for Illinois. I think they win this game, I think playing six though is a little bit too steep given how well Northwestern’s been playing. And given this spot advantage where you have a team, I think it’s extra two days of preparation and rest. I think that matters at this point in the year. So I’d stay away personally.

TJ Rives:

Good stuff. Thank you for the pickup there that they made up the game with Minnesota that had been postponed due to Covid 19 stuff. So they made that up on Monday. So Illinois did get a win, got some momentum. Kyle Hunter, for NET ranking purposes and again, this is the metric the NCAA selection committee looks at one of several. It’s not the be all end all. For example, Rutgers a year ago was 77 in the NET. Kids for everybody watching on the BetUS College Basketball Show when they tell you about that net ranking being worth something. Rutgers was 77 last year and got an at-large bid, for what it’s worth. All right, so Northwestern is 38 in the NET coming into this game, Illinois 34. These teams you would think are safely in. Northwestern’s got seven Quad 1 wins, Kyle, Illinois three. They both want the win tonight though because it’s going to help their standing, help their seeding in the Big 10 tournament. Any thoughts on Illinois at home here with the Wildcats?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I’m going to agree with Scott H who says Northwestern has some incredible results on the road. You look at their wins on the road, they’re about as impressive as any team you’ll see, especially in the Big 10. The conference that, like Matt said, the home team has been tremendous. It’s tough to go against the home team in the Big 10 based on how they’ve done against the spread. But Haslametrics has Northwestern as the eighth best road team in the country so far this year. So very legit there.

The Northwestern defense has been very good. They’ve been getting a lot of steals, quick points in transition off those steals. This is an Illinois team that’s pretty inconsistent. I think their upside’s very high, been a bit banged up here lately. I wouldn’t want to lay six points with Illinois, I’ll tell you that. I think Northwestern’s still being slightly disrespected. They’ve played very well, they look pretty legit to me. I would have to lean Northwestern plus the points and I will say I have Northwestern future at a ridiculous price from earlier in the season.

TJ Rives:

Oh wow.

Kyle Hunter:

So I’ll be a big Northwestern fan come March. We’ll see if they can win a game or two and then I can hedge out of it.

TJ Rives:

Well, yeah, it should be a ridiculous price because they haven’t really done anything ever except 2017 when Chris Collins got them in the NCCA tournament and actually won a game. That’s the only time ever they’ve won a game in the NCC A tournament. This team looks tournament worthy like they could win a game or a couple of games and survive to the next weekend. Let’s see them though tonight at Illinois. So no official play on this Big 10 matchup here this evening for both these teams in the top 40 in the NET rankings.

All right, let’s move on. We will get to your Q&A coming up. Another game that we’re going to discuss is Cleveland State and Green Bay. We wind down the Horizon League regular season. Cleveland State, one of the top teams favored heavily at Green Bay by 13, total 134 and a half. Kyle, I am back to you to give us the official play in this one. We’ve already seen a couple of wild results recently in this league, including a Youngstown State chasing Cleveland State. Youngstown State’s had a great year. They went to Robert Morris earlier in the week and got blown away. So go figure here. Is this a little bit of a dangerous spot for Cleveland State maybe tonight? Or what are your thoughts here at the Green Bay Phoenix coming up this evening in the Horizon League?

Kyle Hunter:

So I don’t know what to think on the side. That’s a lot of points to lay, but Green Bay is definitely a weak team. The first game was 82 -77 between these two. We have a really low total in this game I’m going to bet over. The main reason I’m going to bet you over is Cleveland State’s offense has been much better here of late. At the beginning of the season, they were stalling, winning a lot of low scoring games. Quietly, they’ve been putting up big numbers here of late. 85 against Wright State, 79 against Fort Wayne, 78 against IUPUI, 81 against Youngstown State, 85 again against Wright State.

