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College Basketball Picks, Predictions & Best NCAA Basketball Betting Odds [Tuesday, Feb 28th]

 

TJ:

Well, hello there and welcome back to the BetUS College Basketball Show. Good to be back with you. And this is it. The last day of February! That means that March is coming tomorrow, and we cannot wait. Glad to have you with us, however you found us. We’re here weekdays at 11:00 AM. I am merely the somewhat capable host ,TJ Rives. Say hello again to the handicappers, Corbie Craig and Mattie Cox is joining us, I’m told from California. Man, you have been globetrotting throughout January and February. Now you’ve decided to soak in some PAC 12 and some West Coast Conference basketball firsthand out west. How you doing, Mattie?

Matt:

I’m good. Going coast to coast, trying to get us full wall-to-wall coverage, and one more day and we’ll be in the ides of March. Can’t wait for it.

TJ:

Yes, the intel that he’s building up. Corbie Craig, hello there. Ready to roll the sleeves up again here for another Tuesday. We saw some craziness on Monday that we were talking about yesterday. Did we or did we not leave the air saying, “Nevada Wolf Pack, you cannot blow this game at Wyoming. You have an at-large case, you’re going to damage your at-large case, you’re going to hurt yourself.” I’m not saying they’re out, but that hurts, them losing at a depleted Wyoming team last night. It’s not even March yet, but we’re already seeing some upsets. Corbie, what are your thoughts? Welcome in.

Corbie:

Yeah, they looked rough, but a 3-0 day nonetheless. 2-0 for me, 1-0 … Matt scraped by that Howard win, so we’ll take it 3-0, however we can get it headed into March.

TJ:

Very nice with you on Montana laying the points in the Big Sky conference last night. We do have some conference tournaments that are underway like the Atlantic Sun, the Sunbelt also getting underway. The Horizon League will be the first … A game that we will talk about first officially here. Again, thank you for finding us. Get some questions ready in the live chat. I’ll tell you upfront, we’ve got a full slate. We’ve got a lot of games that we’re going to go over. I pledge to you though we will have time for some live questions after the big slate here, and the guys are going to have some official plays. Let’s look at the records as Corbie teased there. 3-0 day yesterday and the show right now at the 500 mark just in time for March. So we’re looking forward to bigger and better things to be coming here, not just today but for the next month and all the way through the NCAA tournament and the Final four. Cannot wait for the barrage, the avalanche of games, in a good way, that are upcoming.

Speaking of the barrage, let’s get to it. Let’s start figuring out who, what, when, where, and why for a Tuesday with the games. Let’s start with a Horizon League game in their tournament, which is played early on on-campus sites including Robert Morris, playing host to IUPUI, Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis. Robert Morris, laying 14. The total is 138. Again, this is a do-or-die tournament game that Robert Morris is the higher seed. They get it on their home floor. Corbie, you’re going to have the official play to start us off on a Tuesday.

Corbie:

Yep. Out of all the games, out of all the situations you could take, I’m going towards it. Robert Morris, IUPUI first half under 65. These are two teams that have played each other a lot recently in 2023. They’ve played each other twice, including last week, what, the 23rd. Robert Morris, IUPUI faced off now headed into a Robert Morris stadium where Robert Morris, obviously a 14 point favorite, they should be able to do as they please. We sold this game at open, on the first game, open 128 to the total, got smacked over. They scored like 150 points. Second game opens up in the low 130s, 134 smacked over again, and I think you’re seeing a buy on the idea that that’s what these teams are, and I’m not buying it too much. IUPUI, a heavy turnover team. 360th in the nation in turnovers. Robert Morris has to be locked in as you said, this is do or die, go home, at home. I imagine they’re able to shut down this IUPUI team who has scored decently as of late and probably getting too much respect for their offense. They don’t have the pieces or the bodies that can score like that in my opinion. So give me the under in the first half here.

TJ:

Look at what Trevor was saying, and Kevin, you can put that back up. Look at what Trevor’s saying there. It seems like a weird line with a huge total. A lot of people are looking at IUPUI and saying that’s too many points. Now you’re only interested in the first half total on this one. Mattie Cox, any thoughts as the Horizon League gets underway? This is a Robert Morris team that beat one of the best teams in the conference, Youngstown State, recently, within the last 10 days, and beat them badly. They should win. But any thoughts here as conference tournaments begin and the unexplainable starts happening?

