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College Basketball Picks, Predictions & Best NCAA Basketball Betting Odds [Wednesday, Jan 18th]

TJ Reeves:

Well, hello there and welcome back to the latest edition of the BetUS College Basketball Show. I am the somewhat capable host, TJ Reeves. The handicaps are the two Matts that are back, Mid Major Matt, Matt Josephs, and Matty Cox. Guys, good to be back with you for a Wednesday that has got a very full slate of games. We’re going to be handicapping several of them. First, a thought or two on Tuesday. Mid Major Matt, good to have you back for the second time this week. Any thoughts off of a Tuesday night?

Mid Major Matt:

Dayton got Malachi Smith back. He played last night. Kobe Elvis actually warmed up for the Flyers but didn’t get into the game. So Dayton getting close to healthy, and that’s pretty big for the A-10 as they hope to try and get more than one team in the tournament, and a full scale Dayton is very good, I would say.

TJ Reeves:

Matty Cox, any thoughts from watching all of the action on Tuesday from you, sir?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. It was K-State’s night, right? The Octagon of Doom was truly a doomsday for Kansas. They’ve had a couple of close calls on the road, it finally came back to bite them. I thought they would play well down the stretch, but it was the Purple Kittens who actually out executed Bill Self and the Jayhawk. So very impressive win in the Little Apple. Frustrating, another loser for me, but Jerome Tang has that thing going in Manhattan.

TJ Reeves:

I felt for you because you had it covered a couple of times with big shots, only to have K-State tie it, get it into overtime, retie it and win. And yes, Jerome Tang standing on the scores table or whatever table he was standing on screaming, “KSU,” into the PA mic and it being on live, that has become a home court. And that needless to say, the Big 12 has been knock-down-drag-out for sure. I was particularly impressed with Kentucky. Rumors of their demise, greatly exaggerated. They came out with emotion. Granted, Georgia had the lead for a lot of the first half and then Kentucky just flat outplayed them. Oscar Tshiebwe, a monster 30-20 night with the 20+ rebounds. Any thought on Kentucky? Mid Major Matt, any thought on the Wildcats, who had clearly recovered a week later from the loss of South Carolina at home?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, Oscar Tshiebwe certainly one of, if not the best players in the country. What, 30 and 20? I know the opponent is not exactly great in terms of their size inside, but Oscar is certainly sending notice to everybody else in the country.

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I think Kentucky, people have been waiting all year for their turn the light switch on, and I’m not sure it’s all the way up to top gear at this point, but they’re slowly shifting in that direction. I think it’s going to take time for them to have consistent 40-minute efforts, but we’ve certainly seen the best of the best against Tennessee the last game and obviously in that second half surge against Georgia last night.

TJ Reeves:

And by the way, the guys at BetUS behind the stage do a great job with Kevin and Alejandro. They were telling me that my microphone was not great, kind of like Kentucky’s first 10 minutes against Georgia. I should sound better now, at least. I don’t know about how I look. I can’t really control that or the lack of hair, but at least I should sound a little better here on the BetUS Show. All right, so some takes there from Tuesday and what we saw. By the way, another New Mexico win. We also saw Utah State beat UNLV out west. We do no West Coast bias here on the BetUS College Basketball Show. We do keep track of all of this with some of the different conferences. In any event, let’s get to Wednesday because we’ve got the peeps and the savages. By the way, thank you for finding us live at 11:00 AM. Hit that like button, get ready with some questions and answers.

The savages are ready to talk Wednesday, and the boys are too. Let’s get to the records first. Here’s what it looks like from last night, with Corby Craig and Matty Cox doing our handicapping off the show last night. Matty, you did get a push. I felt for you as well with Iowa State’s win over Texas. It was only on one point lead at halftime, so it was a push. You see the show remains just below 500. We’re going to get better starting with today, and let’s get into it with some games that we’re interested in on the official slate. Let’s start with a game in the ACC, with Virginia and Virginia Tech. This one in Charlottesville, where the nationally ranked Cavaliers lay 6.5 in this matchup. The total is 126.5. Mid Major Matt, begin our discussion on this game. You were looking at playing this game, but I believe we’ve had some line movement. What are your thoughts? What do you think?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, so first off, it looks like Hunter Cattoor is going to be back, and that’s huge for Tech’s offense and probably for their defense because their defense hasn’t been very good lately. But that’s a pretty big thing, although there’s question as to how many minutes he’s going to play tonight. I put my Corby hat on for a moment and I almost went under here because this is a really high number for this series. Six straight meetings have gone under this number. Last year it was a 54-52 game at Charlottesville, it was a 62-53 game in Blacksburg, so this is a really high number for these two teams. We know Virginia plays really slow, we know Virginia Tech defense kind of takes away some of the things that Virginia wants to do with the blocker mover offense. So I was really close to playing the under here, I just wasn’t sure if it was a trap because it seemed like a really high number considering the two teams we’re talking about here.

