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College Basketball Picks, Predictions & Best NCAA Basketball Betting Odds [Wednesday, Feb 8th]

TJ Rives:

Well, hey there, and welcome back into the BetUS College Basketball Show for a Wednesday. Great to be back with our handicappers. We’ve got dueling Matts. Matty Cox, hello there again. Mid Major Matt, good to be with you. I’m merely TJ Rives. We’re here weekdays at 11:00 AM ready to break down all the college hoops for a Wednesday. We’re anxious for all of this to get underway. Guys, how are we feeling? Mid Major Matt, everything good?

Mid Major Matt:

The Rockets. That was a great win at Akron for Toledo. And great win for Dayton last night at VCU. Man, they had some foul trouble issues, they had some injuries in game, and to get the win at the Siegel Center was pretty impressive last night.

TJ Rives:

Good stuff from them. I was told my microphone was as bad as VCU was at home last night. Maybe not as bad as Kentucky was. Or do we give credit to Arkansas for how good they looked? In any event, it’s a double-digit win for them at Rupp Arena. Matty Cox, how are you feeling? Any thoughts on Tuesday?

Matty Cox:

No. Just points, points, points, man. Just the efficiency in all these games. If you’re betting overs, you’re making money. If you’re betting unders, you are broke right now. That’s a general theme that we’ve seen across the landscape the last couple of weeks now. But last night, average efficiency upwards of 108 points per a hundred possessions. That’s in the clouds. So, yeah. So, I would say tread lightly for those of you betting unders and look to attack overs if you think this macro trend continues.

TJ Rives:

Indiana gets a win over Rutgers. We talked about that, Matt Josephs, about Rutgers away from home. They were valiant, but Indiana got the win. They followed up their win on the weekend with Purdue. I was particularly interested in Nevada last night. They complete the sweep over New Mexico. Great back and forth. Both of those teams, probably NCA tournament teams. I mean, right now, Nevada has a strong, at-large case already having beaten New Mexico, having beaten San Diego State, they’ve got another win out of conference that’s good. Now, they win at New Mexico for a second straight win. Steve Alford getting it done. Impressive last night. I don’t know if you guys caught any of that or have a take on that, but the Mountain West legitimately has two or three teams, probably, that you could make an argument for. That could be sweet 16 teams. Mid Major Matt, you feeling me a little bit on that?

Mid Major Matt:

Yeah, I do. I mean, obviously, Nevada’s always that team that brings in a lot of transfers and taking some time to gel together. But yeah, you put them and San Diego State, Boise State. I don’t believe as much in Utah State outside their gym, and, certainly, New Mexico outside their gym, as well. But yeah, those first three teams could certainly win a game or two.

TJ Rives:

All right. Lots to cover including Utah State in action tonight, I believe, with San Diego State. That’ll probably come up on the show. We’ve got some official plays, and of course we love your involvement. Thank you for finding us. However, you’ve done so, whatever your means of finding us, we hopefully have you live with us at 11:00 AM. But if you found us later, if you’re only finding the show in segments, obviously, if you’re with us right now, you are live. It’s not in a segment. But make sure you’re subscribed because then you’ll get a notification that the show’s about to be out. We continue to grow. Let me check in, not just with the live audience that I see growing, but we are right there. We are almost there on 4,000 subscribers. So, hit that up. Take a look at the record. Mid Major Matt, again, hit two plays last night with Texas A&M outright against Auburn, and also the over in the Ohio-Northern Illinois game.

So, kudos to him as he hovers right at 500. We see Matty Cox on the way up. He had a couple of wins back on Monday, and the show’s still right around the 500 mark, as well. So, again, hit the like button, make sure you subscribe. We’re trying to get to 4,000 subscribers, and I believe we’re going to get well beyond that. We may even get to the 4,500 mark before the end of February. We do that with your help. Guys, you ready to go? Let’s do it. For a Wednesday, some official plays, some official handicaps, and let’s begin. Again, we cover the Power 6 Conferences, but we also go down the beaten path or into the weeds including for Loyola Maryland, and Army. That leads the show. Army laying seven and a half, the Black Knights of the Hudson. Total 136 and a half. Mid Major Matt has another play that he’s isolated off of this game. I’m curious as to what it is, young man.

Mid Major Matt:

Yeah. So, Army’s been good to me this year. I think on the show I’ve made a couple plays involving Army. And look, they’re just a really efficient offense. You look at what their numbers are, they’re the best three point shooting team in the conference. They’re the third-best two point percentage team in the conference, and you look, they’re a top 41st half offense. And Loyola Maryland is a bottom 30 offense in the first half, and you’ve got an Army team that’s really good coming off a loss, coming back home against the Loyola Maryland team that they beat by 23 on the road, and there’s the road gaming. It’s Navy coming up afterwards.

So, I’m going to isolate the first half here, take Army. Loyola Maryland’s one of the worst teams in the country. They’re just not very good. I mean, granted they’ve won a couple of games and everything, but they’re very leaky defensively. I’m going to hope that Army takes care of its business in the first half of this game. That way there’s no weirdness in the second half if they’re looking ahead to Navy. Give me Army in the first half of this game to potentially get out to double digits against Loyola Maryland.