Matt:

Yeah, I agree with the chat. I think it’s too many points. I’m looking at taking the Jaguars here. You mean just look at the fact that Robert Morris lost to IUPUI last Thursday, so IUPUI’s last game was on Thursday, an outright win against Robert Morris, so now they flip and go back and play on the road. They were at home. That game closed 10 points, so now it’s going to be a four point swing as they go on the road. I think they actually, you could argue a stronger correction should be made by the odds makers. They should have opened this probably closer to 12 given that recent result, but also given how well IUPUI’s been playing. And they’ve covered I think somewhere like 90% of their last 10, 11 games. I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but they’ve just been night and day better than what we thought they’d be preseason and what they were last season. I kind of think you just keep riding this momentum. If you watch this Jaguar team play, they actually have some young talent. Not blue-chip NBA lotto talent by any means, but there’s some actual dudes who can play, and I think this line implies IUPUI is completely inept, and I don’t think that’s the case.

TJ:

And what’s interesting is a year ago at this time, I still remember this on this show, I mean I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast this morning, but a year ago on this show we talked about the opening round game for IUPUI that only had five guys, literally, because of injuries and a player quit. They only had five guys. They played in the tournament game against Oakland University, the northern Detroit suburb, and they covered. They didn’t come close to winning, but they covered. So now as you mentioned, Mattie Cox, they’re bolstered a little more. They’ve won some games, they’ve got more players. These are weird situations. It’s a road game. Let’s see what happens tonight in the early part of the Horizon League. Again, teams like Cleveland State, Youngstown State up at the top of the Horizon League, and I again plug away, it’s going to be my privilege, a week from tonight on March the seventh, I will be in Indianapolis. Guys, I will come your way next Tuesday from Indianapolis, the heartland of America, and I will get to broadcast the Horizon Championship game on national radio. So a little plug for this. I’ll be looking at these games throughout the week in the Horizon League.

So let’s lock Corbie Craig in. Let’s see what happens in this horizon league with, again, the games on the early match-ups are on home sites. Robert Morris at home. He believes it’s an underplay, Corbie does, for Robert Morris and IUPUI in the first half under 65 for this matchup.

All right, let’s scoot along. A little more prominent, probably is the matchup in the ACC that has Duke rematching NC State. Game number two on our docket is in Durham. Duke, maybe a look-ahead. They have North Carolina in Chapel Hill to end the regular season coming Saturday, but this is revenge as NC State humiliated them by 20 plus in Raleigh. Duke favored by six and a half, the total 145.

Mattie Cox, give me a thought or two on Blue Devils looking for revenge, looking to lock their seed in in the ACC tournament. Give me some thoughts.

Matt:

Yeah, the market loves Duke, and I understand why. I think they’re playing their best ball right now. It’s hard to really judge how strong of … the caliber of their momentum because of the fact that they’re in the ACC, right? I mean, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Louisville, not exactly three world-beaters. Although the win at Syracuse by 22 points and then most recently on Saturday waxing Virginia Tech, you know, a really desperate Virginia Tech team. I think Duke is starting to get back to what we thought they’d be preseason. You look at their analytic rankings, they’ve been hovering in the mid-thirties. I mean, I’m not going to say they’re a top-five team, but they’re certainly a top-20ish team with the current roster construction that includes Dariq Whitehead back and fully healthy. Jeremy Roach is playing his best basketball. Tyrese Proctor has been more effective, kind of the unsung freshman stud who came in, didn’t really have his mojo early. Now he’s playing a lot more comfortably. Just a lot of things setting up here for I think Duke playing their best ball down the stretch.

But NC State’s been continuously undervalued by the betting markets all year. One of the better ATS teams in the country. I think the market overreacted hitting Duke here up to six and a half. I lean their way. If you want to get involved, I think I’d take first half, but six and a half’s a big number given Duke’s ball screen defense issues, which really hurt them in that first matchup.

TJ:

All right, Corbie Craig, we see a lot of chatter in the chat about first half about how big that line is. Again, it is revenge for Duke in this situation. They looked really good against Virginia Tech for what it’s worth, and that was a revenge game. They had lost in Blacksburg, they paid them back on the weekend and beat them badly on Saturday. Any thoughts, Corbie Craig here, on the numbers?

Corbie:

Yeah, Matt’s alluded to this Duke ball screen defense issues quite a few times, and he’s completely right. I think that it can’t go unnoticed that they struggle in a schematic standpoint in that situation. They do look a lot better at this point. So is that issue going to continue? Is it going to be as potent as it was in the, what, 20-point loss? Probably not … 24 point loss … but six and a half seems a ton to lay. I think I would lean towards Duke at a flat five, but six and a half is just a no man’s land number and nothing that I would want to play by any means. I think that Duke is the far more talented team, has the pieces to stop at DJ Burns from taking over too much, and Duke’s looked really good on the glass, so I lean towards Duke. I agree with Matt that they’re not the 36th best team in the nation. They’re probably closer to 18 to 20 range, and probably being a little undervalued, but six and a half is just a nasty number and nothing that I want on by any means.