TJ Reeves:

And Virginia Tech clearly struggling, Matty Cox, now with five consecutive losses. Lost narrowly to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem by two, lost on the weekend at home to Clemson, or actually lost in their last game to Clemson. I don’t know if that was on the weekend, but lost by three. Any thought here? This has not been an easy schedule. Wake Forest, Clemson and then at Virginia, two of them on the road. Any thought, Matty Cox?

Matty Cox:

No, but it is helped by the fact that they have a whole week off between last game last Wednesday at Syracuse and this one tonight. I think that extra rest is part of the reason why we will likely see Hunter Cattoor back, and he’s critical. He’s a known marksman from three. If you just isolate Virginia Tech’s three point shooting percentage within conference play, it’s plummeted down to 29%, and this is a team that I think has a right to be one of the best three point shooting teams in the country. We saw it last year with the guys they brought back, we saw it early on in stretches this season. I think getting him back in there just completely lifts the ceiling on this offense, even if he’s hobbled or less than 100%.

Another subtle note, if you look at the box score last game, Rodney Rice debuted Virginia Tech. He’s a lauded freshman prospect, really, really big time athlete of a key type of element that this team lacks. I think getting him back in there for a second game, Cattoor’s first game back, a week off against a Virginia team that they played well against historically, right? Virginia Tech can make shots, and that’s how you have to loosen up that pack line defense. And I continue to sell and not fully buy in this whole Virginia thing. We’ve seen their demise be slow and subtle the last month, month and a half really. I just think this game’s closer than seven points, so I’m taking the Hokies with the points on the road at John Paul Jones.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Interesting here that Virginia again has won three in a row, Virginia Tech has lost five in a row. You mentioned Syracuse was their last loss. Virginia had a nice win at Florida State in their last contest, and now these two will meet on ESPNU 7:00 Eastern Time tonight. Matty Cox, were you adding this as an official play just for the show? I know we don’t have that graphically, I don’t think. Were you wanting to officially play it?

Matty Cox:

No, I’m not going to officially as a best bet. I think if it were sitting at 7 at the BetUS I would, but I believe it’s at 6.5 according to my screen. I think seven’s a key number on what should play a pretty low… yeah. That’ll matter in a low scoring game, and I think tonight should be low scoring.

TJ Reeves:

And again, that’s a low total at only 120 for the ACC game. All right, so no official play here for Virginia and Virginia Tech. Can the Hokies get right or are they about to be 0-6, correct, in conference play if they don’t get this game. Sorry, they’d be 1-6 if they don’t get this game tonight for that match up. All right, so that’s game number one. No official play there. We will have an official play on this next game, and that is we go all over the map. Abilene Christian, Utah Valley. Let’s go to this one.

Very interesting out of the Big South here, right, or is it a different conference now? I think Abilene moved out to a different conference, correct? Are they in the WAC?

Mid Major Matt:

WAC.

TJ Reeves:

They are in the WAC. Utah Valley laying 9 in this game, 143.5 is our total. Matty Cox, you are going to have an official play on this one. Begin the conversation on what you like for this matchup with the Wildcats of Abilene Christian, who we’ve seen in the NCAA tournament a few times, including an upset of Texas and N NCAA tournament game in 2021. What are your thoughts on Abilene Christian-Utah Valley?

Matty Cox:

I think this is my first total of the year, so obviously when you look at my record this season, I’m trying to tinker with some changes and I’m inspired by the totals gurus that we have, my fellow handicappers on this program. This one jumped out for a pretty simple reason. I think the fouling in this game will be off the charts, and in any game that Abilene Christian’s involved in, they currently boast a 52% foul rate this year. That’s the top five in college basketball. If you just isolate their last six conference games, that jumps to 69%. Look at their recent box scores. They are fouling at an alarming rate. This is a Brett Tanner coached team who comes from the Joel Golding School of Disciple, all pressure, all out.

But at times and in most recent cases, it’s ballooned into an absolute foul fest. I don’t think generating the turnovers and instills that they want to without fouling, and it’s just gifting teams free trips to the charity stripe. I think Utah Valley, who’s an older, bigger team handles that pressure and will shrug off that contact, that physical style of play, and chip away with points, points, points galore at the charity stripe tonight. I see this game playing to a pretty high tempo, but that tempo is more of a free throw induced tempo, not a true up and down sporadic tempo. I just think both teams score at will tonight, especially Utah Valley with the foul gifts that Abilene will provide them.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting that Utah Valley is 14-5, 5-1. Again, a lot of times, who are the 14 wins against? Mid Major Matt, your thought? And you’re going to have an official play. Are you potentially in agreement here on this?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, technically, I was the first one to put it up on the spreadsheet, so Matt’s agreeing with me.