This Green Bay defense is terrible. They do try to slow the game down, but I think Cleveland State will have the lead throughout in this game. And then Green Bay will likely not be able to stall anymore because they’re playing from behind. So I think this total’s too low. If you went on year to date numbers, you’d think that this total was about right. If you went on recency and what Cleveland State’s been doing here of late, I think this total is too low. So I’m going to take the over in this one and hope that Green Bay gets us enough points here to cash this total.

TJ Rives:

All right, Mattie Cox, a thought if anything on this game in the Horizon League. Again, Cleveland State, Youngstown State at the top of it, Northern Kentucky, another dangerous team in action tonight at Detroit, but we’re honing in on this game. Anything on Cleveland State and the Green Bay Phoenix?

Mattie Cox:

Oof not a whole lot there. I kind of leaned for a Green Bay, as disgusting as that sounds, and they just got beat by 30 to Youngstown. But that’s Youngstown, and Cleveland State doesn’t have the offensive fire power that Youngstown has. However, I do think there’s more points here as Kyle’s alluding to here. I would lean Green Bay on the side, but again, there’s no reason to rush in that Green Bay at this point.

TJ Rives:

Green Bay two and 16 in the conference. But what was that game where they came roaring back on the road recently? They broke up their losing streak by beating Milwaukee when they were like a 15 point underdog at Milwaukee, came roaring back and won the game. Now they’ve lost four straights since then. Kyle doesn’t care about the side, Kyle cares about offense tonight. So let’s lock him in on over in this Cleveland State game with Green Bay. He’s going over the total of 134 and a half in that matchup in the Horizon League.

Again, I make mention of this to the peeps. I’ll be privileged to be on the call of the Horizon League Championship game coming Tuesday night, March 7th, about a week and a half from now. They will play that in Indianapolis. Wright State won the automatic bid a year ago over Northern Kentucky.It may be totally different teams this year between Cleveland State, Youngstown State, maybe an upset mind team. We’ll see. So that is in the horizon League Championship. National Radio digitally on tune in on Tuesday night, March 7th. Looking forward to be with that. We got time before we get there, but this is the end of the regular season. We’ll see what happens in that.

Thank you for finding us again. If you’re just finding us, I see that live audience growing. Do us a favor and hit the like button. Make sure that you’re also subscribed as well here on the BetUS College Basketball Show. We’re here weekdays at 11:00 AM Eastern time. We’re coming to the fun part. We’re coming to live questions after two more games on our discussing page and another official play here. So live questions coming up. But let’s talk about one that is all the way out in the Big West. UC Irvine, the Ant Eaters hosting UC San Diego. And Irvine is a large 13 point favorite, total 139 and a half and Matt Cox has an official play on this game for a Thursday. What do you have sir?

Mattie Cox:

Looking at the dog, but looking at the dog first half. I think this Tritons team, as I call them sometimes, the Pitchforks, but the San Diego based school is just really feisty. They’ve been really competitive lately. I think there’s seven and three against the spread in the last 10. Eric Orleans is a fantastic coach. He doesn’t really have the D1 talent yet coming through that program. Kind of a new a newly promoted D2 to D1 jump, but I think they’re starting to play better. And they have some transfer talent that’s gotten healthier. They have a big guy and Tshimanga who’s actually came from UC Irvine. I think there’s a little bit of revenge on his mind. He’s a big interior enforcer. You need size and physicality to combat what Irvine does.

I think this is just a flat spot for the favorite. One in which they’re not going to really, I don’t think put San Diego away with any sort of conviction. You look at San Diego’s first half, second half splits all year, they tend to crack badly in the second half. They’ve had some notorious end game heartbreakers for backers on full game. But first half they’ve been really solid first 20 minutes. I think Eric Orlean’s coaching Edge kind of shows up then and the talent gap catches up in the second half. So isolating at first half play here, taking the Tritons plus seven, getting a touchdown at first half.

TJ Rives:

Interesting in the live chat you got a couple people disagreeing with you and saying take Irvine in that first half. And again, yesterday on the show a few folks weren’t with us, you played a first half and you played the game on the side with South Alabama here. Was it just too many points? It just scares you off here in this instance and you believe obviously that Irvine will be better in the second half. What led you to play only the first half in this game?