TJ Rives:

All right, interesting. This is a 6:00 Eastern time start, so it’ll be up first on all the different games. It’ll be on TV, et cetera. Matty Cox, we did talk. I just see that Loyola Maryland is eight and 17. We did talk about Green Bay and Milwaukee in the preview mode, and how Milwaukee was such a large favorite, remember? Oh by the way, Green Bay won the game, came from behind and won the game, at, what were they, two and 20 or two and 19? And they won the game on a last second shot. So, clearly in conference play, anything can happen. Army significantly favored. Any thought if no official play on this opening game?

Matty Cox:

Yeah, I’m looking to fade the Greyhounds here. I’ve seen them play a few times. Just a younger team that doesn’t really have an identity right now. They just don’t seem like they’re as into it this season to be blunt. So, I’m looking to fade this team. Clearly, eight and 17 overall, they’ve dropped to 340th in Kenpom from 238th to start the season. So, just to give context to how precipitous of a drop-off it’s been. You could argue they’ve hit the bottom of their value, but I don’t know. I think there’s actually a little bit more room to the downside that Army could expose. But your initial point still stands. Conference play, especially in the dog days of February, anything can happen. So, don’t be rushing to bet the mortgage on Army, I guess, either.

TJ Rives:

However, Mid Major Matt says, “I only care about the first half.” Let’s lock him in. He says, “Play the first half line for the cadets and lay the three and a half tonight in the game with Loyola of Maryland.” That’s play number one. Get some questions and answers ready for a Wednesday night slate that’s got some interesting games in the Big East, in the SEC, and a lot of different conferences. We’ll get into all of that as the show is going on. Game number two, let’s go to the Big South Conference, shall we? The Campbell Camels. There’s the Camel in the logo, or at least the back. Is that the backside of the camel? It looks like. High Point and Campbell, nonetheless. Campbell lays six and a half. Our total is 141 and a half. Again, a smaller conference. Matty Cox, what stood out to you to play this game for Wednesday?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I’m looking at, I think, my first total of the show, just trying to find anything that’ll work at this point, to be honest. But you look at this discrepancy between the Kenpom projection and the market projection. I think Kenpom has this at 147. The market has it chained down to 141, but it’s for good reason. So, there’s all the concern that there has been some value that’s been snapped out by the odds makers and the early betters in the market. But I still think there’s plenty of room for the under here with how categorically slower High Point has been playing in their most recent games. You look at their pace the first, I think, 80% of the year, and then you compare it to what they’ve done the last few weeks, which coincides with Tubby Smith’s son, who’s now the head coach here, trying to do anything he can to get this thing back on track.

Really impressive non-conference start to the year. A lot of hype around this program. They’ve got some talent, brand new facilities, then it all comes crashing down once conference play hits. They’ve been disastrous. Just picked up a win last time out against Charleston Southern. I think there is a incentive to continue to play a little slower and less helter skelter than they have played. One final point, these two teams just played a couple of weeks ago, and this total fell under 140. I think it plays much similarly to that and much slower than the pace that Kenpom has his projected at tonight, which I believe is 69. So, a lot sets up here for the under. Again, you do worry about the fact that the market plan picked up some of this, but I still think it hasn’t picked up all the way. So, I’m looking to take the under here in what should be an ugly low scoring bout.

TJ Rives:

To your point, High Point lost that game at home. Campbell beat them 72-64. Mid Major Matt, these are two teams in the bottom part of the Big South being led by UNC Asheville and Radford. They’re both 10 and two. These two are down near the bottom. Any thought on Campbell and High Point, even if no official play?

Mid Major Matt:

Yeah. It’s funny because I saw this on our sheet, and I was like, “Oh, boy. High Point with their fast style.” And just looking at what Matt said about how the last couple of games they haven’t played as fast. And certainly, look at Campbell. We’ve talked about on the show, when you’ve got a fast team and a slow team, usually it’s the team that’s home that sets the pace. Well, Campbell’s the home team and you look at the paces that they’ve played. 62, 64, 57, 63, those are the games that have been at home in conference for them, and you’d have to be really efficient during that time in order to have an over hit here. Neither team is that good at getting to the free throw line per se, and neither team is that great at fouling either. So, it’s not like you’re going to get one team that’s going to have a parade to the free throw line. So, I could certainly see a path to the under here.

TJ Rives:

All right. Matty Cox has the play. Again, this one at the Pope Convocation Center on the Campbell campus. I got all that out, and I got that right. Matty Cox believes he’s going to get this right. He believes play the under. You may see a little different line already this morning as we keep explaining on the show, and it may be a little different later in the day. The only thing we care about is the here and now live at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. He says under 141 and a half for Campbell and High Point in the Big South. Let’s move along to the Atlantic 10. The A 10, we were making mention of VCU a little while ago. Richmond, I saw some of them in a win over the weekend. Richmond and GW, George Washington. Richmond, the narrow one point favorite on the road in DC tonight. Total 144 in this game. Mid Major Matt, we’re back to you. What is the official play on this one in the Atlantic 10?

Mid Major Matt:

So, there’s a lot of reasons to worry about this play, and I know you’re supposed to sell your play before you go into the reasons why. I mean, you look at Richmond’s offense, it’s been brutal as of late. And you look at the first game, it was a 73-63 game, but I think playing in Foggy Bottom where I think, once again, the pace that GW wants will be more in place than the pace that Richmond wants. I mean, you look at GW’s defense just gave 93 points at home to a good Duquesne team, not a great Duquesne team. I think Richmond’s going to get to the free throw line a lot.