TJ Reeves:

I got you.

Mid Major Matt:

No, it’s basically yes, I do agree here. I did play the over, but my one worry is Utah Valley’s defense has been very good, especially in conference play. Giving up 85 to Seattle, but before then, they’ve given up 67 and less to the rest of the teams, although none of their offenses are as good. And Abilene Christian overs are just a fascinating thing because as Matt described it, they’re going to press you, they’re going to force turnovers, and if they don’t get that then they’re going to value and then they’re going to give up twos.

That’s the other thing that’s kind of fascinating about Abilene Christian. They’re 360 in free throw attempts per field goal attempts, they’re 357 in two point percentage defense overall, so their defense is just a fascinating thing to watch. And on the road, they’re not going to be able to ride off of an intense crowd and things like that, almost like a VCU havoc-like style here. So I’m hoping that Abilene Christian can score enough here to give us the over. I’m confident in Utah Valley side, it’s Abilene Christian that I need more from.

TJ Reeves:

And I’m looking at their last few road games for ACU, Abilene Christian. Shout out to my man Grant Boone, great broadcaster not only have Abilene Christian, but you see him on the golf coverage, Golf Channel, PGA Tour, that kind of stuff. Go get them, Grant, for this game. But last what, three road games, Abilene Christian allowed 75 to Stephen F. Austin, they allowed 103 recently Utah Rio Grand or Texas Rio Grande. Which is that? It’s Texas Rio Grande, and then they allowed 72 more to Tarleton. So 69, 102 and 79 in their last three road games. These boys think they will allow a lot against Utah Valley, so let’s go over on the official play from both Mid Major Matt and Matt Cox. Over the total of 143.5 for the boys in this one. Again, a reminder if you’re just joining us on the BetUS College Basketball Show, we’re here weekdays at 11:00 AM, we’re live.

We love the insight from the handicappers, we also love the interaction from you guys. Good questions, good comments. You see on our schedule that we’re going to get to your Q&A. Hit that like button as you see it on the screen, make sure your subscribed. Subscribers are growing, we want it to continue to grow. I believe, again, we can get to 4,000 subs before we even get to February 1st. That only happens with you guys. Hit subscribe. Hit the bell, hit subscribe. All right, let’s move on. Hey, who says that we don’t love Utah? Like the line from one of my favorite comedies of the eighties, Fletch, “You go to Utah, you stay in Utah, Irwin M. Fletcher.” We stay in Utah. Utah Tech and Grand Canyon. Let’s stay with this Utah theme. Grand Canyon is laying 13 at home, the total is 137. Mid Major Matt, I’m back to you for another play on a game involving another Utah team but it’s not BYU, it’s not the Utes, it’s Utah Tech. What’s up?

Mid Major Matt:

I like the team total under for Utah Tech tonight. I was very surprised that it was not in the fifties. The one thing we know about Grand Canyon is A, they’re slow-paced games, B, they play good defense and C, their announcer goes crazy over every basket, especially at home, which is why I love watching their broadcasts. I’m excited for this one tonight. But you look against the bad offenses, they held UT Arlington to 48, they held Cal Baptist to 59 at home. They held Grambling to 48. And you look at Utah Tech on the road, they go fast, they are a faster team, but on the road they scored 58 at Cal Baptist, they scored 60 at Utah Valley, they scored 52 at North Dakota, who’s not very good. And you look at the two games they played last year against Grand Canyon and they scored 61 and they scored 53. So I’m going to play on Grand Canyon’s fantastic defense tonight, that crazy crowd that’s also awesome, and I’m going to take the under for the Utah Tech team. I was very surprised this wasn’t high fifties instead of low sixties.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting. Matty Cox, any thoughts here that it’s Bryce Drew at Grand Canyon University, based out of Phoenix? Any thoughts if no play on this game?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I just think the thing for the Lopes is the loss of Jovan Blacksher as the starting point guard, so I think without him they struggle to score. I think the pace could be even slower without his presence, and that probably plays well for any sort of total under, whether it be a GCU team total, Utah Tech team total, or just the overall game team total. I just think this game’s ugly and low scoring, and I think the Trailblazers, they’re good offensively but Grand Canyon’s defense, especially when it’s devised by Bryce Drew, it’s usually pretty stingy. So I like what Mid Major Matt’s looking at here.

TJ Reeves:

Again, Grand Canyon is a team that has been in the NCAA tournament a couple of years ago as well, with Bryce Drew taking that job. As you guys mentioned, they lost on the road to Cal Baptist in their last game. They did beat UT Arlington badly at home the game before that, and interesting that Mid Major Matt is on the road team but he’s on them to stay under 62 points on the official play. A couple of people are saying this is questionable that we’re even talking about this game. Mark just to put in there, “Sicko game,” but we cover it all. We do our best to cover it all and if you want an official play on something like this where you can make some money, don’t load up the car payment on Utah Tech but Mid Major Matt says, “Take them anyway.”