TJ:

We see a couple of peeps talking about, again, that Duke, much better at home. Most teams are. Terquavion Smith’s 18 a game, four assists a game, and he lit Duke up in the first game. They better get on him in this matchup at Cameron coming up at seven Eastern time. No official play from The Handicappers, but you got some good discussion on that one. And is it a look-ahead for Duke against North Carolina as much as you try for it to not be? That’s the regular season finale coming on Saturday. As you see on the screen, we’re here live weekdays 11:00 AM Monday through Friday all the way through March. It’s about to be March! Welcome to March. And then all the way through the Final Four. We’re looking forward to it.

All right, let’s move on. Bucknell and American up next with American laying five in this matchup and a total of 132 in this one this evening. All right, first round game in the Patriot League championship. Once again, these are home sites, and I believe, guys, correct me if I’m wrong, they play home sites all the way through the championship game. Same thing with the Atlantic Sun, Corbie, that we were talking about yesterday. So whoever the highest remaining seeded team is for the title game, they will host the title game. So American tonight hosting Bucknell in this matchup. Mattie Cox, a thought or two in this opening round game in the Patriot League.

Matt:

Yeah, my official play today is American minus five. There’s a couple of worries about this play because I think people look at the Patriot League and how good RO teams have been this season. One of the few conferences where just auto-betting every RO team was a profitable endeavor. But looking at how at some historical data, the conference tournaments tend to … Home courts sort of resurge a little bit. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe there’s more fans that show up or just teams at home and get locked in more, but that tends to erode in conference tournaments. That’s kind of a point in my favor for the American edge tonight.

I think the stronger edge is that it’s just a team that really flat-line down the stretch. I think we saw how good they really are. Early conference play, non-conference play. I think they play back to that level tonight against a Bucknell team that got their best player, Andre Screen, back last game, but he was limited. I don’t have an official update on his status tonight, but I think Bucknell getting anything less than a hundred percent from him is really a huge indictment on their ability to play to their best.

And final point, looking at teams coming off a loss versus teams coming off a win, you usually want to back the team coming off a loss right before conference tournament play. Not a major edge, but historically closer to 51, 52%, so an extra percent or two gives you an extra boost in ROI, so you kind of add up all those little breadcrumb value points. I think American takes care of business tonight, so I’m laying the five here.

TJ:

All right, interesting. American, the Eagles, they had some success early, but man, they’ve lost a lot of games as of late. What is that? 2, 4, 6 in a row. Man. But they are at home. You are laying the points there. Corbie Craig, any thought here on Bucknell and/or the total? Anything here?

Corbie:

Yeah, I like the spot for American. As you said, they’ve lost a ton in a row, and it looks like this team is worse than we’ve seen all year. Also, they were bought up a little bit too much. They hit the 180s in the nation, and they weren’t that good of a team. But now, dropping a hundred points to 285th in the nation, I think you’re seeing an American team that is oversold by every measure.

They’ve lost to this Bucknell team twice this year, which is interesting. But the thing for me is this is a really good matchup for an American team who really struggles turning the ball over. 350th in the nation in offensive turnovers. Bucknell doesn’t want to force any turnover basically by any means. They’re 333rd in turnovers, forced. You’re talking about a Bucknell team who, as Kyle would allude to always, really good free-throw defense. Second in the nation in opponent free-throw shot.

So Bucknell a little bit too overbought, American’s a little too oversold. Five is a decent number. I wanted a four, but five isn’t too bad of a worry for an American team that does have a couple free-throw shooters to close off the game at the end.

TJ:

All right, so there’s a lot of discussion in the chat about how bad Bucknell is as well. We’ll see. Somebody’s going to advance in the Patriot League and again, important, this is on American’s home floor tonight. Mattie Cox says lay the points with American University. He’ll lay the five in that matchup.

Keep your comments coming, keep your questions coming about the games that we’re talking about here. As you see, we still have a few more to get to on the slate. We’ll get to some live Q-and-A here at the back end of the show. Get your questions and answers ready for that while we continue here on a Tuesday and talk Clemson and Virginia. Man, Virginia suddenly looks mortal with the loss for them at Boston College, and then they were beaten by North Carolina on the weekend, so some of the luster off Virginia a little bit.

Meanwhile, this is a Clemson team that’s in need a big wins down the stretch of the season. They got one, a huge win. Mattie, I think you alluded to it, a 25 point win over NC State at Raleigh on the weekend. One of the impressive showings in the ACC for a road team all year is Clemson winning late in the year at NC State that badly. All right, so tonight Virginia favored by six and a half at home, the total 129 and a half. This one up for discussion. Corbie Craig, I’m right back to you. What kind of Virginia team are we going to get? That’s the real question here off the two losses. Any thoughts here?