You look at this Spiders team, they are number one in the A 10 during conference play at getting to the free throw line. I think you might see GW get to the free throw line quite a bit here, as well. I think GW’s going to have a better performance coming off the loss to Duquesne. I just think there’s going to be a lot of points here. The line shows it’s going to be a close game. Free throw shooting could be in our factor, as well. I just think this is going to be a quicker game, and I think there’s going to be more offense from both of these teams, and we’re getting a reasonable number here at 144.

TJ Rives:

Richmond had lost four in a row. I saw some of that game with Fordham that they won at home in a 68-58 game. Matty Cox, any thoughts about this matchup, Richmond and GW, tonight on a Wednesday?

Matty Cox:

Not really. I thought George Washington was about to go on a little bit of a heater, and turns out they’ve lost three in a row, and that was coming off three straight wins against Mason, Dayton, and St. Joe’s, who actually has been playing a lot better than [inaudible 00:12:08]. Fordham, LaSalle, two straight losses, then coming back home to get waxed by Duquesne. So, it’s been a Jekyll and Hyde type season for Chris Caputo there in his first season. They have talent there at G dub, a lot of Power Conference down transfers. They’re not that deep, however, and they don’t really defend. They lack an interior rim presence where I think the Spiders can exploit them up front with Matt Grayson, the inside out offense. Richmond’s not the same shooting team we’ve seen in the past, but I still think they have that good offensive flow and balance where they can score enough here. Slightly into Richmond, but nothing profound.

TJ Rives:

I see you, Daryl. He’s got the comment that Richmond can’t shoot the three, but whatever on that. There’s his take on this. Mid Major Matt, though, is thinking there will be some points of all different varieties. So, let’s lock him in on the over. 144 for this one tonight at 7:00 Eastern time for GW and Richmond to score, score, and score some more. Get those questions and answers ready. We’re glad that you’re with us here live Wednesday. We’ve got some interesting games still to go over here, and I’m sure you guys have some questions.

Hit that like button, subscribe for us. As the live audience continues to grow, we continue to steadily see growth in the audience, and you can help us out again by sharing the show out and making sure that you’re subscribed. Fourth game up for discussion and/or official play. Let’s go to a matchup in the whack between New Mexico State and Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon laying seven in this one tonight at 7:00 local time, 9:00 Eastern time. 143 is our total. Mid Major Matt’s got a third official play. So, what stands out about this game tonight? You have had a side. You have had a total. What do we have here?

Mid Major Matt:

First off, you have to watch Grand Canyon games on TV, especially home. Their play-by-play guy goes nuts over every play, and their analyst is great, too. I believe it’s Scott Williams. He’s awesome. It’s a great broadcast crew. Plus, there’s this weird vibe at Grand Canyon games. It’s just an internal party. So, if you get a chance tonight, go find this game on ESPN+. I’m sure Matt’s seeing this and can agree with this.

Matty Cox:

He’s awesome.

TJ Rives:

And by the way, Bryce Drew is the coach. And it was two years ago that they made the run, and they got in the NCA tournament. So, they’re a little noteworthy for those reasons, guys.

Mid Major Matt:

Yes. But with regards to this game, by the way, Grand Canyon’s gone over in 14 straight games. I think it’s a streak that’s gone under the radar here.

TJ Rives:

Wait a minute.

Mid Major Matt:

I originally-

TJ Rives:

Wait a minute. Say that again? Say that again?

Mid Major Matt:

Grand Canyon has gone over 14 straight games, the total. Not the team, the game total. So, they’ve been-

TJ Rives:

Okay.

Mid Major Matt:

… in this nice little stretch. And the thing is, you look at their numbers, you’re like, “Okay, they play really slowly, they have decent defensive numbers, but their offense has been really good at home.” You look at what they’re coming off of an 86-83 game against Stephen F. Austin. So, they’ve scored 86, 74, 89, 80, and 73 at home in conference. So, it’s an offense that’s really efficient. They also get to the free throw line. And then, you look at New Mexico State. They play really fast. Their defense is really bad. They foul a lot. Their last three road games, they’ve given up 77, 89, and 111. I originally looked at the game over, but I was concerned about New Mexico State’s offense here doing its part. So, I decided to do what we’ve talked about in the show and just take care of one side of things. I’m looking at Grand Canyon’s team total over. I think they’ve got matchup advantages, and I think they’ll live at the free throw line tonight. And it’s just given me another reason to watch this game tonight because I love watching Grand Canyon games.

TJ Rives:

All right. Interesting. Again, the total is 143, but you’re interested in the team total for Grand Canyon. Matty Cox, any thoughts? New Mexico State Aggies have also been in the NCA tournament recently, but they’re not good this year. Jerome Tang, right, was the coach, left and took the Kansas State job. Big win for Kansas State over TCU last night, by the way. So, New Mexico State comes in two and nine in the whack at Grand Canyon. Any thought, Matty Cox, if no official play real quick?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. It’s crazy that this team has gone over as frequently as they have, given that they’ve been without their starting point guard, Jovan Blacksher, for so long, and they’re being led by Ray Harrison, who comes from Presbyterian, who played at one of the slowest tempos in the country, which aligns with Bryce Drew’s preferred tempo. But has Mid Major Matt alluded to, even though that’s where the total skews, it seems like the market has been over indexing toward the under, thus helping a lot of these games go over the total. Also, playing in the whack, these games, as we talked about before, a lot of free throw shooting contests. The free throw rate is up this season across the board. I think that it has buoyed the overs in addition to the general efficiency bump we’ve seen across the board, better shot making, poor defense, whatever it is. So, yeah, very interesting dynamic there. I’m shocked that it’s been 14 straight and still running.