Mattie Cox:

Just the way UC San Diego has been trending. The fact that they have Emmanuel Tshimanga back who’s got a huge interior rim protector for them. I think you need that against Irvine’s size. Also, both teams are kind of in a tough schedule spot where I just think it’s going to be tough for one team to really extend their dominance today. And the other wrinkle too is you UC Irvine was without their best guard last game. DJ Davis did not play in that, I don’t have the update status on him. It’s not a very well reported league or team. But even if he does play, I think there’s value and if he’s out, there’s definitely value. Because they’re very rely on his shot making and the way the offense has ho humming this year for the Eaters. So I think if you’re looking at full game, I’ve actually might lean Irvine, but first half I think it’s a great San Diego bet here.

TJ Rives:

Kyle Hunter, I saw you nodding when he mentioned that name, DJ Davis. And we do need to clarify again, we keep doing this geographically. There are three teams in San Diego. There’s obviously San Diego State, that’s the most well known. There’s the University of San Diego that’s in the West Coast Conference and then this is University of California, San Diego, the UC School System that is in the Big West and they’ve recently only been put into Division 1 I think this season. You guys can correct me if that’s wrong. So we just got to clarify on state classy San Diego, on which one we’re talking about here on the show. Kyle Hunter, thoughts on this one real quick before we move on?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, the first thing I was going to ask Matt is if he knew anything about DJ Davis in this game because DJ Davis has been key to this team. 14, 19, 16, 18, 25 points, 18 points in their last few games. And I watched some of that game against Cal Poly, really ugly basketball. They almost lost that game against Cal Poly on Monday, did UC Irvine, I think UC San Diego plus the points is a good look here. I would probably lean them full game, especially at the chance that DJ Davis would be out here, but first half I do like that play. Irvine’s not actually been very good at home. If you look at road and home court performance, they’re 343rd-

Mattie Cox:

Yep.

Kyle Hunter:

… At home, so it’s not like they have this great home court advantage that they can take advantage of. So UC San Diego has been able to be sneaky competitive for a good while in a lot of these games. I think this is a good book.

TJ Rives:

All right, again, I just scanned again I can’t find any-

Mattie Cox:

[inaudible 00:21:21] TJ.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, go ahead.

Mattie Cox:

Irvine travels to Hawaii for Saturday as well, so it’s very rare to see a team play four games in the same week and the latter of those being a trip to Hawaii from the mainland. So just a brutal schedule part of the season for the Eaters.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, we were talking earlier in the week and Mattie I think you were on the show. Have we figured out yet why they were playing all those Big West games on President’s Day? It wasn’t like they were makeup games, they were already on the schedule. There were like four or five of them.

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, I don’t know.

TJ Rives:

Right. So a lot of these teams, a lot of these teams are playing like a fourth game this weekend in a week and so keep an eye on Irvine for that. For the purposes of the official play, Mattie Cox is on UC San Diego. And I could not find anything here at this check at 8:30 Pacific Time, 11:30 AM eastern time on Thursday. Don’t have an update on DJ Davis, the player and whether or not what his injury status is. Nonetheless, Mattie Cox says, “Give me the Tritons of UC San Diego in the first half plus the seven and a half.”

One more game to discuss in your live Q&A. This is a PAC 12 game of interest where UCLA continues to roll, still being chased by Arizona for the PAC 12 regular season title. UCLA Laying seven at Salt Lake at the Huntsman Center with Utah. Total 131 and a half in this matchup this evening in the PAC 12. So we do not have an official play. Mattie Cox, I’m going to come right back to you for this one in the PAC 12 to give me a couple of thoughts on Utes and UCLA. UCLA beat the two Northern California teams last weekend at home. They now have the Utah Colorado swing for this weekend. It begins in Salt Lake tonight. Any thoughts Mattie Cox?