All right, this one might have a little more national interest. Providence and Marquette. This will be the final game under discussion here before we get to your Q&A. Marquette laying 7.5, total 151. There has been some knock-down-drag-out conference play already in the Big East, including Creighton beating Providence on the weekend. Now we have this matchup in Milwaukee coming at the Fiserv Forum for a Wednesday night, and again, Marquette laying 7.5 in this one. All right. Let’s get some preliminary thoughts on this. Matty Cox a thought here and do you have an official play on this one as well? What do we like in the Big East matchup, Friars and Marquette Eagles.

Matty Cox:

Ed Cooley as a dog. That’s my angle here. It’s funny, I’m pinning it against Shaka Smart as a dog, who is one of the best against the spread coaches in the country when he’s catching points. But situationally, tonight it’s Providence who goes on the road to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. It’s going to be a hostile environment after Providence took down Marquette in double OT back on December 20th in Providence, so a little bit of revenge is certainly going to be working in favor of Marquette. Also working in favor of Marquette is Jared Bynum, point guard for Providence is likely out tonight. So the Friars are up against it, but this is a team, the DNA under Ed Cooley, they always rise to the occasion when their backs are against the wall. And I think you’re actually catching an extra point and a half of value from the opener.

It opened -6, now it’s up to -7.5, -8 at some shops. That’s mostly because of the Bynum factor, maybe because of the revenge factor. I just think those are negated by the fact that Ed Cooley’s on the sidelines and this whole MO of the team of the Providence Friars, as it has been for basically a year and a half now, is that everyone counts us out and we continue to find ways to compete. I don’t know if they win outright tonight, but I think this game is awfully competitive. You look at the results this year, they’ve only been blown out once really by TCU and that was in a tough spot coming off the MTE in November. This team’s all the way real, and I know Marquette’s been an absolute fireball this season, I just think eight’s a lot to ask of them to run away against this Providence team that can be a platinum cockroach, as I like to call them.

TJ Reeves:

Platinum cockroach, and they’re good free throw shooting team as well.

Matty Cox:

Yep.

TJ Reeves:

Mid Major Matt, any thoughts on Marquette at home? They had won five in a row after the loss to Providence that Matty Cox referenced, but then Xavier beat them on the weekend by four in Cincinnati. Any thoughts on Marquette hosting Providence, if no official play?

Mid Major Matt:

Not having Bynum them there is relatively important against Marquette’s havoc style defense. Shaka’s trying to bring what he did to VCU there and it’s not as good as it was, but they’re still forcing turnovers on almost 22% of their possessions. The other thing that’s out there is Bryce Hopkins is a game time decision with an ankle injury, and he was the leading scorer in that double overtime game and if he’s not there and you don’t have Bynum either, that’s a lot of points to have to make up because those two scored 45 points and had like 26, 28 rebounds in that game. So I don’t have a problem with it if Hopkins is playing, but I certainly couldn’t lock this in now until close to the game time because I kind of need Hopkins in there. Now, I know you’re going to lose some value if they say he’s playing and then the line goes down, but he’s a pretty big enough piece that without him and Bynum, I’m a little worried about Providence for this game tonight.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Matty Cox though is undeterred. He likes the fryers on the road to bounce back after the loss to Creighton. He will take Providence and the points, Big East road spot for the reasons that he gave. Good luck to Matty on the side with that. All right, with that, time for some Q&A. And we’ve been banging through sometimes 10, 12, 14 games that we’ve been getting through on the live Q&A. Let’s see how many we can get to here with your live questions and answers as we come your way on a Wednesday that’s got some other interesting matchups as well. We’ll see what some of the peeps are asking about. Douglas watching us, thank you. Douglas watching live says, “What do you think about Colgate versus Holy Cross?” Guys, he’s particularly interested in the total. either one of you with anything on that game? That total is 141.5, it looks like. Any thought?

Matty Cox:

I don’t have any thoughts. Typically Colgate involved in any game, I’m looking at betting in the over, especially in a game they can run away and extend the lead. They should be able to against Holy Cross. If that happens, you can see a second half where this game really opens up more of that pickup wreck ball type of loose pace, which would be good for the over. So that’s my slight lean.

TJ Reeves:

Mid Major Matt, any thought or you want to move on that total?

Mid Major Matt:

Holy Cross plays with a slightly around average pace, but a lot of their games lately have not been that, so that’s my concern here. Colgate, if you’re hoping to play the over, you’re going to hope that they speed things up and they play their usual leaky defense. It’s staggering that they’re number one in effective field goal percentage offense and 328th in effective field goal percentage defense. That’s quite the splits there for Colgate.

