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College Basketball Picks, Predictions & Best NCAA Basketball Betting Odds [Thursday, Jan 12th]

The College Basketball Picks Show

TJ Rives:

Well, we are back. Great to be back with you on the BetUS Thursday edition of the College Basketball Show. I am the somewhat capable host, TJ Rives, here for the handicapping of these guys. Hello, Kyle Hunter. Hello, Matt Cox. Good to be back with both of you. Kyle, first time we’ve had you for this week I believe. Are we sporting the Brent Favre Southern Miss Golden Eagle hat or another golden eagle? I’m not sure. Good to have you as we’re ready to rock and roll for a Thursday and some college hoops. How you feeling?

Kyle Hunter:

Good. Yeah, I wasn’t really sporting it for Brett Favre or anything, but yeah, Golden Eagles hat here today. Kind of like them as an under the radar team here this year, but some good action here on Thursday night. Got a pretty good slate.

TJ Rives:

All right, we’re looking forward to going over some games here. Matt Cox, you’re back again here for this week. We saw some wild action on Thursday or on Wednesday, excuse me. Any thoughts on Wednesday and what we saw last night? Some very interesting games again.

Matt Cox:

Yeah, I think Texas with the big second half push there, I’d seemed like it seemed that we had counted out for dead and they made a big rally against TCU to get over the hump there. Most of the other action was, I felt rather predictable or at least not all that surprising, but man Indiana, my Hoosiers, that’s, I think, the real storyline. What a fall from grace they’ve been on.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, they’re faltering badly due to injuries and due to problems. How about my Memphis Tigers came into Orlando to play UCF in a pretty good matchup, with a UCF team that’s on the fringe of the top 25. Not one, but two overtime before 107-104 by UCF despite 42 points from Kendrick Davis, the SMU transfer for the Memphis Tigers. Davis hit the big three pointer to put the game into the second overtime, but in the second overtime the UCF Knights were able to outlast Memphis in that one. Kyle, do you have any thoughts? We were just remarking before the show began, Boise State goes into UNLB and wipes out the top 25 Runnin’ Rebels, not just beat them but beat them decisively, Kyle.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I thought that was a really nice road win there. The way that they beat them, like you say, is pretty stunning. I thought the other game that was a lot of fun was Charleston and Wilmington, that mid-major game with Charleston on that amazing run. Then you’ve got UNC-Wilmington comes back, takes the lead, just barely, then Charleston pulls it out. That was a fantastic environment for college basketball.

TJ Rives:

No doubt about it. All right, We’ve got a lot to get to. Thank you for finding us however you have done so. Make sure that you’re hitting the like button or subscribing. If you’re joining us live Monday through Friday, 11:00 AM Eastern time. We are ready to roll for a Thursday first though. Let’s take a look back at the records. We have got to be better. We were not as good yesterday. 1-3 on the show. Matt Cox. We’re only looking forward, right my friend? We’re only looking to the future. Going to get the show back near the 500 mark if we are able with some official plays. Let’s begin, shall we, with the official plays for a Thursday. That includes a matchup in the Sunbelt Conference, Georgia State and Troy. This one in Atlanta tonight with Troy coming in as a short road favorite laying two, total 131 for tonight’s game, against the Georgia State Panthers. Kyle Hunter, you’ve got the first official play for Thursday, sir.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I like the under in this one in general, but instead of taking the game over, I’m going to take a team total under with Georgia State. Troy’s a really good team that’s well coached by Scott Cross. I think we’ve talked about him before, that he was not done very fairly at his previous stop. Now doing a good job with the Troy Trojans. The other thing that kind of stands out to me about this game is Troy’s defense has been amazing in the conference. They kind of mix up their looks on defense.

The thing that stands out about Georgia State, Georgia State, I was kind of looking at their profile. I’m going to pull this up here as we’re talking because I want to make sure I quote it correctly. Georgia State has been very heavy with pick and roll ball screen action. 27% of their plays have been pick and roll ball screens. That’s first in the nation as far as how often they do that. Troy is fourth in the nation at defending pick and roll ball screens.