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, I’d be looking toward Utes here, but I’d been putting them on my don’t bet list on the back burner until they’re fully healthy. Since Gabe Mattson went out, they’ve really taken a step back. It’s not an overly D team. Just look at their last two games at Arizona, completely non-competitive. Then they lost the follow up at Tempe at Arizona State. I believe Mattson is supposed to return it not tonight soon. I’m not going to look to jump the gun there and get involved with this team, especially against UCLA, the way they’ve been playing. But I do think Utah would typically be a good bet here at home. Kind of a hype home spot, a well coached team, disciplined team with size to compete front against the big boys. But just with how brittle they’ve been health wise I can’t back them.

TJ Rives:

Kyle Hunter, it’s a Utah team that has lost four of its last six games. As Mattie was alluding to, they lost to the two Arizona teams on the road on the weekend. It’s always seemingly for these, a lot of these PAC 12 programs, it’s like their Super Bowl, their biggest game when UCLA comes to town. That’ll probably be the case, jacked atmosphere, probably sold out arena. Will harken to South Carolina and Alabama a couple of times before the show’s over with. But South Carolina had no business hanging with Alabama last night, but they fed off the crowd. Might it be the same thing for Utah feeding off the crowd tonight for them to hang in there with UCLA? Any thoughts Kyle Hunter?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I want to start off by saying this is that double back to back at elevation in the PAC 12, it’s kind of a unique spot for those LA teams. You’ve got UCLA playing here and then they’ll play Colorado, USC doing the opposite. Definitely something to keep an eye on, especially in the second game of that back to back. They’re not used to playing at altitude, obviously the home team. So that’s definitely a better spot for the home team. I would lean Utah on a game like this, but I’m not excited to bet against UCLA.

The play that I considered making here was the under UCLA’s really been tightening up the screws on defense. They’ve been really good, they’re catching up to Tennessee. As far as efficiency on defense, they’re second in the nation. So can Utah score enough here? Not convinced that Utah’s offense will be great here in this one. UCLA has been a little bit inconsistent on offense. They’ve been great on defense here of late. I think this total’s maybe about a couple points too high. But goes up a little bit, I might dabble in the under here in this one.

TJ Rives:

All right. UCLA maintains a two game advantage in the loss column on Arizona playing tonight. Arizona and Arizona State don’t play in the midweek, they play each other this weekend. So they’re getting a midweek break between those two. And we’ll see what happens tonight in Salt Lake. Utah, 10 and seven in the conference, they don’t really have an at-large case. This would help them obviously if they can get a win here and then obviously they also have USC coming in on the weekend too. They could help themselves immensely if they find a way to pull two upsets. Start with the first one though with UCLA tonight. No official play though on this game this evening.We’ll get to some live questions and answers from the peeps in a moment. Get those ready. We’ve got those forthcoming in just a second.

Hey guys, on the whole situation with Alabama, they win the game last night.The controversy is everywhere right now with Brandon Miller, the star player, NBA lottery pick type player, being allowed to play despite now it’s been announced that he was part of the murder investigation that’s going on on that campus, where another player, Darius Miles is involved. Darius Miles is not the shooter in the shooting death of a female right by the Tuscaloosa campus. But now it’s been revealed that Brandon Miller transported the gun to the scene of the crime as the police have described it.

All right, so Alabama has been in damage control for the last couple of days. Brandon Miller plays in the game and scores 41 last night, including the winning shot at the end of overtime. Give me any thoughts here on, there was one interesting point I thought, and I want both of your comments on this. It can be a distraction for the team, it can be a distraction for Miller, but the team can get caught up in just let Brandon Miller do his thing. And Brandon Miller last night seemed to be all the offense and the second half and the overtime. Everybody else was just watching and winning for him to do something. All right, there’s me putting that out there. Any thoughts? Kyle got a quick thought here on one of the premier players in college basketball. A murder investigation going on and we don’t know what the future holds on might they suspend him? Might there be more pressure to sit him down? Thoughts, Kyle, anything real quick?