TJ Reeves:

They score a bunch and they stop no one. That’s very profound on a Wednesday. Next one from Ninja 13, always seems to be hanging out in our chat. We’ll get to these questions. Ninja 13 says Army laying five against Bucknell, this is a 6:00 Eastern Time game, or should he play the over? He’s interested in either one, the side or the over. Mid Major Matt, a thought with Army 11-6 quietly? The Cadets looking good early on in the year.

Mid Major Matt:

I like this Army team a lot. They’re another team, it’s funny, in this same conference, they’re really good offensively, they’re not as good defensively. Bucknell is not as good defensively and decently on offense, but they’re on this long losing streak here. They played Colgate close last game on the road, they played Richmond kind of close on the road, so they’re not going to be afraid of the atmosphere against Army. My lean would be to the home team though at the current number of five.

TJ Reeves:

Matty Cox, anything on Bucknell-Army or you want to scoot along here for a Wednesday?

Matty Cox:

Nah, let’s keep going. The Patriot League always perplexes me, so I never have any good takes on that conference.

TJ Reeves:

Army off to an 11 win season so far, getting into league play. We’re going right down the list. Again, get the questions in the live chat here for Wednesday. Core 1040 says, Thoughts on the total, Chattanooga and Furman, Southern Conference game? Is 152.5 too high, too low? Matty Cox, do you have a read at all on that game? Furman Paladins, and I used to live for a time in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Moccasins or the Mocs. Any thought?

Matty Cox:

I think the over appeal is obvious. However, Furman’s adjusted defensive efficiency within conference play has improved demonstrably since their non-conference defensive disaster. I’m not saying they’re a defensive juggernaut, they’re far from it. I think Chattanooga has issues defending as well. I think both teams score pretty efficiently, but there is a slight improvement indicator within Furman’s defense and this game also should play pretty competitively. Minus one point spread, I think this is going to be a pretty competitive game. It could slow down late, which could hurt your pace, so I actually would lean under. I’m not going to play it obviously because I think both teams can score and shoot, but there are some indicators that point against the over. I’ll say that.

TJ Reeves:

Chattanooga, short one point favorite, Mid Major Matt. Furman 13-6 coming in on the road. Any thought on the total, which was the question? Anything?

Mid Major Matt:

The theme of the questions so far, Furman overall another, one of those teams really good offensively, really bad defensively. Of course, they did improve, as Matt said. I kind of like Furman a little bit on the road here, just a little bit, small lean going up against the former VMI Keydets. Jake Stevens has been ridiculous this season for Chattanooga. He followed his coach from VMI over to Chattanooga, so he’s had a really good season. I don’t know how Furman necessarily covers him, but I think they match up well with the rest of the team.

TJ Reeves:

Interesting on the total. Mark watching says, “Thoughts on Oregon-Cal in the PAC 12?” We have poked as much fun as we possibly can at the Cal Bears. They host Oregon tonight, Pac 12 Network game, 7:00 Pacific Time in Berkeley, 10 Eastern Time, Oregon favored by eight. Any thought on this game? The total 131. Any thought on Oregon-Cal tonight, guys? Anything?

Matty Cox:

I love Cal and I can’t believe I’m saying those three words in the same sentence, but I do. Oregon coming off that huge monumental win at home against Arizona. Cal’s been playing categorically better since Devin Askew has been out, who everyone thought would be their best player. Former five star recruit, Kentucky recruit, but they got DeJuan Clayton back in the mix, did Cal. Former I believe Hartford point guard, very dynamic. He’s been terrific, better than Askew. I think people have missed that dynamic in the handicap that Cal just has a better point guard all of a sudden. I think they’re playing rejuvenated basketball, hence the onset of PAC 12 play. You’re catching a few too many points here tonight, especially against an Oregon team that could be a little bit hungover after that awesome, dominant winning against Arizona over the weekend.

TJ Reeves:

By the way, we do have an odds boost from our guys at BetUS here in college basketball. The odds boost would be if Oregon wins by 14.5 points against Cal, that was plus 275, it’s now plus 325. Take advantage of the odds boost at BetUS for this game. If Oregon wins by 14.5, if I have that correct, they’re on that that the boost is now up to plus 325. So doing an odds boost for this specific PAC 12 game later on tonight. Matthew watching us on the live Q&A, thank you Matthew, says, “Thoughts on Cincinnati?” Here in Tampa where I am based, West Central Florida, taking on USF. The Bulls did get a win at East Carolina on the weekend. Thoughts, guys, on Cincinnati-South Florida tonight? Anything?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I think South Florida wins. You know this probably better than I, TJ, it’s in your neck of the woods, but this Bulls team is different than the Bulls teams of years past. They actually can score a little bit this year, they’re trying to run it transition. It’s just a much more aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball to watch, but they haven’t fully lost that physical identity either under Gregory. I think it actually matches up well against Cincinnati tonight, kind of in a top travel spot there. I lean the Bulls catching four here at home.