What Georgia State wants to do, doesn’t really match with having success against this Troy defense. Georgia State is not a very good shooting team. If their go-to play is not working, I don’t really think that they’ll be able to get open looks here in this one. If they do, they’re 26 and a half percent from three point range so far this year. 360th out of 363 teams in the country. We’ve seen Georgia State come up with some really clunkers on offense. 46 points against Northeastern. 47 against James Madison. 57 against Georgia Tech. I think they have a poor offensive night again here in this one. I’m going to take Georgia State team total under in this one.

TJ Rives:

Again, a conference matchup here, Georgia State, just eight and eight on the season. Matt Cox, any thoughts if no play here on this Sunbelt game on a Thursday?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, Georgia State’s a terrible shooting team. When you watch them, it sort of jumps out at you a bunch of bigger, more physical slasher like to get to the rim, do their work around the 10. It’s funny, they’re actually a top 25 free throw shooting team in the country, but 26.5% as a team from behind the arc. Their five starters are all above 75% on the year from the charity stripe and they are all below 27% from long distance. Kind of an odd dichotomy there, but I’ve watched this team a few times. They are terrible shooting from the outside, so I think Troy will have the right recipe here.

TJ Rives:

We’ve talked on this show that this is a Georgia State program that has perennially won the Sunbelt tournament and been in the NCAA tournament, including a couple years ago, as recently as a couple years ago. Let’s see if they can get their act together or not. Kyle Hunter specifically though is looking at the total in this game and in particular the Georgia State team total, and he just doesn’t think they can get to 65 points. He says under for Georgia State’s team total of 64 and a half in game number one. Game number two, we go to the Horizon League. We’ve talked about this frequently. This is what you get on the show on the BetUs College Basketball Show. Youngstown State plays Detroit. We’ve talked about both of these teams already this season. That includes a Detroit team with Antoine Davis, one of the leading scorers in the country. All right. Youngstown State is a one point favorite. The total is 155 in this game and Kyle Hunter, you’re back for a second straight official play. What drew you to this game coming up tonight?

Kyle Hunter:

I don’t love taking high overs. I’ll give that caveat to start with, but I think this one’s really high for a good reason. Youngstown State shot the ball really well this year. Detroit a terrible defense. I don’t think there’s any question about that. Detroit puts up a lot of threes. Detroit is 50th in the nation in three point percentage. Youngstown State 337th in defending the three. We know Detroit’s going to put up a ton of threes. They’re going to have open shots here. Hopefully Antoine Davis and the crews’ threes are following in a game like this. Both teams have been pretty good at second chance conversion percentage so far this year. Quick second chance points. 63rd for Youngstown State against 282 Defense of Detroit. They’re giving up a lot of those. 181st for Detroit on offense against 337 for Youngstown State’s defense. I think we see a lot of quick second chance points. Youngstown State shooting threes 21st, Detroit 266. We’re seeing some massive advantages here for the offense.

Obviously anything can happen in one game, but you go back and look and see what Youngstown state’s been doing here lately and the pace that their games are being played at. Last year, the games between these two were pretty high and now they’re playing quicker, both teams, than they were a year ago. I think this total is high but not quite high enough. I’m going to take Youngstown State and Detroit over the total here.

TJ Rives:

Matt Cox, it’s a Youngstown State Penguins team that has won 12 games already this season. They come in to Detroit where Detroit’s lost three straight. Overall, they’ve lost six of their last seven. Again, Antoine Davis can fill it up. What are your thoughts here, including Kyle thinking there could be, he laid out a very impressive case on a lot of threes being taken and made in this game?

Matt Cox:

Yep. Yeah, the total got bet down to 155. If you’re backing Kyle now, you’re getting at a really good time. KenPom has this at 161 just for reference, so a little bit of a shade down from the odds makers and then some additional money on the under. I think Kyle zigging against the zag here and I think he’s got a good reason to with how offensive centric these teams are. Another feather in his cap is that Gerald Liddell, the double-double machine, former four-star recruit started his career at Texas, who’s now made his journey route to Detroit. He was a double-double machine when healthy, has been out. He might play tonight. I’m inclined to think that he will be limited and if so, not as effective as he usually is. He’s generally pretty good for the under more physical defensive presence, one of which very few and far between in this matchup between these two teams.

Yeah, lots of high level shot making. I think the pace is pretty frenetic. Detroit Mercy’s transition defense has not been very good. Youngstown is excellent in transition. Dwayne Cohill kind of sets the tone there, I think a lot sets up here for the over and again, you’re getting at a pretty good price right now.