Kyle Hunter:

I’m going to be careful what I say on this because there’s some heated opinions on each side in this. And I think it was surprising to see him play right away again and then he absolutely just stars in that game, scores more than half of their points. Obviously Alabama without him would be far worse than they are with him. He’s a superstar. Like TJ said, he was their offense for much of the time, especially later on last night. I don’t know what this is going to mean for Alabama going forward. I know there’s going to continue to be a lot of pressure on them. I don’t know, if they didn’t do it already, I guess I assume he’ll keep playing. But I would’ve thought he would’ve been at least suspended for awhile, but he hasn’t been thus far, so we’ll see. I think there’ll continue to be plenty of pressure though TJ,

TJ Rives:

No doubt about that. And keep in mind that Alabama was not forthcoming that Brandon Miller was even involved in the investigation. This only came out this week when the preliminary hearing was held. The Alabama investigating officer mentions his name and that it’s his vehicle. And the Alabama media in the courtroom perked up and went, ‘Wait a minute, like as in Brandon Miller, the star player of the Tide?” Mattie Cox any quick thought here? Having seen that game last night on this whole situation? Anything you got?

Mattie Cox:

From a handicapping perspective, typically those distractions work against you. Right? We’ve hit a couple of those incidents this year. I’m very anecdotal, I have no strong database to back this up. But if you faded Alabama last night, you cash pretty easily. I think that’s just in general. If you have some off the court circus thing happening, it usually doesn’t work in your favor. It could be again, circumstantial, but just something to keep in mind, I guess.

TJ Rives:

Tide back home with Arkansas for what it’s worth on Saturday and we’ll see what happens. I know Greg Byrne, the Athletic Director, has been making the media rounds on Thursday, again trying to explain the situation, doing some national interviews on different shows. Greg Byrne is also on the NCAA selection Committee by the way, that is meeting and getting ready to put out the automatic bids in the field of 68. Very interesting for all of this.

All right, let’s get into it. Time for some Q&A. We’ve got plenty of people watching and with us live here. We thank you for that. Let’s get to some live Q&A questions here on the program. Carlin leads us off again, right in the one hole here. Carlin says, “Penn State, Ohio State. He is interested in a side for that one tonight.” I know Kyle, you’re regionally close to Ohio State. The Buckeyes have had such a rough season. Any thought on this tonight with Ohio State laying two and a half at home with Penn State?

Kyle Hunter:

I don’t know how you would want to lay points with Ohio State the way they’re playing. They got some serious issues going on, some team chemistry issues. Zed Key’s out the rest of the season now. Holtman definitely on the hot seat. I know home teams have done really well in the Big 10 and that’s why this number is what it is, but I could only look to Penn State.

TJ Rives:

Mattie Cox, same thing. Is it home team or nothing here or just stay away on Buckeyes, Penn State?

Mattie Cox:

Yes, stay away. You don’t want to fade again, go against the home momentum. But also Ohio State, what do you do at that team at this point? Feels like that’s a white flag that’s been waived.

TJ Rives:

Understood. All right, Washington State and Stanford. Douglas is interested. He says, “He’s interested in the total.” What do you guys think about the total in this one tonight at Stanford. And I’m looking here that is Stanford favored by a couple of points, the total 135 I think I see. Anything on that Mattie Cox tonight?

Mattie Cox:

Kind of lean under. First game played to 53 possessions. So tonight Ken Palm projects 63, which is still a very slow game. I can’t underscore how slow 53 possessions is. I would lean under. I think this has been shaded down pretty heavily. Right? If three points, Ken Palm’s got it 137. I’m saying 134, 35. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something there. It’s a surface level handicap for me, but I lean under just based on the fact that the first game played so slow.

TJ Rives:

Kyle Hunter, any thoughts on Stanford at home with Washington State?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, this is a tough one. 53 possessions, about the slowest you’ll ever see in a college basketball game. I don’t know that there has been a slower pace in a game this year. Having said that, this is two teams who have disappointed this year at the end of the regular season. Those usually are better for overs because the two teams don’t usually care as much. They’re kind of getting ready for the Conference Tournament. So it fits that angle that would be an over, but I’m not going to bet an over in a game that had 53 possessions in the first game. So a pretty easy pass for me.