Corbie:

Yeah, early in the year, I was not a fan of this Clemson team, and I really still am not, but I do think the Virginia has issues internally in the ability to cover spreads. I mean, what, they lost to North Carolina, Boston College, they beat Notre Dame by two, beat Louisville by three, went to overtime with Duke in a game they should have lost, and then NC State by 13. So you’re talking about a team that doesn’t really just handle business as of late. They were early in the year, but Clemson is a team … Six and a half, just seems like a lot. Clemson has a lot of scores, and though Virginia’s defense has been great for quite some time now, they have shown they’re pretty normal relative to … Like this isn’t just some lockdown Virginia defense that we’re used to. This is just a really slow pace team overall, and it makes these numbers much lower.

But as somebody just said in the chat, I agree with the over 129 … Virginia over feels disgusting, 360th at tempo, but Clemson is going to force tempo. They have the scores to go with Virginia. And the thing about this Virginia team this year is they have a lot of talent. Gardner, Clark, Beekman, Franklin, Vander Plas, this is a as very talented five-man front. They’re just really slow, is the issue, and I think 129 is probably a little bit too low here.

TJ:

All right, interesting. If you were watching, Trevor brought up the fact that Terry Holland, the longtime former Virginia coach, and I know we’re going way back. You guys are younger than I am … He was the coach of Ralph Sampson when Sampson was the player of the year, Virginia in the Final Four in 1981. Holland was the longtime athletic director at Virginia. He was the former head of the NCAA selection committee for one go-around. Longtime coach that won over 400 games as a coach. He passed away due to complications with Alzheimer’s on Monday. They will obviously have a moment of silence, honor him tonight. As Trevor was pointing out, you’ve got the death of a former coach. Again, the players today can’t relate to something that was going on in the early eighties. They can’t relate to the nineties and the early two thousands, but still there will be some emotion around that, and Virginia’s off two losses, and they are at home. So all that said, Mattie Cox, any quick thoughts including about the Virginia Cavaliers here at home?

Matt:

Yeah, I’m looking to keep fading Virginia. I think they were on fraud alert during that stretch. They barely beat bad teams. Now they’re getting exposed. UNC took them, took care of business against them over the weekend. I think they continue their skid tonight. I think six and a half’s too many. I know Clemson’s in a really tough spot being that they just came off a huge win against NC State, shot the lights out. I just don’t love backing teams off, like, a outlier good performance. It just feels like it’s hard to duplicate that, especially with such a short turnaround that given the fact that Clemson needs every win like blood to get back on the right side of the bubble, I think that negates that concern. So I would lean Clemson here at six and a half.

TJ:

Interesting there on the side. Again, no official play in this matchup, but it is a big one in particular for Clemson’s resume. As much as you look on the surface at the wins, and it says 13-5 in the ACC, this is important to keep pointing out as we’re now 12 days away from Selection Sunday. It’s not just the amount of wins, it’s whom did you beat? Out of those 13 ACC wins, how many of them are Quad One? How many of them are quality wins away from home? Things like that that they will analyze. This would be enormous. Clemson already got one against NC State on the weekend. Enormous, if they can follow it up with a road win at Virginia and solidify them as an at-large team. Clemson probably in already, but they can greatly help themselves tonight in this matchup.

All right, let’s motor along. We’re going through the list of games that you see on the screen. We’ll get to some Q-and-A live here on a Tuesday. Let’s go Big 10, and Indiana, off a big win over Purdue on the weekend, is back home. They’re laying five and a half with Iowa, who had an epic comeback. Have we figured out three days later how Tom Izzo’s team gave up a hundred points in a game, in a regulation game. Usually that’s like two games that Izzo’s given up in the Big 10, late in the season. Instead, Iowa got to the hundred mark, got it beyond the hundred mark and won the game in overtime. Tremendous three-point shooting. Indiana lays five and a half, total 154 and a half. Mattie Cox, I know you’re in Big 10 country typically and figuratively, even though you’re on the west coast right now. Give me a thought or two on Indiana back off the big win at Purdue back at home.

Matt:

Yeah, I mean, I’m looking at what happened last time Indiana beat Purdue this year, that was on February 4th, kind of a gutty, gritty win. They came back home and took care of business against Rutgers. It wasn’t an easy cover, but I think they’ve proven that they’re not as prone to letdowns as some of the other Big 10 teams are. I think this IU team is really starting to trend up toward legit Final Four contender.