TJ Rives:

Interesting just looking at Grand Canyon’s resume. They’ve been win one, lose one, win one, lose one for about four weeks now. They come off a win against Stephen F. Austin. That was at home on the weekend. They’re now playing New Mexico State tonight. And Mid Major Matt, his only concern with Grand Canyon scoring, scoring, and scoring some more, get them over the total of 75 points in this game tonight with New Mexico State. All right. One more game to go before we get to the Q&A. It’s a Southeastern Conference game. It is Alabama and Florida. And look, I’m not a Florida Gator. We see The Tide laying 10 at home. Total 148. I’m a Memphis guy. We’ve got Memphis and South Florida tonight in Tampa. That’s a household game for me. More on that in a little bit because Mrs. Rives is a USF Bull. Nonetheless, I’m not a Florida Gator.

Who did they anger at the conference office? I keep saying this. With Alabama laying 10, the total 148, Florida’s last four games leading into tonight at Kansas State, Tennessee at home, at Kentucky, at Alabama. Hello on the schedule for that from the Southeastern Conference. Matty Cox, I’m going to come right back to you for a thought on The Tide laying 10 against Florida. Alabama right now, still in most bracketology, is a one seed. A minimum of a high two seed, but probably a one seed. Florida, most all bracketology not in, either first four or not in. Much bigger game for Florida on the road at Alabama. A thought, Matty Cox, real quick.

Matty Cox:

Yeah, I think you’re catching Bama, as awesome as they’ve been, at the peak of their powers pricewise, and Florida’s been subtly awesome defensively. And with the way Todd Golden has prioritized defensive transition the last few weeks, they’ve abandoned the offensive glass, an area we thought they would be good coming into the year with all their size. I think now they’re like, “We’re going to go all in on defense, we’re going to get back in transition, we’re going to sit down, and we’re going to guard you because we don’t think you could score on us in the half court.” And you look at their last five, six games, even dating back to that Georgia win on January 7th, they ignite this little run that they’ve been on. It’s all been defensive predicated. So, because of that, I have an initial lean toward the under and toward the dog in the correlated play there.

And I think it’s a better spot for Florida. I think it means more to them. I don’t like fading teams on the road right now in these power conference games, especially at a place like Bama where they’ve been so good at home. But I think 10 Points does feel like a lot with the way Florida’s been defending. I think they can make this game a little bit uglier than what you’re used to thinking with an Alabama track meet type of style. No official play for me just because Bama is so damn good right now. But I do lean toward the Gators at the current price of 10.

TJ Rives:

Crimson Tide whacked LSU. They didn’t beat them as bad as the first game, but they beat them by double figures at LSU on the weekend. They also scored a hundred points on Vanderbilt and literally beat them by 67, or 57. 101-44. All right, Alabama hosting Florida, Mid Major Matt, any thoughts? Castleton, the seven footer has played well as of late for Florida, can put it on the floor a little bit, fairly agile. He’s got to do well if they’re going to do well. Bama laying 10. Any thoughts, Matt Josephs.

Mid Major Matt:

Florida’s pesky. You just look at some of the road games, you get the two point loss at Texas A&M, the five point loss at Kentucky, the three point loss at Auburn. So, they’re a pesky team. And as Matt pointed out, they’re going to keep this game down a little bit, both possession wise and scoring wise. So, when you’re getting 10 points, and as he said, it’s a correlated bet. If you like Alabama, you’re going to take the over because they’re going to run away from Florida. If you like the under, you’re probably going to take Florida because it’s going to be played at their pace and it’s going to be played at their scoring level. So, yeah, I lean towards Florida at this one, especially getting double digits.

TJ Rives:

Interesting. And again, the plaid palace for the coach, Wimp Sanderson, that always had the plaid jacket. Coleman Coliseum has been rocking in the past. Let’s see what it looks like for this matchup tonight with Florida. Alabama, again, 20 and two and still chasing a number one seed status for Nate Oats’ team in this matchup. No official play from the handicappers on this one with Bama laying a bunch of points. All right. As you see on the screen, hit that light button, make sure that you are subscribed. And now, we are ready to buckle up, boys. Are you ready for some Q&A? Let’s see what some of the peeps are thinking out of the live chat, and what they’re interested in for tonight. Douglas watching us leads the show and says, “What do you think about Northern Iowa and Evansville?” He is particularly interested in the total. Guys, any thoughts on that matchup this evening in the Missouri Valley, Northern Iowa-Evansville?

I hear silence.

Matty Cox:

Nothing profound for me.

TJ Rives:

I hear silence.

Matty Cox:

Silence is deafening. I do lean toward the under just because Evansville can be a paste of flair. But just because they’ve been so poor lately, when the margin gets so big, it’s tough to slow it down. So it’s hard to say.

TJ Rives:

And here we go again. I just looked. They’re 0 and 14 in the Missouri Valley. I didn’t realize that. Matt Josephs, 0 and 14 Evansville hosting Northern Iowa. The total one 140 and a half. He’s interested in the total. Any thought?