TJ Reeves:

They’ve got a couple of fun players, a couple of high flying dunkers, Mid Major Matt. I did the games for 10 years and there were some exciting players at times at USF, but they’ve had so many down years, but it’s fun to watch some of their guys. It’s Serrel Smith that is a great dunker, a high flyer. They’ve got Tyler Harris, the Memphis transfer, leading them in scoring at 17 a game. Cincinnati comes in as the favored team. Bearcats also have Memphis I believe on the weekend, possible look ahead here for them. Any thought, Mid Major Matt, on a Wednesday night?

Mid Major Matt:

Seems like an under. Cincinnati’s offense away from home has not been very good. They scored 61 at Temple, they scored 51 at Northern Kentucky. They haven’t played a ton of road games, and USF is playing a little bit defense. It seems like an under. And by the way, going back to the Cal game ’cause I didn’t get to mention anything with that, look, it feels like Oregon’s going to go 1-1 this weekend, so if they win tonight they’re probably going to lose at Stanford, if they lose tonight they’re probably going to win at Stanford. They’re just so Jekyll and Hyde. It’s a big number. I don’t necessarily trust Cal very much, but I mean I think Oregon is certainly capable of losing this game outright.

TJ Reeves:

Thank you for the pickup on that. Again, for Cincinnati, they’ve won three out of four themselves. Won at SMU in a low scoring game, 54-52 on the weekend in Dallas. Now they travel to Tampa. In my heyday doing the games on the radio, this was Seth Greenberg who you see all the time on the ESPN studio shows and Bob Huggins, and it was always a game in the fifties and it was always a game that almost had a fight and had five technical fouls. Those were the games in the nineties, in the late nineties especially. So this will be Bearcats and Bulls tonight in that matchup. What else? T-Gate watching us on the live show, and keep the questions coming. Keep hitting the light button, by the way. We appreciate all that. T-Gate is interested in Louisville and Pitt. We’ve talked a lot of Louisville, they’ve had such an awful season. Pitt has had a good season under Jeff Capel, they’ve got a couple of quality wins. Thought on this one tonight? Mid Major Matt, anything on Pitt-Louisville?

Mid Major Matt:

Louisville’s going to get somebody at home. I don’t know if it’s tonight, check the status of Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. It’s not like they’re a good enough team that they can just lose one of their rotation pieces, one of their starting guys. His status is questionable for tonight. They’re going to get somebody. I don’t know if it’s going to be Pittsburgh tonight, but if Huntley Hatfield’s available I might look towards the home dog in this one, but I certainly can’t bet Louisville without their full complement of players.

TJ Reeves:

Again, North Carolina beat them badly by 21, pulled away and won by 21. Matty Cox, any thoughts? Pitt favored by 9.5 in this ACC matchup coming up.

Matty Cox:

Just look at Louisville’s last what, three or two conference home games. Syracuse, lost by one, Wake, lost by eight. I think Pitt is in that same weight class, so I think this game is fairly competitive. I think ten’s the right number. No appetite to bet Louisville, but certainly no appetite to bet Pitt on the road when their value is as high as it is right now.

TJ Reeves:

Wow. I just looked at our live audience, we’re soaring again here with probably 100 to 125 people that have joined us in the last 10 minutes while the show is going on. So you see our slate of games that we’ve already talked about, some of you in the live chat are asking about Virginia Tech and Virginia and a couple of the other games that we’ve already talked about. You can go back and rewatch the show. If you’re in here and you haven’t hit the like button, live on Wednesday, hit the like button, make sure you’re subscribed.

We’ll sit here for a few more minutes with some more games, fire in some more questions. I’ve got a lot of them loaded in here. We’ll get to some more games. A TJ question for both of you guys is UConn at Seton Hall, interesting stat. I believe this is correct, that UConn is now 1-5 in their last six games against the number, Seton Hall at home is 6-2 against the number. Interesting for this matchup tonight. UConn taking on water here with Danny Hurley, have they not? The Big East kind of catching up with them a little bit. UConn favored the road with what I just gave you, ATS. Matty Cox, any thought?