However, just the sheer emotional ecstasy of that win. Winning at Mackey the way Jalen Hood-Schifino went for, what, 35 points? You got to bet on some regression here at home just a little bit. However, Iowa on the road has been a disaster this season. They’re one of the starkest home road splits of any big team out there, and we’ve talked ad nauseam about how strong Big 10 home courts have been. Assembly Hall, one of the better ones [inaudible 00:20:32] question. So, I don’t know. I think you can maybe argue this is a good time to sneaky fade IU, but I’m not going to do it with Iowa, who’s been a Jekyll and Hyde home and road.

TJ:

Corbie Craig, give me a thought. People are saying first to 60, I saw somebody in the live chat say, first to 60 wins this game. A thought on the total? BetUS line is 154 and a half at showtime. Any thought?

Corbie:

Yeah, it seems super high. I mean, it’s 148, and in most cases that’s a bet for me, but this Iowa team has had my number. Iowa was a miserable road team as we’ve talked about. If you go through their home road splits, you can tell when they’re at home, they’re scoring 92, 112 at, what, 81, 86, 93, and on the road they’re putting together performances that just aren’t going to cover the spread. Also, both of these teams are really emotional wins. They just came back and beat Michigan State scoring 112 in overtime, and Indiana just beat a really good Purdue team pretty handily on the road. Won by eight. So I like the idea of backing an under here, but really don’t like backing unders with Iowa as one of the teams by any means. Frank McCaffrey would enjoy scoring 200 if he could and stare down every ref. So I think 154 is too high, but I have not bet this by any means.

TJ:

Was an incredible final minute where they made five, five three-pointers in the final minute including the game tie-er? And how many times do we have to say this? I’m going to say it on behalf of the whole crew here. If you’re under five seconds up by three, grab somebody before they shoot the three-point shot. Do it! Because the amount of times the teams don’t do it and give up a tying three or even a losing … I mean if you’re going to lose the game, don’t grab them and put them on the foul line for two free throws to tie the game. But if you are up three, grab the three-point shooter at five seconds and down below because Michigan State didn’t off the high screen, Indiana got the game in overtime, and boom, they were able to win in overtime.

Let’s see what happens tonight in Bloomington, Indiana kicking it in. Mike Woodson’s second year. They are rolling right now. Then they have a game at home. Let’s see what happens. All right, a couple more to go. We’ll get to your live Q-and-A in a couple of moments. Reminder, hit that like button. Make sure that you’re subscribed as well.

Let’s talk Holy Cross. Loyola Maryland makes the show tonight, and if I am correct, that is also a tournament game as well in the Patriot League. It is. It’s on Loyola Maryland’s home floor. The line is five and a half here for Loyola Maryland at home. The total is 143 and a half and Corbie Craig, you’ve got an official play. Give it to me, babe.

Corbie:

Yeah, I have this, the under to 143 and a half. This is a game that was probably one of my worst bets of the year. Just a couple, what, when did they play? February 22nd. So last Wednesday, these two teams. These teams matched up. Loyola scored 55 in the first half of a total that was like 137 and a half, I believe. Their first matchup this number was 128. So this has been bought up a ton, almost 15 points. The first matchup went under, and I think this is a Loyola team who plays towards an under, 264th in tempo. They force a lot of turnovers. They also turned the ball over a ton, just leading some nasty possessions, just meaningless, stinky possessions. Now at home in a conference tournament, they are the team that forces this momentum. They force this tempo. Holy Cross is a team that would much rather play fast.

They are also just as stinky from a possession standpoint, but I don’t think that they have much say in the schematics of this game with it being so important to this Loyola team. So it being bought up so much from a 128 to a 143 in three games seems incredibly good buy for an under here. And the second half of that game, if Matt watched that game last Wednesday, the second half looked like a game that would’ve went under, traditionally. It was just a first half fit. Jesus. Yeah, there was a stretch of six threes made in a row in like a minute and 30 seconds. So by all means I’ll take that loss, but I think it gave us a good number here in conference tournament.

TJ:

Mattie Cox. It’s a Loyola Maryland team that’s won four of its last five. They beat Lafayette at home. They beat Holy Cross as Corbie mentioned, and American at home recently. Colgate is the number one seed. 17-1 in the conference in the American. These two teams are playing early because they’re down near the bottom of the conference. Any thought on Loyola Maryland, Holy Cross tonight? Conference tournament winner, go-home game on Loyola’s floor.

Matt:

I like the under angle here. Holy Cross is a team that plays pretty fast in a conference that typically has slower teams. A lot of teams in this league run variations of the Princeton offense, heavy passing, slower possessions, execution, screening, cutting, all that stuff. Loyola is a microcosm of that. I think in a confidence tournament setting when the stakes are sky-high, I think all other things equal, the pace tends to skew slower than faster. I think the team that tends to play slower dictates that tempo, and Holy Cross has played some slower games this season. They typically play in the upper-sixties, lower seventies, but last year they played mid-sixties in the Patriot League tournament round one loss. I think you see a repeat of that, which should help Corbie’s under here.