TJ Rives:

All right, let’s move on with some more live questions. Get to as many games as we can here in the next few minutes. Ninja 13 watching says, “North Texas and Charlotte. He’s interested in the over for that matchup in Conference USA.” Any thoughts guys on the over?

Mattie Cox:

Good luck.

TJ Rives:

Kyle or Maddie any thought?

Mattie Cox:

How about this Kyle, 47 possessions first game between these two. So I like the under here. I really do. I actually think both these teams have actually played even slower lately. Charlotte’s going full bore toward their old Virginia, Tony Bennett roots. They picked up the pace a little bit, but now they’re going all the way back to the slow lane. Yeah, like the under here. I know it’s a tiny number, but I like the under.

TJ Rives:

I have been sitting with you guys all year. Have we talked about a game with a total of 110 or one 110 and a half? Have we had one that low?

Mattie Cox:

That is the lowest this year.

TJ Rives:

That is low.

Mattie Cox:

Yeah.

TJ Rives:

That’s low. Kyle, any quick thought?

Kyle Hunter:

I’d say it’s funny that 53 possessions was the last one and then this is 47. 47 has to be the slowest game of the year. 67-43 in the first game, the concern with taking the under is obviously if anybody’s making shots, it’s hard to stay under 110. The first game they scored five points in the last five minutes combined, so they went ice cold at the end of the game. Having said that, in that first game, North Texas had 1.43 points per possession.

Mattie Cox:

They scored every time.

Kyle Hunter:

Still stayed under. So I mean, man, how can you take the note the over in a game like this? I couldn’t do it.

TJ Rives:

All right, we will move on off of that one. Jackson watching is interested in Oral Roberts in the Summit League. Again, they have been tremendous. He’s saying, “What about the 13 and a half?” That’s on the road tonight I believe for ORU and Max Asmus. Any thoughts on that one? Guys, I’m trying to get the opponent. You may have it in front of you. Oral Roberts at-

Mattie Cox:

South Dakota.

TJ Rives:

… At South Dakota. Thank you. Any thoughts guys? Matt?

Mattie Cox:

Don’t, I would not touch Oral Roberts on this road trip to the Dakotas. I think you have two somewhat undervalued teams they’re going to be facing to close out the regular season. Their last two games prior to this road trip, they’ve really fallen apart in the second half. They got up real big early and they played with their food. I think they’re just getting to that point in the year where they don’t have the same energy to put away a team like by 40, 30 points that we’ve saw early in the summit action. They’re not overly deep. I don’t think they play well for a full 40 minutes, especially at this point in this season. If they’re looking ahead to the Conference Tournament, which is only a week or so away, I would not touch Oral Roberts as awesome as they’ve been this year.

TJ Rives:

Kyle, anything real quick or stay away, move on?

Kyle Hunter:

Well, they already walked up the conference-

Mattie Cox:

And that too, right.

Kyle Hunter:

So here they go into these last couple games that don’t really mean that much. And I assume they’re going to need to win their conference tournament. So this is a team that I wouldn’t want to lay points with in a situation like this. I could easily see them coasting to a win and failing to cover there at the end of the game.

TJ Rives:

All right, good enough. We move on. Core 1024 watching real quick says, “Rice, UAB B feels like an up and down track meet.” He’s saying over in that one, UAB obviously with Jelly Walker and Company can score. Any thoughts real quick Kyle?

Kyle Hunter:

It’s a tough handicap for me. The first game was way under but that was without Jordan Walker. Yeah, I think Javion Davis was also out for that game as well. So UAB had next to nobody playing and they still won 70 to 52 at Rice. You’re expecting a lot more points in a game like this, I would expect a lot more points. This is a pretty high total though, so this one’s an easy pass for me.