TJ Rives:

All right, lock in Kyle who says over 155 before that number goes up as we’re live here at 11:00 AM Eastern time for Detroit and Youngstown State in the Horizon League, A 7:00 Eastern Time game coming up this evening. Reminder, again, we will have time for questions and answers as you see in a couple more games here. In a few more minutes, we’ll get to your Q&A. Do us a favor, hit the like button. Make sure that you’re hitting subscribe as well. We approach 3,500 subs. Kyle’s been very confident that we could get there before the end of the month. We may get there by the end of the week, but we only do that with your help. Hit subscribe for us, share the show out, more people are finding it, more people are finding us live.

Guys, I keep saying this, I don’t want to be a broken record, but you guys are with me all the time. Since the show began, We’ve seen the audience about triple or quadruple about five or 10 minutes into the show. You may have missed an early pick here or an early pick or two here if you’re just joining us. You can always go back and rewatch, but participate. If you’ve got a game that you want to ask about, comments, we generally get to numerous games in the Q&A, get those going in the Q&A right now in the live chat on YouTube from BetUs.

Let’s move on to the Big 10. Interesting game in Iowa City, Iowa for a Thursday night. Look at Michigan getting five points on the road at Iowa, who’s played better as of late. They came from behind and beat Indiana a week ago after being down 20. They’re laying five here. They beat Rutgers on the weekend at Rutgers. Total 154. Matt Cox, you are on this game. What’s the official play for you?

Matt Cox:

I’m taking the Michigan Wolverine on the road. Very scary to face Iowa when they’re at home, especially with the subtle uptick and improvement that we’ve seen from the Hawkeyes after that disastrous three game swoon, most notably headlined by the disastrous loss at Eastern Illinois. If you look at who they’ve gotten back in the last few games, they got Kris Murray back three games ago. He’s looked like himself and they looked much better against Indiana and against Rutgers, their big road win on Sunday. I think that was the most impressive of this recent stretch. I think we look at the Indiana win by two points, a game that Iowa had to come back from a pretty significant deficit. We look at what Indiana did last night, I think that’s sort of not that impressive, as you kind of look at it through in a post-mortem lens.

On the other hand, Michigan, I know they blew out Maryland and that was maybe a fluky result, but they took care of Penn State pretty easily. A little bit of a late Penn State run, but they staved them off. Got caught in sort of a grinder affair in their crossed in-state rival Michigan State on Saturday, losing that by six. I still think this Michigan team is a subtle by low right now. They’re a younger back court. They’ve had to shuffle some of the rotations around. I think Dickinson is locked in for this matchup, should have a pretty substantial interior edge against the Iowa frontline.

That defense I still don’t trust. I know Iowa’s starting to play a little bit better as I talked about earlier, but it’s a defense that I think can be exploited. Michigan’s had success on the road in Iowa City. I think Phil Martelli and Juwan Howard have a pretty good game plan here offensively. The ball’s got to be moving. It started to stick a little bit last game. I think they move it and have a little bit more success against the softer Iowa defense. Take the Wolverine with the points.

TJ Rives:

All right, and Matt Cox, by the way, has done well with the Big 10. I just looked you up. You’re 5-1 with your Big 10 plays on the show over the last two weeks. That includes Illinois. We have an Illinois cover for you earlier in the week, easily against Nebraska. Let’s see what happens tonight. Kyle, Hunter, thoughts on this one if no official play with Michigan at Iowa, sir?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I mean as a Buckeyes fan, I’m not usually a Michigan fan, but I’m certainly rooting for Michigan in this one. TJ, we kind of talked about last week, Iowa and Fran McCaffrey. Who knows what Fran McCaffrey will do tonight. There’s probably going to be a blow up and a technical at some point. Michigan should have beaten Michigan State according to ShotQuality 66-64. They got a bit unlucky in that game.