TJ:

Love it. Again, conference tournaments. How will these go? I keep saying this. I’m going to say it here. I’m going to keep repeating it. You’re going to see games … and maybe, I hope it’s not in this case, but Corbie’s got a total here in this one, not so much aside … You’re going to see games where you can’t…. It defies explanation why the team that has such a bad record suddenly upsets a team in conference tournament play, especially on a neutral floor. Again, this is a road game for Holy Cross tonight, but get ready. Get ready for about 10 times in conference tournaments and the first couple of days of the NCAA tournament to have a result that doesn’t make sense. Welcome to March. Let’s see what happens. Corbie again, we will lock in. He’s on the under here, 143 and a half for Holy Cross and Loyola Maryland in the Patriot League tournament opening round.

One more game to go then your live Q-and-A. That game is in the SEC. It is Arkansas and Tennessee. Both of these teams are securely in the NCAA tournament, at-large feel, jockeying for position at the end of the regular season for the SEC tournament in Nashville. Tennessee lays six and a half, total 134 in this one. Mattie Cox, I’m right back to you. A preliminary thought or two on Vols and Hogs tonight in Southeastern conference play this evening. Tennessee 10-6 in the league, Arkansas now 8-8 in SEC play.

Matt:

Yeah, Arkansas’s getting better. No doubt about it. I thought they were controlling Alabama in the first half of that game over the weekend. Bama kind of leaned on them late, late, actually extended that to nine or 10, but Arkansas closed with a pretty impressive run, and I think they’re at a point now, not like Duke, but they are somewhat undervalued I think because of the miscues they had early in conference play, the injuries they’ve suffered. But with Nick Smith back and operating close to a hundred percent, I mean 26 points, 24 points, his last two games, I mean he’s a lotto-type talent. I don’t think he’s fully priced into where Arkansas’s at. And then Tennessee on the other side of the coin. I mean, all they’ve really done in the last few weeks is just beat bad teams by a ton, and I think that’s kind of kept their analytic rankings inflated. Number four in …

TJ:

In fairness, they did. In fairness, they did hand Alabama a loss at home a couple of weeks ago. But I see what you’re saying. I mean they pummeled South Carolina. They pummeled Missouri … or actually they lost to Missouri, excuse me, but they also beat up on some other teams like Georgia and LSU by margin. I understand the point.

Matt:

Yeah, I mean the only thing that … right, it’s the Alabama game is an outlier I think, but South Carolina, lost to A&M. Nothing to write home about that. I mean, they’re not a bad team, but I think they are overvalued, and I think the massive margin wins against LSU, Georgia, even Texas and that Big 12 SEC tilt, which always favors the home team in my opinion, and in South Carolina by 40 last game, I think I lean toward Arkansas here at the value.

TJ:

Corbie Craig, a thought? I know Kyle Hunter, our colleague, keeps saying fade. Rick Barnes, fade Tennessee late in the year and in March. Arkansas again comes in stinging a little bit, but this is interesting here tonight. They’re getting some points, too. Any thoughts including on the total Arkansas, Tennessee?

Corbie:

Yeah, it’s a weird spot because though Arkansas gets Nick Smith back, and they do look a lot better with him, Josiah-Jordan James comes back for Tennessee, which is a massive part of this offense that needs as many scores as they can have because they are miserable offensively. This is a Tennessee team … and people on the show can probably realize the teams I like and don’t like based off their offensive abilities. I don’t like Oklahoma State, I don’t like Iowa State. Tennessee fits in the same realm of they really just don’t have progressive talent to score very often, but it is getting better. So I don’t hate this Tennessee team by any means. I think six is probably too much of a lean towards Arkansas, but if this number was a four, four and a half, we’d take the Volunteers at home here.

TJ:

All right, the Big Orange, they kind of need one late in the year for resume builder. Again, these teams are safely in right now. They’re not going to end up winning the SEC regular season. Alabama basically has that, even though Tennessee beat them earlier in the year. Kentucky, a sweep of Tennessee as people are pointing out in the chat. All right, let’s see what happens tonight with this one. Are they going to call the hogs tonight for Arkansas and Eric Musselman’s team in this matchup?

All right, gentlemen, well done on the slate of games that we have in front of you, no official play there on Arkansas and Tennessee. Let’s move on to questions and answers. First things first, live audience soaring as we thought that it would. Again, you see on the screen we’re here weekdays live at 11:00 AM Eastern time. Come on in.