Mid Major Matt:

So, I mean, it’s funny because he likes slightly to the under. I think slightly to the over only because you’ve seen some poor defense from Northern Iowa lately. Also, there’s the look ahead to Saturday when they host Indiana State. Now, granted they’re coming off three losses, so they need to win this game. Maybe looking more at a team total for Northern Iowa here, maybe. I think that their offense can do a lot of heavy lifting here. And then, if Evansville scores any bit, then it could go over here. But maybe isolate northern Iowa more than taking the game total.

TJ Rives:

Good enough on that. Josh is watching us. Josh says, “Houston to cover. The line is 27 and a half with Tulsa. This has destruction written all over it. Houston off the win over someone’s Temple Owls Sunday night in a revenge game.” He’s interested, that’s a ton of points. Mid Major Matt?

Mid Major Matt:

Yeah, I don’t usually mess around with these things. They did beat Tulsa by 39 at Tulsa’s play. I mean, Tulsa’s a bad basketball team. They’re a really bad basketball team. Now, here’s the problem. You look at that game against Tulsa at the Reynolds Center, it was a slow first half for Houston. Then, they poured it on the second half. There’s no real look ahead. They’re playing at SMU eight days later. So, I just don’t mess with numbers this big. They should cover that number. They should. Maybe you look more like a Tulsa team total under, because I think it’s going to be hard for the Golden Hurricane to score tonight.

TJ Rives:

Thought Matty Cox? Or you want to move on with Houston favored by a bunch?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. It’s a massive spread. I can’t actually lay it. But Tulsa’s been awful. So, I mean good luck to those betting Tulsa. But I certainly understand why you’d bet a 27 point dog in a conference game, one that Houston could be sleepwalking through. But I think they can sleepwalk and still cover the spread. That’s how out on Tulsa I am.

TJ Rives:

TJ question. Big East Game, Seton Hall-Creighton for this matchup tonight at Seton Hall. The Hall trying to build a resume for the NCA tournament with Shaheen Holloway in the first year. Creighton at nine and three in conference play. This is pretty good. 6:30 tonight at the Rock at the Prudential Center. Thoughts, Matty Cox? Any thought on this game if no official play?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. Some big money here coming in on Creighton, up to minus four. Creighton’s very undervalued right now. I’ve been a stubborn Seaton Hall believer. Just haven’t quite seen any evidence of them playing to the level I thought they would preseason. They haven’t played with the same cohesion and intelligence that we saw Holloway’s team play with last year at St. Peter’s, and I think it’s because there’ve been so many injuries, right? There’s been really no chance for Holloway to get his guys molded together. He keeps getting frustrated with their lack of commitment to following their game plan. They seem very out of sorts at times, but they are competitive. They do fight. I do think, again, they can keep it close. Before it was too light on the Seaton Hall side, and it’s too high on the Creighton side at the current number. So, nothing for me.

TJ Rives:

Let me ask Kevin from Bet US, I want to get the name right. Was it Samuel that just had the question up there about Seaton Hall first half taking the two and a half? He just had that comment up there out of the live chat. Mid Major Matt, any thoughts in particular on a first half total Seton Hall at home against Creighton?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, the issue was Seton Hall had a horrendous first half against DePaul last game, and then they woke up in the second half. The one thing that concerns me here about Creighton is this is a sandwich spot coming off the home win over Villanova and hosting Yukon on Saturday. It’s a sleepy game on the road at Seton Hall, who needs a game. But I can’t trust the pirates right now. If the first half DePaul Pirates show up, they’ll get blown out. If the second half shows up, they may win the game. So, it’s a tough team to handicap here, but I do not like the spot for Creighton right now.

TJ Rives:

All right, interesting. Some thoughts on that. Back to the live Q&A here and some of your questions as we go along. Core1024 out of the live chat is watching. Here we go. Memphis and South Florida, he’s asking about. This is in Tampa, about 10 miles from where I’m sitting right now tonight. The alma mater taking on Mrs. Rives’ alma mater. Split household tonight for this one. He wants to know about the over. The total is 155. Any thoughts from either of you on the total? Memphis off the loss to Tulane cannot, cannot, cannot afford to slip up and lose this game for their at-large resume. Any thoughts on the total? Either one of you?

Matty Cox:

Yeah, I love the over here. First game played, 83 possessions, 93-86. South Florida’s been categorically different this year. We talked about this, right? They used to be an old throwback, grinded out type of team, but this year they’re looking to get out and transition. They actually have some offensive skill. Memphis will willingly engage in that type of up and down affair as they did in the first game between these two. I also like that South Florida’s had a week off, and they come out with fresh legs looking to exert their depth and probably a lot of fouls in this game, too. So, you have the pace that should play pretty fast, and you have the artificial pace because of the free throw rate rising, presumably, in this game. So, if the whistle’s pretty lenient, I think you get a lot of free throws in a pretty fast pace. Shots got to fall, obviously, for every over, but at this pace, every shot’s falling at every game. So, when in doubt, bet overs right now.

TJ Rives:

All right. Let the record reflect, Mid Major Matt, I did not bring up Memphis on my own in this instance. Core1024 brought it up. However, do you want an amazing thing from this series and from one of these games? I was at the game four years ago in 2019 in Tampa for Penny Hardaway and USF at South Florida where USF jumped all over Memphis and literally led the game 21 to one to begin the game in Tampa. And USF had a losing record and was awful and Memphis was, again, trying to get their feet under him with Penny Hardaway.