TJ Rives:

Just couldn’t make shots.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. Iowa at Rutgers was knocking down some really tough shots. I remember watching that game and thinking this one’s probably going to be a bit skewed when we look at what the results should have been. They won 76-65, ShotQuality thinks they should have lost 75-69. I think that’s a good double play for Iowa coming into this one probably a bit too high and Michigan coming into this one a bit too low. I don’t think Iowa’s as good as some people think they are right now and I think Michigan’s probably a bit better than some people think. Remember Iowa too, they needed Indiana to get pretty banged up. I mean two of their best players were out of the game to come back in that one. Though Iowa has been a good home team in the past, this year at home they did lose to Wisconsin. They lost to Eastern Illinois. The Indiana game, they weren’t exactly playing very well until the injuries happened. I do think getting the points here in this one is a good look, so I agree here.

TJ Rives:

Kris Murray leading them with 21. He really took advantage when the Indiana player got hurt in the first half who was all over him, because he then scored 21 in the second half in their comeback. He’s obviously somebody Michigan’s got to watch. Matt Cox says, “I like the Wolverines, I like the number,” and he will take Michigan officially here in Iowa City for this matchup, 7:00 Eastern time on ESPN2. Michigan and the plus five for our third official play. One more to go and then we’ll get to some question and answers from you folks.

North Dakota State and Denver make the show for an official play with North Dakota State laying one for the Bison against Denver. No, this is not the Nuggets. This is not the Broncos. This is Denver University total 143 and a half. We are back to Kyle Hunter, you have an official play. I think I know where you might be headed here on the show. Kyle Hunter, what’s up?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, so I mean if you like mid-major games, then you’re welcome. If you like the huge games only, then sorry. I had to put this one on the slate. This is not so much a numbers play. We were talking about the game earlier where Youngstown State, Detroit, all the metrics. KenPom has the metrics. Ones like that are going to like the over. This one I’m kind of going against the numbers. Most of them like the over in this one.

I’m going to take the under because North Dakota State has been one of the rare teams that plays defense in the Summit League the last few years. That has helped them quite a bit because the Summit League has been really high scoring. We know Oral Roberts has been the best team here this year, but the teams in the Summit league that play a little bit of defense are usually the teams that have success because not too many of them actually play defense. The good thing about North Dakota State, they’re excellent on the defensive glass. They’ve been number one in the conference, defensive rebounding nearly every season. Denver probably gets one shot in a game like this.

North Dakota State kind of toyed around with playing faster in the non-conference schedule. This is something I’ve been tracking quite a bit, if you look at the beginning of their schedule, they had a lot of games, 79, 80 possessions, 72 possessions. The last few games, 64, 64 possessions, 59, 68 possessions. They’re settling back into their slower pace, their defensive ways. If you look at the whole season, you think this number’s too low, you should bet an over. If you look at what’s going on recently, it looks like it’s too high to me. I’m going to trust what they’re doing recently will slow this game down. Denver, I can’t say too much positive about their defense. It’s not a good defense. They don’t play very fast though. 202nd in average possession length. I think this is a pretty slow pace for a game with a total of 143 and a half. I’m going to go with North Dakota State’s recent trend to keep this one under the total in here.

TJ Rives:

I was just wondering by what you were saying, because we hear Corby talk about this, you guys talk about kind of isolating a game and watching it in advance to see about results like the week before or the weekend before. Were you looking at this earlier in the week and looking for a certain number or did you just kind of come across this last night and this morning and say, “Hey, that number is easily doable for the under.” I’m just curious on this one, were you tracking either North Dakota State and or Denver for the last few days?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I like to go back and look at box scores from previous days. When I’ve been looking at the previous days box scores recently, I keep noticing that North Dakota State’s been playing slower. They get these unders coming in pretty consistently. What I’ve been doing, is trying to see when I could bet a North Dakota state under. Yeah, I’ve been watching North Dakota State, hopefully this is the right time to take it. I think even if this one loses, I’ll be looking to take some unders with them going forward. I think if this one loses, it’s probably because they knocked down a ton of shots, not because the tempo was there. We know one game sample size can be tough, but I think this is a good look based on the trend of the last few games. Like I said, they’re going to put out a number that has the entire season stats, but I think what they’re doing lately has a lot more waiting in this.