We love all the live audience, all the interest because watch what’s about to happen. You’re going to get a barrage of questions and answers over the next few minutes here on certain games that you can ask about. Do us this favor, hit that like button and make sure you’re subscribed. Right now I’m looking at it. My live-viewer-to-like-button ratio is once again like eight to one. Hit the button. That helps us out. Share the show out. We’re trying to get to 4,500 subscribers by the time March Madness is here. We’re almost there on 4,500 subs. We get there with your help, so hit subscribe as well. Hit the like button, and let’s get after it. Boys, you ready? You ready for the savages and some live questions? Here we go. We go all over the map with some of these different games. Trevor got one in first on Queens and Kennesaw. Queens won the game, what, with Florida Gulf Coast. They’re now playing Kennesaw in the Atlantic Sun Tournament on their home floor. Guys, I don’t have the line in front of me, but any thought on Queens and Kennesaw for the matchup tonight? Kennesaw one of the best teams in the Atlantic Sun Conference. I see seven. Looks like the line is seven. Any thoughts on that guys?

Matt:

Yeah, there’s some big money on Queens coming in early. I think people realize that the Big South made a change in their format this year. The teams that play in the opening ground play at the venue of their the top two seeds. There’s actually been no travel here for Queens. They just play back-to-back in the same location. I think that helps them. I think people maybe sniff that out in the market. I disagree though. I like seven, Kennesaw at the current number at seven. I just think they’re playing … just they’re the better team, top to bottom. I think they’re playing better right now. So yeah, I like the Owls here at the cheaper price against the market.

TJ:

Corbie, anything on this, or you want to move on?

Corbie:

Yeah, this is a Queens team that beat Kennesaw last matchup, and I think that I agree with Matt. Kennesaw is the better team if you’re talking from a pick-up basketball perspective, which I bring into equation all the time. I think Kennesaw is the team to take here for sure. Seven seems like a lot, but if I was forced to a side, I would take Kennesaw.

TJ:

Ray is watching. Thank you, Ray. Asked earlier about Stetson and Lipscomb also in this tournament. That Stetson’s home game for tonight, and it is a pick ’em game I think on the BetUS line. Any quick thought on that one, guys?

Corbie:

Stetson was mid-major. Matt’s dog of this tournament at 16.

TJ:

Like the future play. Yes.

Corbie:

I’m going to have to lean towards Stetson on this one, then.

TJ:

Stetson has a couple of wins early on in the season. Two out of the conference, 12-6 record. Lipscomb is traditionally good, and they’ve been in the NCAA tournament as well. Mattie, anything on this or you want to move on?

Matt:

No, I lean Stetson but nothing profound there. Just think their shooting and guard play is the superior unit in that matchup.

TJ:

Core1024 says, “Give me a total take on Colorado State, San Jose State in the Mountain West. Tim Miles’s San Jose State team playing a lot better.” Corbie, any thoughts on that one, and what is that total?

Corbie:

Yeah, I was about say, do you have a number for that total by …

TJ:

Let’s see if we can find that quickly. Mattie, you may find it.

Matt:

It’s 137.

TJ:

  1. 137 and a half. Any thoughts?

Corbie:

It seems high for a San Jose State team who wants to deplete this ball. 352nd in the nation in tempo. Colorado State’s the team that earlier in the year was really fast. I think traditionally they’re pretty fast, but this year they really haven’t been. Yeah, 130th, 116. We’ve seen a fast Colorado State team for years at this point, but 250th in tempo this year. They’ve been pretty efficient. They just beat up on a Wyoming team. Take that for a grain of salt, whatever it’s worth. But the San Jose team is decent. I think this will be a really good basketball game overall. Probably lean towards an under, but late-game fouling could get you in a little bit of trouble there.

TJ:

For example, there are borderline NCAA tournament teams like Utah State, San Jose State beat them. They won at UNLV. UNLV, probably not an at-large team right now. Would have to win the conference tournament. San Jose State, beat them in Vegas. San Jose State did beat Boise State, which, again, is on the cusp. They beat them at home. Now they’re playing Colorado State, and Mattie Cox, this is their senior night. Any quick thought here on this?

Matt:

No, nothing. I just can’t believe we’re in a world where San Jose State’s favored by a field goal over Colorado State, but just … Tim Miles is not going to win Coach of the Year, but he certainly deserves recognition for the astounding job he’s done there.

TJ:

Yeah, he’s done a tremendous job to get them back rolling because they’ve been one of the worst programs over the last few years, but they’re back going pretty well there. San Jose State. Ninja13, hello. Ninja13 says Boston College, Wake Forest. He’s interested in the over 145 in that ACC matchup. Anything there real quick, Mattie? Anything?