In that game. Mid Major Matt, Memphis player Jeremiah Martin did not score in the first half and for the audience. He then scored 42 points in the second half as Memphis tried heroically to come back. They actually had the ball a couple of times, down by five after being down by 20. I still contend, I’ve never been able to find this or determine this. Has there ever been a division one game, at least in recent memory, where somebody is donut in the first half and scores 40 or more in the second half in a road game, not even at home? Memphis still lost the game. That’s crazy. That’s bonkers number from that. All right, a thought on the total. All that to say this, Mid Major Matt, any thought on the total? And might it go over the 155 if you were asked?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, it’s continuing to go up. So, there’s some 155 and a halfs, 156s out there. So-

TJ Rives:

Wow.

Mid Major Matt:

… if you do like it, you should take it now. As Matt said, fouling is certainly going to be the case here, too. Memphis is 288th in fouls on defense, essentially, and South Florida’s 318th. I think South Florida could be a live dog here. They show up, it feels like-

Matty Cox:

I agree.

Mid Major Matt:

… every once in a while at home. They get solid crowds now because they’re starting to build a little bit of juice there in that program. And we know Memphis can lay an egg on the road occasionally. So, I lean to the dog, and I lean to the over here.

TJ Rives:

Are you tying to put me in a bad mood that they’re going to lose this game and all but kill their at large hopes by losing this game? And plus, as I said, Mrs. Rives is a Bull. And I will never hear the end of this again tonight. This is what I have on my Wednesday night docket if it doesn’t go well. I’m just sharing this with the Bet US audience here today. So, let’s see what happens tonight. Plenty on that one. All right. We’re coming right back to the live questions, and Matt Josephs, I’m coming right back to you because Valo or Velo, if I have it right, is watching and says, “Syracuse-Florida State tonight.” I know you’re going to roll your eyes. He’s interested in the over in that game. The total, 143. Thought, Matt Josephs?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, oh no. Because he asked about teasing it. And first off, don’t ever tease totals.

TJ Rives:

Oh, about not teasing it, right.

Mid Major Matt:

Do not tease totals.

Matty Cox:

Why are we teasing college basketball totals? Don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Mid Major Matt:

Exactly. No, don’t do that. Please. But I mean, I think it’s funny. Last night, there was Syracuse minus two, and now it’s three and a half. And Florida state’s the second-tallest team. They’re going to play volleyball, and every shot they miss, they’re going to get a rebound. And Darren Green’s going to hit six threes against us. I think three and a half. I like Florida State at that number, and that’s partially because I’m a jaded Syracuse fan who wants to see Jim Boeheim go. But I also think Florida State’s a bad matchup, at least size wise. So, I think three and a half. I’m looking at Florida State here.

TJ Rives:

Matty Cox, this is in Tallahassee. Matt Josephs has been saying keep pegging Florida State here. Florida State, though, getting points at home. That’s interesting. And again, the viewer was interested in the total. Thoughts?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I like the over here. I just think that Syracuse, where they can shoot it, in Florida State while they’ve been Jekyll and Hyde on offense, they can crash the glass. They can get to the board to get second and third chance opportunities. I think, again, back to my initial point, I’ll keep beating the same drum. When in doubt, you’re betting overs right now. I think efficiency will play in your favor. I don’t see any reason why this pace plays super-duper flow. I mean, I know the Syracuse zone can sometimes be a pace killer, but I don’t feel like that’s going to be a major factor. I think it’s already baked into the line as is. So, yeah, I lean over here.

TJ Rives:

Look at the advice from our crew here at Bet US TV. Don’t worry about trying to tease an over total. Go check out the odds booze that we have right now, and the link is right there in the live chat for Bet US, and go get better value for that. And the handicappers giving you good advice on that for sure. All right, more live questions here. We’ve got a couple of other interesting games to go over. Let’s see. Jayman, back to the Atlantic 10, says “LaSalle at St. Bonaventure. St. Bonaventure laying six and a half.” He says, “Have the Bonnie’s turned the corner?” Mid Major Matt, you’re our resident A 10 guy. What about St. Bonaventure laying points at home?

Mid Major Matt:

I like St. Bonaventure. Mark Schmidt is one of the most underrated coaches in America. I hope he takes the Syracuse job when Jim Boeheim leaves. I just think he does a lot. I mean, look at this. They lost their whole roster, and now there are 13, 11. There’s seven and four. Now, what I would actually rather do is do a money line parlay with St. Bonaventure and Fordham tonight because I think Fordham’s going to beat UMass. You’re getting two favorites at home in the A 10. LaSalle stinks, and UMass, right now, has nobody playing for them, it feels like, because everybody good is injured. So, I would almost go with a St. Bonaventure-UMass money line parlay. Excuse me. St. Bonaventure-Fordham money line parlay-

TJ Rives:

Right.

Mid Major Matt:

… instead of playing either game single wise.

TJ Rives:

Interesting. Matty Cox, any thoughts on St. Bonaventure in their matchup tonight? Or you want to move on?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. LaSalle’s been just bad. Love Fran Dunphy. He did great things in Philly for so many years, but I just think this team doesn’t have the firepower, the talent’s very much lacking, it’s a lot of points to lay with the Mark Schmidt team at home. I just don’t think it’s a team I like laying points as a favorite. St. Bonnie’s, but they’ve been tremendous all season, especially at home. My goodness. To go to VCU, Richmond, Dayton, 1, 2, 3. Probably due for a little bit of a clinker here. But you could argue they’re also just in really good form, and you want to keep riding that wave. So, conflicting forces here. Ultimately, another stay away.