TJ Rives:

I see the total 158 and a half. Right? If we have that right. Any thought Mattie Cox with the Blazers at home, I’m looking. Is this their senior night or do they have one more? I’m double checking on that while you give me a thought. Mattie Cox, this is senior night for what it’s worth for UAB.

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, no big deal. Should be a great crowd there. I actually kind of like the angle of going with the dog here. A team that has maybe a little more pressure at home to win on senior night, perform well. I think the guys who are seniors tend to maybe play a little more revved up and take shots that maybe be ill advised at times. I don’t know, just a stupid anecdote I’ve been thinking about for some time here. I do like Rice catching the points though. I know UAB’s been a different team with Jelly Walker back, but I think 12’s a tough, a big price to pay against this a competent Rice team on senior night.

TJ Rives:

All right, Dustin is watching us. He asks, here we go about Memphis at Wichita State. This is under the category again for my Tigers and I wore green today. That’s like neutral. I didn’t wear Tiger Blue. This is not something that helps Memphis’s resume if they win at large, but it hurts them if they lose. Dustin’s asking for a thought on this one. It is 6:00 local time in Wichita. Memphis short two point favorite. Any quick thoughts? Kyle?

Kyle Hunter:

Do we know if Kendrick Davis is going to play in this game?

Mattie Cox:

That’s the whole game.

TJ Rives:

The best intel I got, and we talked about this a bunch around the Houston game, is the hope was going to be that he would try to play this game questionable. And again, don’t read too much into him warming up tonight because a lot of people read into that Sunday. He was warming up against Houston and then never took the warmups off and never played. The best I’ve heard is questionable. So who knows what the ankle injury, Kendrick Davis. Any thoughts real quick guys?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I think they played pretty well without him. I thought at eight point loss to Houston was a pretty good showing without Kendrick Davis. Now would I want to lay points without Kendrick Davis? I wouldn’t. So I think this is one where it’s very player dependent. Unless you know that information, I would want to pass on this game

TJ Rives:

And you’re likely not going to get that information. Mattie, any quick thought? Memphis at Wichita State?

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, it’s been pat down to two. Ken Palm has us at five. I think the Kendrick Davis thing is baked into the current price. I like Memphis. They’ve owned Wichita State historically, I think they’ve won five or six in a row. They play similar styles, athletic energy driven type teams. Memphis typically just has more talent and they’ve just been better this year. I think that effort against Houston makes me a little more confident that they’ll be fine without Kendrick Davis. I’m inclined to hop in here at two.

TJ Rives:

Interesting.

Mattie Cox:

I will give that a good hard look after this show. Yeah.

TJ Rives:

All right, we’ll take a look on that, couple of more. Live audience is tremendous right now, it continues to grow. Hit that like button. We’ve got tons that have joined us. Guys, we’ve had literally over 150 people join us like in the last 15 minutes of the show. Where you been? Hit the subscribe button, hit the like button, share it out. We’re going to be here 11:00 AM Eastern time here on the BetUS College Basketball Show Monday through Friday. And we give great q and a here at the end of the show on games that you guys want. Mark is watching us, he says Northeastern Drexel. He’s interested in the side in this one. Any thoughts guys on that one real quick or pass it?

Mattie Cox:

Yeah, it’s hard to stay away from me. Northeastern super volatile, drexel with a bunch of injury, question marks to key players. So I’d stay away there. I don’t have the updated intel on that one.

TJ Rives:

Drexel at home, Kyle Hunter, anything or stay away?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, that’s what I was going to say is Drexel’s had a ton of injuries. Unless you know those guys are going to be back, I couldn’t bet Drexel, I considered the over on this one being a game where both teams shouldn’t matter. It doesn’t really matter to either team in this game. But if Drexel has all those keys scores out, it’s hard to take an over. So I ended up passing here.