Matt:

Yeah, I like the over, too. I think there’s a ton of points in this game. Boston College is starting to wake up. The market disagrees though. They’ve bet this down to 145 and a half. Maybe Boston College replicates that same formula they use to beat Virginia. Maybe Earl Grant recognizes they’re actually better in a slower, grounded-out type of pace, then they try and do that again against Wake. But Wake’s just too dynamic in the open court. I think their defense is Swiss cheese at times, so I kind of like the over against the market.

TJ:

Corbie Craig, any thoughts on the total there?

Corbie:

I think I am frozen.

TJ:

[inaudible 00:35:14] we hear you. We hear you though. Do you have a quick thought on the total while we see your avatar?

Corbie:

I’m not going to lie. Don’t know what game you’re talking about. I saw I was frozen so I tried to …

TJ:

That’s okay. We’re talking about Boston College, Wake with a total of 145. Any thought on that in the ACC?

Corbie:

Yeah. Wake’s going to be as fast as possible at all times. Boston College showed a little bit of pace, showed a little bit of ability to score the basketball versus Virginia. Maybe I’m just biased first watching that one game game, but Quinten Post looked really good, so we’ll lean towards an over there.

TJ:

All right. Again, live show folks. We’re having fun with the internet and with what we have. One more, Danielsonwatching says San Diego State, Boise State. We mentioned Boise State lost the game to San Jose State and, again, they have an at-large case, but that’s a tough loss for them. I’m looking for the line in that one, and you guys may find it before I find it on Boise State and San Diego State. That is Boise State. Boise State minus two and a half.

Matt:

Yep. Two and a half. It opened up Boise State minus one. I think people are just betting on the spot here for Boise. San Diego State’s been awesome. They just beat New Mexico at New Mexico at a raucous environment there. They’ve just been a nails, veteran team on the road all year, so that’s why I’m not going to go … That’s why I don’t agree with the market, but I think that those betting Boise have an angle with … San Diego State really played two awesome road games in a row with such a short turn around this late in the year. I kind of tend to agree with Boise. Just has a really a solid game here at home.

TJ:

And remember San Diego State had had New Mexico hit the go-ahead shot, and then in the final five seconds they go the length of the floor and hit a three for the win down by two. Emotional win at the pit in Albuquerque. I saw people saying, Mattie Cox, that the pit has not been electric like that in maybe five or six years like it was last Saturday night. And San Diego State won the game on a last second shot, but now they got to go right back on the road and play an angry Boise State team. That is a seven Mountain Time game. Nine Eastern Time in Boise tonight. I believe we are good with everything else. Did you have a quick thought on Michigan State off the loss with all the points with Iowa scoring them. They’re on the road at Nebraska. Any thought? Michigan State still laying points on the road. Mattie Cox, any thought on that real quick?

Matt:

I kind of lean their way at minus four. I do, but nothing profound, again. Big 10 home courts, unless you have a really, really, really strong reason to go against it. It’s better just to stay away. I’ve learned my lesson too many times on this show.

TJ:

I hear you on that. Great stuff. Thank you to all the peeps, all the savages that have been in the live chat, firing away the questions with great audience. Let’s look at the best bets. I know Corbie departed there, but let’s take a look on the screen at what the guys had earlier in the show if you were not with us. We are locked in on a first half under for Robert Morris and IUPUI for Corbie. Mattie Cox has American laying five in that Patriot League tournament game on their home floor, and then Corbie goes right back to the Patriot League for Holy Cross and Loyola of Maryland with an under in that one. Again, we got conference tournaments in the Atlantic Sun, in the Patriot League, and in the Southern Conference getting underway here tonight. So we got a lot of different stuff that is going on. It looks like Corbie may be popping right back in to say goodbye here on the program. While he does that, Mattie Cox, any final thought here before we’re gone and before we’re good?

Matt:

No, conference tournament season is officially upon us, so buckle up. Always a wild ride.

TJ:

Going to be crazy stuff. Corby Craig, final thought? Anything else here? You didn’t weigh in on San Diego State and Boise State. I don’t think we got your take on that. You got anything on that with Boise? A slight favorite at home. Did you have anything in closing?

Corbie:

Yeah, Boise’s been getting bought up way too much. I’m not sure what’s happening there. San Diego State’s a really good basketball team, so leaning toward San Diego State there. Final thought in closing. They’re giving the Blazers way too many days off, but we don’t play ’till Saturday. We play Charlotte, so expect me, if we’re not on the show, I think it’s a Saturday game, I’ll be all over the Blazers in that one.

TJ:

All right. A little lull at the end of the regular season schedule before the Conference USA tournament gets underway, which UAB won a year ago. Corbie Craig, great stuff, thank you. Mattie Cox, thank you. Kevin and everybody behind the scenes, great stuff as well. Remember to check out our sportsbook website. Hit that like button on your way out, and we will see you Wednesday at 11:00 AM on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

 

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