Matty Cox:

Yeah. Another news wire that just came in, Danny Hurley will not be coaching tonight. Him and his top associate I believe are out due to COVID-19 protocols. I haven’t heard any news or rumors about players, so chat members let me know if I missed something there. I would bet there’s probably one more player or two out closer to game time, just given how we’ve seen these COVID types of deals manifest. It’s usually like one or two guys are out, but then maybe there’s another guy or two behind the scenes that’s sick. I would be in no rush to bet UConn tonight. I do think they should be able to dominate the paint against a relatively undersized Seton Hall team. The Pirates are starting to play a little bit better, and I think catching five at home against a brittle and down trending UConn team is probably a good spot to back them from that lens. So all that is to say no action, but tread lightly before you back UConn.

TJ Reeves:

Okay, so interesting. I’m just looking real quick on the BetUS line if the line is still up there. Mid major Matt, a thought on whether they might take the line down temporarily? If Hurley’s not coaching the game, does it matter that much? What’s your inkling?

Mid Major Matt:

Well, obviously there’s assistant coaches, it’s not like he’s the only one. But Matt brings up the possibility of a player or two. So far, all the reports have said it’s no players so far, it’s just the two coaches. And certainly, I hope we don’t have a Northwestern situation. We thought we left this stuff behind us a couple years ago, but that Northwestern-Iowa game that was supposed to happen today obviously is not because Northwestern’s having COVID problems themselves. So flashbacks of two years ago, that’s for sure.

TJ Reeves:

Again, the line is still up on BetUS, with Seton Hall getting five at home with the stats that I just gave you. And let me just add one more thing here with this. It’s one thing if guys are symptomatic, they’re sick and they’re not able to play, but are we doing COVID testing still or is it only COVID testing if there’s symptoms? And we kept preaching this. Mid Major Matt, you were on the show. We kept preaching this last year that nobody had any uniformity. Some conferences were still testing, others were not.

The NCAA didn’t step in and tell the conferences, “Hey, either everybody stop testing or everybody does need the test,” because it got more confusing with makeup games or whatever. All right. So we’ll keep an eye on that as Wednesday develops with UConn and Seton Hall. Thank you for the breaking update there, Matty Cox, on Danny Hurley, and we’ll see if there are any players involved and what else about that game. Couple of more as we shoot through the games. Graham is watching. “How is West Virginia favorited against anybody in the big 12? TCU has to be the play, right?” Graham says on the show. TCU-West Virginia, thoughts? Mid Major Matt, thoughts?

Mid Major Matt:

I’ll let Matt do this one. I’m not as strong on the major conferences. It seems like an over, potentially. West Virginia’s taken on water but they’re always tough at home. TCU’s been better it seems, like but they have that road game against Kansas on Saturday so maybe there’s a little look ahead here.

TJ Reeves:

Matty Cox, the Froggies did beat Kansas State on the weekend. West Virginia yet to win at home. They’ve been competitive but they’ve yet to win at home, they’re 0-5 in the conference. Any quick thought if no play here? Mountaineers are short favorites, 2.5 favorites.

Matty Cox:

Yeah. I think it’s a great spot for West Virginia. That’s the only reason you can justify this line being what it is. I’m with Graham, though. Myself two years ago would’ve probably been in a rush to bet West Virginia, Bob Huggins at home in this spot, but I like the way TCU is starting to trend up. I continue to believe this team’s better than they’ve played, a little bit undervalued, but I’m not going to bet it because again, I just respect Bob Huggins and I respect the spot too much to fade it.

TJ Reeves:

Thank you, Chosen One T-Max, if I have that handle right. Thank you for watching. He’s in the YouTube chat. He says, “Ohio State laying the six with Nebraska.” I know you have played a couple of Nebraska games, if I’m not mistaken, Matty Cox. Any thought on that line? Buckeyes laying six.

Matty Cox:

It did feel a little bit high. The money bet this up to -6. It opened -4.5. I think Nebraska actually can compete here, but I also think Nebraska’s a little bit of a sell high at this point in this season. They had an awesome start to conference play, got healthier, but I think Ohio State on the road. This line did feel a little bit short on the opener, but I think the current price at -6 is about right. So conflicting handicap here for me, ultimately it’s a stay away.

TJ Reeves:

Matt Josephs, the Buckeyes have lost four straight, including a couple of road games to Maryland and recently at Rutgers. Any thought or you want to move on off the game with Nebraska?

Mid Major Matt:

Nebraska’s got some injuries. You might want to watch for Sam Griesel, the point guard. Didn’t play last game. He would be relatively important in this situation. Everybody seems to be saying he is going to play tonight, but I would wait until you actually get confirmation before you even consider Nebraska.

TJ Reeves:

We move on, Dalena if have that right, or Delena says, “What about Arkansas and Missouri for tonight?” Arkansas off the loss to Vanderbilt, Mizzou at home. Mid Major Matt, anything on that or do you want to move on?