TJ Rives:

Fair enough on that. Matt Cox, any thoughts before we move off of it on North Dakota State and Denver tonight?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, I think the under trend for the Bison make total sense. They’re led by two prolific big men in Grant Nelson and Andrew Morgan and their guards are really shaky. I think Dave Richman, their head coach, would like to run a little bit more. He’s shown a propensity to do so at times in prior years. I think just the way his roster is so imbalanced, that I think he really wants to slow it down. He really wants to play inside out and make these games uglier, grind it out, kind of boxing matches up front, which is something you can do successfully in this league that’s relatively more skill oriented, shooting oriented, not exactly the Big 10 out there in Big Sky country. Yeah, in the Summit League, I like North Dakota State generally because they do defend and this year with those two bruisers up front, they certainly can protect the rim.

TJ Rives:

No doubt. All right, you get it all here on the program. We talk Power six conferences, whether it’s ACC, SEC, et cetera, but we also go off the beaten path as I like to say. Kyle says, “Give me an under officially on North Dakota State and Denver under the total of 143 and a half.”

Okay, time for the peeps. Time for the Savages to get some questions and answers. Rolling. We got a few minutes for you here. Fire away. Do us a favor as you see on the screen, hit that like button. Make sure that you are subscribed here on the BetUS College Basketball Show. We always love feedback. You get it from us live at 11:00 AM Monday through Friday all the way through March, and all the way headed to the Final Four. Let’s go for it, guys. Let’s get into some questions and answers and see what you guys have for some of us here, for the handicaps in particular. BJ is watching us. Thank you, BJ. He will lead it off. He says tonight, Marshall and Southern Miss, he says, “The line is moved from seven and a half to eight.” He wants to know what you guys are thinking. I don’t know if Kyle’s thinking anything subliminally because he’s got the Southern Miss hat on, but BJ leads the show here asking about Marshall, Southern Miss. Thoughts guys, Kyle?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I would like Southern Miss plus the points as a lien on this one. I haven’t bet it, but I think Marshall’s been a bit fortunate in some of their games. I don’t know that Marshall’s defense is as good as it looks if you look, they’ve given up 63.0% from the free throw line. We know there’s really no such thing as free throw defense. I would lean towards Southern Miss plus the points in this game, thinking that this Southern Miss team is playing quite a bit better than they have been. I think Jay Ladner is a pretty good coach.

TJ Rives:

How about Southern Miss, 14-3 for what it’s worth, Marshall 13-4. Good records to this point early on in January. Matt Cox? Any thought here? Marshall favored by seven and a half or eight depending on where you’re looking.

Matt Cox:

Yeah, I do lean Southern Miss here, not bending it against Marshall at home who’s been pretty near a juggernaut on their home floor there in Huntington, West Virginia. They can also put pretty big runs on in a hurry. This line feels big but it’ll play to a higher number because of the pace that I think Marshall can dictate at home.

TJ Rives:

Good enough. Douglas watching us says, “Thanks for giving me University of Evansville over yesterday. What do you think about Western Illinois and Oral Roberts?” ORU, we were talking Summit League just a minute ago. Any thoughts, Matt Cox, on Evansville and Western Illinois. I’m sorry, Western Illinois, Oral Roberts. Forgive me. Any thoughts on that?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, both teams can score. Both teams like to run. That’s obviously all priced in though. You’re looking at a total of what? 157. 82 to 80 just barely gets you over the total. I would be a little bit weary here betting the over. I know Oral Roberts is playing their third game already this week, I believe Western Illinois. No, so they had Monday off. Roberts played on Monday at New Mexico.

TJ Rives:

Yep.

Matt Cox:

I think some weary legs maybe coming back home. Just a slight concern.

TJ Rives:

Good point that you make. They hung in there with New Mexico in the game in the pit in Albuquerque a couple of nights ago, Monday night. Kyle, any thought here on ORU and the matchup with Western Illinois or you want to move on?

Kyle Hunter:

I mean I don’t want to bet an under, but I think this number’s pretty high. Oral Roberts has played much better on defense so far this year too. They’re number one in the conference in defense thus far. Don’t know that they’ll continue to be that good giving up 0.916 points per possession. Certainly much better than they have been in the past. They’ll play very fast. It’s hard to take this high of an over. You have to feel like everything’s going to go right. I kind of agree with Matt there, that while Oral Roberts seems like a good over team, this is definitely priced in.