TJ Rives:

Stay away, he says. Let’s move on quickly. Carlin is watching us, says “Baylor.” Is there thoughts on the Baylor game. Baylor, Oklahoma. Baylor laying, what, nine and a half or 10? Any thought on this one? 8:00 local time in Waco tonight.

Matty Cox:

I think this game plays slower, which will help Oklahoma. But I had the same thought back at Oklahoma at West Virginia. Last time around, they got throttled by about 50. So, Oklahoma, I think, is a team that’s been, not a house of cards all year, but a team that’s lacked depth, that’s lack talent. Porter Mozer has really schemed and devised ways to get this team competitive. They, obviously, have the home run effort against Baylor. I don’t think he’s staying up tonight. I think Baylor rolls him. Again, continue to respect home court at these Power Conference spots. I think the Bears get a big one tonight. Another thing to keep an eye on, Jonathan Chacha, as I call him, is making his return. An awesome story. If you haven’t read that, it’s a truly inspirational piece. Rooting for him. I think the whole world is. He probably adds a little bit of an energizer to that Baylor side that may not be capped in the line, too. So, everything, to me, points to Baylor here.

TJ Rives:

Yeah, Chacha went off with a bad knee injury, has come all the way back, and you’re right, it’s quite the story there. Anything else, Mid Major Matt, on Baylor-Oklahoma? Or you want to move on?

Mid Major Matt:

No, I also vote we ban the word “tease” from the chat. There’s way too many people discussing teasing in chat. It’s just in college basketball, there’s no key numbers. I understand it in football. I understand it in other sports, but there’s no key numbers. I just don’t get it. So, let’s that word.

Matty Cox:

Yeah, stop teasing college basketball. Get out. I agree. Thank you.

TJ Rives:

You’re on a Wednesday crusade, boys. I like it. Let’s see. We’ve got another viewer asking. Brandon says, “you know we’ve got to talk Tennessee, boys.” Brandon, we don’t have to talk Tennessee. It’s Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Tennessee’s still in the top 10. Again, questionable officiating on the no foul call with Auburn trying to tie the game Saturday in a God awful offensive game. Tennessee favored by 10 on the road in Nashville. Any thoughts real quick, guys? Or stay away?

Matty Cox:

Seems like a tricky spot for Vandy. I’m sorry for Tennessee. Vandy’s always up to play them at home. But Vandy’s got some major injury question marks. I don’t quite trust them right now. They did get Liam Robbins back last couple games. He had a big outing against Ole Miss, 19.7 blocks. I lean toward Vandy based on a couple other key cogs, although I don’t all the way trust them. And we’ve seen Tennessee’s defense completely suck the life out of opposing offenses that don’t have talent or shooting or shot making. And Vandy’s pretty scrapped for that right now. So, I would lean, I don’t know. I guess I’d lean Tennessee, but this is a very tricky spot to get into.

TJ Rives:

Get in a stay away. Mid Major Matt, anything? Tennessee-Vandy?

Mid Major Matt:

I think I saw Jordan Wright is going to play tonight, which I think is nice for Vanderbilt.

Matty Cox:

That’s agent official. Yeah.

Mid Major Matt:

Yeah. I think they said he practiced last time, and he’s hoping to play tonight. If that happens, I like it. I was glad to see Liam Robbins is back. Vandy’s a scrappy team at home. There’s not really a look ahead spot for Tennessee hosting Missouri on Saturday. But Vandy’s usually, I lean Vandy here. Tennessee’s offense is hard to trust. I mean, just look at the last game. Hell, look at their whole season, it feels like.

TJ Rives:

Yep. Yep.

Mid Major Matt:

So, I lean Vandy here.

TJ Rives:

Interesting. Real quick, a couple more. Paul watching us has a question. He says, “Thoughts on West Virginia at home?” Mountaineers, interesting. Favored by three and a half with Iowa State, who’s had some big wins at home this season. But this is at Morgantown. Anything real quick, guys, on that one tonight? 7:00 Eastern time.

Matty Cox:

Yeah, all over Twitter, you’ll see the unranked home favorite as an automatic system play, which has won at a really high clip, I think, this year and years before. So, that applies here for West Virginia. This is not like the odds makers trying to bait you into a fishy lie. It’s just, very simply, I think teams that have their backs against the wall, which tend to be teams that are unranked and get really hyped to play teams that are ranked coming into their building. So, there’s probably an angle to that part of the handicap. So, for that reason, I lean West Virginia because I’ve been a believer of this Mountaineer team for most of the season. They’ve been pretty erratic. But at the current number, I can’t endorse it. I think it’s up to four now consistently, down to three and a half now. So, some buyback on the ‘Clones. Yeah, it’s still stay away from me.

TJ Rives:

Matt Josephs, anything on Cyclones-Mountaineers? Early tonight, 7:00 Eastern time, Big 12.

Mid Major Matt:

It feels like an under. It feels like an under. If you like West Virginia, and you’re scared off by the three and a half, as always, pair the money line off with something else, and then you get your value there. But, yeah, that three and a half is an interesting number. And, yeah, the home unranked team has been a ridiculous trend so far this season.