Mid Major Matt:

Look, obviously Missouri’s been really good this year. The shine comes off a little bit because of the three of their last four lost, but you look at Arkansas, they’ve lost three straight. I don’t even know what to think about Arkansas because they’re not playing defense, the offense has struggled a little bit, so I can’t bet on Arkansas on the road in this situation.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Fair enough on that. Anything else here? Let’s see. I think we covered several of these other games. I think we’re good on those. Anything else in the live chat immediately? I’m looking down the list of what we have. I don’t know. I think we’re good on what we covered. Somebody else was asking, R-Bone I think was asking Oklahoma-Oklahoma State. Pokes laying two in this one. Any thought?

Matty Cox:

Key thing in this handicap is Moussa Cisse and his potential return absolutely paramount for the Pokes on both ends of the floor. I like OU quite a bit if he is out. I’m going to try and wait to see what the update is closer to game time, not just if he’s playing, but how much he plans to play. They’ve been a little bit hush-hush on the situation. I don’t bring up injuries much on this show ’cause I think mostly they don’t matter, to be honest, but in this case I think Cisse is critical, so looking to find out where he is. If he’s out, I’ll probably back the Sooners at two.

TJ Reeves:

Oklahoma State, Matt Josephs, has lost three in a row, four of five, losing to Baylor on the weekend. Any quick thought there on the game with the Sooners?

Mid Major Matt:

Nothing there. I’ll say this real quick. Elias has asked us 17 times about the first half over for the Pittsburgh-Louisville game and I’m trying to find out why we’re isolating the first half. Louisville’s one of the worst first half offenses in the country and Pittsburgh is not good enough I think to carry that thing. I don’t know what kind of pace we’re getting, so I don’t know why we’re looking at the first half there, but I certainly can’t take any sort of overs with an offense as bad as Louisville’s.

TJ Reeves:

Okay. Good enough on that. Scott is asking, “Did you guys cover San Diego State-Colorado State?” Scott, we did not on that. You guys have any thought? The Mountain West is shaping up knock-down-drag-out. Utah State meeting UNLV last night, New Mexico won at home as expected last night with San Jose State. Should we have a thought on Colorado State, 7:30 Pacific time on FS1 tonight hosting San Diego State? Any thought on that? Matty Cox, I see you nodding.

Matty Cox:

I do like San Diego State here. They’ve proven to play well on the road in altitude in prior years. The Dutcher versus Medved matchups are always fascinating. Dutcher’s a great schematic game planner against Medved’s offense, which is usually a pretty big advantage in games where he’s coaching. San Diego State healthier right now, I think just a little bit better form. I know it’s dicey to lay that number on the road in a hostile environment against a very respected Colorado State team, but I think they’re the right side tonight. I think Colorado State really struggles to score and definitely struggles to defend.

TJ Reeves:

Mid Major Matt, a thought on this one where Colorado State did get the win over UNLV? We talked about this game coming off the weekend, where they hit the bank shot from 40 feet with no time left to force overtime on a three, then won the game at overtime. Now they’re back home with San Diego State. Any quick thought?

Mid Major Matt:

I don’t know where Isaiah Stevens is getting any help in this game. It’s really a what could have been situation for Colorado State, with all the injuries they’ve had and had guys go in the lineup and out of the lineup. Usually Colorado State’s really strong at home, but I don’t know where the scoring’s coming from outside of Isaiah Stevens.

TJ Reeves:

All right. Good enough. Excellent stuff with the questions and answers, and we covered a bunch of games and stayed here for a while on that. Let’s get back to the guys and their best bets. They’re actually in agreement on a total. That is in the Abilene Christian-Utah Valley game. They’re both on the over. Mid Major Matt stays in Utah with Utah Tech staying under the team total in the game with Grand Canyon, Matty on a side in a great matchup, at least on paper, Providence at Marquette. He likes Providence, despite a couple of injury questions, getting 7.5. guys, with that, I think we’re good on a Wednesday. Any final thought? Matty Cox, final thought or are we good?

Matty Cox:

We’re good. Let’s do it.

TJ Reeves:

All right, fair enough. Mid Major Matt, anything else before we depart?

Mid Major Matt:

Obviously I know this worked out well for Corby, I’m going to call my future shot too. If Saturday Pittsburgh is hosting Florida State, if Vegas keeps over underrating Florida State and we get double digits like KenPom says, I’ll be on the Seminoles. They’re better than their record has been. Baba Miller is healthy now, out with the tonsillitis. I think Florida State’s going to present some value, especially as an underdog going forward.

TJ Reeves:

That’s all for today, remember to check out our sportsbook website. Good enough on that. Okay. Keep an eye on that. We always love that in advance. Guys, great job. Kevin, everybody at BetUS, great job. We thank you for watching. Hit that like button on the way out if you have not done so. We’re here weekdays at 11:00 AM. Follow us on social media right there as well. We love talking college hoops with you folks watching here on the BetUS College Basketball Show.

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