TJ Rives:

All right. Nathan is watching us. He says, “Trojans minus two,” I assume he’s meaning Troy Trojans. Then again the USC Trojans are laying three and a half on the BetUS line with Colorado. I assume Nathan means Troy against Georgia State game that we were already talking about where Kyle was talking Georgia State team total. Matt Cox, any thought on the side on Troy and Georgia State?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, my numbers like Georgia State, but I’m not going to trust it. I don’t like betting against Scott Cross. Just an awesome coach. Continues to do more with less as he’s done this year, as he’s done the last few years there at Troy. I’m not going to bet on a team I’ve watched that’s drove me up a wall against a team that I respect the other head coach. No play for me.

TJ Rives:

Understood. Kyle, any thought on the side there? You gave us a lot on Georgia State’s team total and the under.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, I mean if I like Georgia State team total under, I’m supposed to like Troy’s side, right? I would definitely lean that way thinking that they would probably cover the number. I just like the under a little bit better. I think it could be a pretty low scoring game overall.

TJ Rives:

All right, I am still looking here for some other questions. Let’s see. CE is watching us. Thank you, CE. He is curious about BYU, Gonzaga. Let’s talk about this game. Is this up to seven now for the Cougars at home in the Marriott Center, that place can rock. They have pulled upsets in years gone by with Gonzaga. This is one of their 0.2, circle it on the schedule games every year. Kyle Hunter, a thought? He’s interested in BYU on the side as the home dog.

Kyle Hunter:

I see six and a half here in this one. I would lean BYU. I don’t think Gonzaga is as good as some people think they are. Gonzaga didn’t cover the spread against Santa Clara. I think Santa Clara actually took the lead there with a minute and something left and then ended up losing by five points. They were certainly fortunate to beat San Francisco. This is kind of a tough stretch in the Gonzaga schedule. Playing at San Francisco at Santa Clara and then at BYU here in this one. I lean BYU, but BYU has turnover problems on offense. I hate betting on a team that’s turning the ball over 22.3% of the time on possessions. It’s a really high turnover rates. You’re going to waste possession against Gonzaga. Kind of hard for me to bet on BYU, but that’s my lean.

TJ Rives:

Matt Cox, I’m looking over the BYU resume 2467. They’ve won eight of nine. They did lose to Loyola Marymount in the league. Loyola Marymount is much improved. They lost to them at Loyola Marymount last week, but then on the weekend they beat San Diego, Steve Lavin is the first year coach there, by 20. Now they’re at home. Again, a lot of people don’t realize this, that Marriott Center seats like 23,000 people.

Matt Cox:

Oh, it’s going to be rocking.

TJ Rives:

It will be bonkers tonight for Gonzaga. Thoughts?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, one of the best home courts in college basketball. That’s amplified when Gonzaga comes to town. For the first time in a few years, BYU actually has a team that’s capable of eating Gonzaga who is slightly down from their prior year standards. I actually kind of leaned the Zags though. I know they’ve played with their food the last couple of games on the road, but those were larger spreads in games that they just, if you’re in the mindset of Drew Timme and these boys who have gone through the ringer of the WCC, you’re just trying to get out there with wins. I’m more inclined to back Gonzaga in shorter spread scenarios. I know the six and a half isn’t that short, but it’s shorter than the double digits we’re used to seeing them lay. Just a general angle, I’m looking to back Gonzaga in smaller spreads on the road. I think this would qualify, but just as a general rule of thumb, betting against Mark Pope has not been a winning strategy long term.

TJ Rives:

All right. Our man J Man is in the live chat and he’s rapid firing games. How about Jman says, “St. Thomas, UMKC Missouri-Kansas City.” Again, we go kind of in the weeds a little bit. Any thoughts for that guys? Either one of you on St. Thomas of Minnesota, that’s who it is, conference game with Missouri, Kansas City, UMKC. Any thoughts guys?

Matt Cox:

I like St. Thomas. I don’t usually trust St. Thomas away from home. They’re basically 4-0 in the conference so far this year at home. O-2 away from home. They lost to both the Dakotas in that road trip just before the new year. That does concern me. I think they’re the better team though today. I think there’s a little bit of a physicality disadvantage they’ll have to overcome, but they’re just so pristine on offense. I think they execute so well. Yeah, small lean toward the Tommies on the road.

TJ Rives:

Ton of you with questions. We’ll try to get to a couple of more before we’re done here. Kyle, any thought on that one, on St. Thomas, UMKC or you want to move along real quick?