TJ Rives:

Didn’t we have a Saturday where six unranked teams at home beat a ranked team. That was not last week, but I want to say two weeks ago, just to your point guys, of what you’re making. It has really been even a recent trend of unranked teams at home beating rank teams. I think it was two Saturdays.

Matty Cox:

Yeah, I would not chase that trend. Yeah, I would not chase that trend. I would be very cautious about that.

TJ Rives:

I understand, and maybe it’s been used up as you mentioned. But I think it was that Big 12, SEC Saturday where there were three or four teams that were unranked that beat the ranked team in the Big 12, SEC challenge, just for whatever it’s worth. We have not talked Utah State-San Diego State. So, TJ question on that game. I’m double checking on what is our line. That’s one of the last games of the night. Utah State short favorite by two. That is 8:00 Mountain Time for Aggie’s hosting San Diego State. Mid Major Matt, a thought?

Mid Major Matt:

Outside of playing Weber State, Utah State’s great at home, and they really feed off the crowd there and they’ve blown a lot of teams out. There’s been some close games there. They nearly lost to San Jose State. It was a close one with UNLV, but I usually lean to Utah State at home. San Diego State is really tough. Of course, their defense has been there, but they’ve had some of their “worst” performances away from home. So, I would lean Utah State there.

TJ Rives:

Three straight wins, Matty Cox, for the Aggies over Fresno State, New Mexico, and at Colorado State. Now, they have San Diego State at home. San Diego State leading the Mountain West at nine and two. Utah State at eight and three. Any quick thought?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I think the physicality of San Diego State travels well. I know Utah State is one of the hardest places to play in the country, but I’m not in any rush to go back the Aggies with how well the Aztecs are playing. I think they’re actually a little bit undervalued right now in the market. And I think, again, just the way they play, their physicality, their defensive first mentality is a style that will translate on the road. I think they compete here. The price is about right, though, and a lot to play for here. Winner of this game, I think, moves into first place of the Mountain West standings. San Diego State with the one game lead right now, Utah State a game back. So, all the way home hype spots. It should be great atmosphere.

TJ Rives:

There are several people in chat saying before you leave Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State, what’s up? What’s up with that game or with that line that people are buzzing about for that matchup, guys. That’s Oklahoma State laying six with a bad Texas Tech team that’s one and nine in the Big 12. Anything from either of you?

Matty Cox:

Yeah, one team’s hot, one team’s not. I mean, think it’s a pretty simple angle. But honestly, the simple angles of current forward momentum tend to win, it seems like. So, these are plays I don’t make as a handicapper, but I think it’s one I’d probably advise and these spots seem to have hit at a pretty high rate this year, right? Think simple, don’t overthink it type of play for the Pokes.

TJ Rives:

Much the same as we were talking about Memphis with USF on the road, Oklahoma State at home. This can’t really help you to beat Texas Tech, Matt Josephs, but you do not want to lose this game tonight for at-large purposes, for resume purposes. Just any quick thought? Or you want to move on?

Mid Major Matt:

Yeah, yeah. You look at these two teams. I mean, Oklahoma State at home has been very good for the most part, it feels like. And Texas Tech on the road has been very awful for the most part. So, it almost seems, as Matt said, a little too easy to take Oklahoma State at home, minus the points.

TJ Rives:

Good enough. All right, guys, a blur of games right there. I think we officially went with 17 games that we just gave you in the Q&A. I’ll go with that number. Let’s go to the best NCAAB prop bets and see what the guys do have from the show. This is what they’re officially on. You see three plays for Mid Major Matt on the left and two of them involve sides. One total in an A 10 game with Richmond and GW. Matty Cox only on one game, and he rarely plays totals, as he’s said, but he loves the under in the High Point-Campbell game. Final thoughts, gentlemen. Matty Cox, final thought before we’re done and good on a Wednesday?

Matty Cox:

No. Maybe if this total hits, I’ll be a totals guy from now on. So, maybe this is a inflection point of an identity change for me.

TJ Rives:

We’ll see what happens. Matt Josephs, anything else? Are we good?

Mid Major Matt:

You won’t see me for a week, and by the time I come back we will be Super Bowl champions, 31-20 Eagles. So, I will see everybody next Wednesday.

TJ Rives:

All right. And you are confirming or denying that you’re trying to get to Arizona and pay the same amount as a new automobile to get into State Farm Stadium? Are you trying to make that happen? What’s the latest?

Mid Major Matt:

No, I’m going back home to Philly. I’m going to celebrate in the city when the victory happens, inevitably, and that’s why I’m not here on Monday because I will not be in very good shape on Monday. So, therefore I will be back on-

TJ Rives:

One way or the other.

Mid Major Matt:

… on Wednesday next week.

TJ Rives:

And hopefully, you’re not beaten and bloodied and incarcerated or anything else that might happen. We’ll see what happens. All right, so he’s got Eagles. What a shock. Got the Eagles. Hold that Eagles jersey up in the shot right there. Can you hold it up a little bit? There we go. Eagles. Fly, Eagles, fly, says Mattie Cox. With that, I think we’re good, boys. Thank you. Again, we’re here weekdays at 11:00 AM talking the college hoops. By the way, Bet US NFL Super Bowl preview tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern time on the platforms. We talk college basketball, though, on this platform. Thanks to Kevin and everybody behind the scenes.  Don’t forget to check out our sportsbook website. Thank you all for watching the Bet US College Basketball Show for a Wednesday.

 

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