TJ Rives:

All right, interesting. On the 3 Dog Thursday podcast, we were going over a couple of underdog spots for Thursday night. Here’s one of them in a game that Tim is asking about on this show, on BetUs. That isUC Riverside in the last game of tonight, midnight Eastern Time, 7:00 local time. Riverside still catching four points. Hawaii won the first matchup at UC Riverside earlier about four or five weeks ago. Now this is a rematch, Riverside up near the top of the Big West Conference. Very tasty underdog spot maybe. What do you guys think, Kyle, any thought here?

Kyle Hunter:

I like Riverside. They’ve been playing some really good basketball of late. Hawaii has tripped up a couple times at home. I think Riverside’s the hottest team in this conference and I think this is a good spot for them. I think there’s definitely a chance that they win this game outright. So I like the dog here.

TJ Rives:

Mattie, anything there on UC Riverside, Highlanders at Hawaii. I know we’ve talked a lot affectionately about Hawaii here, they’ve got 20 wins. Any quick thought?

Mattie Cox:

Nah, the line’s about right. Tough spot here Riverside going to Hawaii after playing Monday and Saturday. Kind of similar to that UC Irvine take we had earlier in the show. I leaned to Highlanders, but with that travel spot, I’m not going to take it.

TJ Rives:

All right, one more quick one too EasyBby1988 is asking about Northern Kentucky, Detroit in the Horizon League. Again Antoine Davis chasing the all time scoring record. Northern Kentucky needs a win in the Horizon League. Keep up at the top of the standings. Northern Kentucky is a short dog here on the road, that might be interesting. Any thoughts real quick guys on that one tonight?

Mattie Cox:

I like the Titans. I think Mercy’s getting healthier and they’re just super talented. And this North team just hasn’t quite ever put it together this year. I think it’s been kind of a disappointing season for them. Relative expect, they’re 12 and six. I think people thought they’d win this league pretty clearly and they’ve had some bumps this year. I like Detroit. I think they’re the healthier team playing a little bit better right now.

TJ Rives:

Kyle, anything there or you want to move off of it?

Kyle Hunter:

Over is my lean in that game. Detroit-

Mattie Cox:

I like that.

Kyle Hunter:

The tempo will probably be pretty quick. They’re trying to get those points for Davis. So that would be my lean.

TJ Rives:

Great job with the live Q&A guys and the live audience still growing and growing. Make sure you’re here at 11:00 AM Eastern time for all of this. Even if you’re watching us later on live Q&A because we just gave you about eight or 10 games there in addition to what you see on the slate down the side of the screen. Let’s go back and take a look at the best NCAAB prop bets. Here’s what the handicaps are on officially for the show. Tonight for Kyle Hunter he’s on a side and also on a total. Mattie Cox, also on a first half side. It was good to him yesterday. First half side with UC San Diego. With that, anything else that we did not cover? Anything else before we are gone and done? Kyle, anything?

Kyle Hunter:

I see a couple people ask about Western Illinois, North Dakota, which tips off here at noon Eastern. So I will say that I leaned the over in that game, considered that as a play. It’s moved up like five and a half or six points.

TJ Rives:

Wow.

Kyle Hunter:

I know people love those day games. Got to love day basketball.

TJ Rives:

Are they doing that because of the horrific freezing conditions and the ice storm that’s going on? Did they move that up to 11:00 AM local time in North Dakota for that reason? Why are they playing at 11 o’clock on a Thursday?

Kyle Hunter:

I’m not sure on that.

Mattie Cox:

I don’t know.

Kyle Hunter:

I don’t know.

TJ Rives:

Wow. Interesting, interesting on that. All right, Mattie Cox, final thought before we’re gone for a Thursday, sir?

Mattie Cox:

No, good luck. I’ll see everyone next week hopefully with the winners on the other side.

TJ Rives:

Let’s get some of those as well. Thanks to Kevin and everybody behind the scenes at BetUS. I am merely TJ Reeves. Good job, Kyle, good job, Mattie. Enjoyed it. We’re here 11:00 AM Monday through Friday. Don’t forget to check out our sportsbook website. Hit that like button on the way out if you enjoyed this show. Help us out, hit subscribe, share it out. That’s how you can help us on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

 

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