Kyle Hunter:

I had no strong opinion here. St. Thomas plays extremely slowly, but they’re very good on offense and terrible on defense. I do think they’re the better team. I just don’t know if I want to lay points on the road.

TJ Rives:

Very good. Carlin is watching us and you are there in the area of Ohio State. Ohio State hosting Minnesota, laying 15 or 15 and a half. Kyle, any quick thought there for the viewer on the Buckeyes on the side?

Kyle Hunter:

I see St. Thomas as plus one and a half. Yeah, I don’t mind St. Thomas there in that one. I thought they were minus one and a half. Ohio State’s been really good efficiency-wise on offense. In fact, they’re number one offensive efficiency in KenPom now. I think that’s pretty surprising, but their defense has kind of been disappointing. I saw somebody in the chat had a question about whether Brice Sensabaug would score over 15 and a half points. Sensabaug’s been doing a lot of scoring lately. His usage on offense has been extremely high. I would definitely take Brice Sensabaug over 15 and a half points. Look at what he’s done lately. 22, 19, 21, 18, 21, 22. I think over 15 and a half is a good play. I think Ohio State probably wins this one fairly comfortably. It’s a nice bounce back spot there after a couple rough losses, but I think I live Sensabaug over even better.

TJ Rives:

Matt, any quick thought? Buckeyes and Minnesota are two teams you’ve been playing sides on. They play each other tonight in Columbus. It’s a large line. Any thought real quick?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, well I think Sensabaug’s even better play because Zed Key will be out again. This will be his, I believe his second game missed in a row after getting hurt against Purdue. With him out, even more Sensabaug featured as the primary scorer, initiator of that offense. I actually kind of lean the Gophers though on the side. I do think Minnesota is slightly undervalued now in conference. A little bit healthier. We saw them take Nebraska to OT last game. Took Wisconsin to the wire the game before that. I think 15 is a little too much in a game that might play more to an ugly grimier traditional Big 10 type of style.

TJ Rives:

The peeps keep firing questions. The audience keeps growing. We’ll sit here for a couple of more minutes. Nathan is watching us. Nathan says, “Purdue, Fort Wayne, Lang 15 and a half with IUPUI. We always seem to talk about the Mastodons of IUPUI. Any quick thoughts, Kyle? Anything on that? He’s curious about the side.

Kyle Hunter:

TJ, I kind of like the over in this one.

TJ Rives:

Interesting.

Kyle Hunter:

I considered using that one for the show here. I figured TJ would wonder what on earth was wrong with me if I used that one. IUPUI’s offense is a decent amount better than it was last year. They’re playing five possessions per game faster and yet their defense is way worse than it was last year. IUPUI defense is giving up a lot. I think Fort Wayne scores quite a few here, so I kind of like Fort Wayne’s team total over the best. If I had to bet on a side, I would lay the points there with Fort Wayne.

TJ Rives:

Matt, any quick thought here before we move on, on Purdue, Fort Wayne and the side?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, I’ve gotten a little bit healthier lately. Have had the Jags of IUPUI and I think Kyle’s right to point out they have actually been able to score with some of those guys back in the lineup, but their transition defense has been putrid. You think for a team as bad as they are, that they would be hyper-focused on getting back and transition and trying to slow the game down to a lower possession affair, but really not the case. I think Matt Crenshaw is just kind of throwing his hands up there and just be like, “Ah, let’s let my guys go out there and play. They’re young. Let’s see what they learn.” I think that typically bodes well for over right? More of a recreational type of game as opposed to a tight hyper-competitive style.

TJ Rives:

As you see on the screen there, make sure you hit the like button, make sure you’re subscribing as we rock along here on the BetUS College Basketball Show. Still a couple of minutes left for questions. Dalton has an interesting one. Kyle, you spent some time talking about and making a play on the Denver, North Dakota State game and Dalton wants to know, do you think that that total will move up through the day and that the Denver game could get up to 144 and a half? Obviously it’s something to monitor, but what’s your thought? What’s your early feel on could that total rise even another point from where you played it?

Kyle Hunter:

My guess is it doesn’t get to 144 and a half. Obviously market movements tough to predict. I have been good at closing line value in college basketball. I think this one stays about where it is. This one’s already below the projections of KenPom and Bart Torvik and ones like that, but I think there’s some sharp money that’s going to back the under in a game like this based on that recent trend. My guess is it stays about right where it is right now.

TJ Rives:

All right, fair enough. Matt, a question here from a viewer. Let me get the name. Elias is asking about either Utah playing them as a plus 12 on the side, that is at UCLA, I believe that is correct. Oakland is his other thought on laying five and a half. I’m not sure where Oakland is in the Horizon league tonight. You guys may find that quicker than I will find that. He’s interested in the two sides. Matt, anything?

Matt Cox:

Yeah, I like Oakland, but it’s been bet up to six. I don’t like it at the current price.

TJ Rives:

Who’s that?

Matt Cox:

Robert Morris. Oakland’s hosting Robert Morris. Yeah, Oakland did the old non-conference rope-a-dope and then they kind of shot out of a cannon when conference place started. Got some key guys back and healthy. Utah, I like quite a bit. I know UCLA’s been very scary. They’ve been really good as a large favorite this season, but not against the Pac-12. And we just saw them below a huge lead in the second half against UCLE. I think that game closed right around 12. I actually think Utah is better than USC. Just from a technical handicapping lens, you’re getting the same price on Utah as USC closed, what was it last week? BI think Utah’s actually the better team. I like the Utes here in this spot.

TJ Rives:

Somebody else is asking about a team total for Arizona. Let me get the name on who asked about that. I’m looking on who asked. Silva asked about Arizona’s first half team total. Silva curious about Arizona. 38 and a half in the first half coming off a loss. They’re at Oregon State tonight. Any quick thought, Kyle or Matt?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah, can’t hate something like that. They’re coming off that bad loss. Arizona definitely going to push the tempo. Oregon State will do their best to slow that game down. I would lean Arizona team total over in the first half. In general, their team total over. I don’t think Oregon State has the talent to keep up, but Wayne Tinkle’s teams can do some surprising things sometimes. I don’t think I’m going to bet on it, but that would be my lean.

TJ Rives:

Matt Cox, Arizona blew it at home with Washington State. Now they’re on the road late night in the PAC-12. Any thought on a first half team total for the viewer real quick?

Matt Cox:

I don’t know. I don’t love NCAA Basketball betting this over because Oregon State, as Kyle alluded to subtly, can muck it up. They’ll throw some junk defense, they can kind of slow the pace down it. There could be a settling in period I guess for Arizona. I actually would look to target Arizona’s second half if you really like that side. Yeah, weird things can happen up in Corvallis and just the PAC-12 in general. No edge for me here.

TJ Rives:

All right, great stuff here. We covered a bunch, as we always do, in the Q&A all over the country. Hopefully you got some good information on that. Let’s go back and take a look with the guys are officially on. Three plays for Kyle, all involving totals including a Georgia State team total under in their matchup with Troy. He’s got two other game plays that he’s making. Matt Cox has done very well, again officially on the show, 5-1 on Big 10 sides over the last two weeks. He says, “Give me Michigan. Michigan and the points at Iowa tonight.” Gentlemen, with that, any final thoughts for a Thursday? Advice, games, you’re watching or anything for tonight besides what we’ve already talked about? Anything else Kyle Hunter?

Kyle Hunter:

Oh man, the chat’s been hopping here today. I’d love to see that lot. Lot of questions coming in. Thanks everybody who’s tuned in. Looking forward to the slate. Pretty big slate of games. Not a ton of huge name games, but I like those under the radar games. Best of luck everybody on your plays today,

TJ Rives:

Matt Cox, any final thoughts? Anything that we didn’t cover? We hit a bunch of different games, including in and out of the top 25. Anything else my friend?

Matt Cox:

No, I mean, stay up late tonight. Most of the games are the on the West coast of BYU, Gonzaga, USC, Colorado, Arizona, UCLA, Utah, I should’ve mentioned. Yeah, if you’re looking to catch the biggest of the best tonight, make sure you get an extra cup of Joe this afternoon, I guess.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, Gonzaga, BYU should be fun. We’ll see what happens on that. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. Boys, good luck with the plays. Thank you, Kyle Hunter. Thank you, Matt Cox, Kevin, and everybody at BetUS. Great stuff. Don’t forget to check out our sportsbook website. We are here Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM Eastern Time on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

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