Welcome to the college basketball gambling and watching primer. We’re going to mimic similar to what JackMac did for college football as the focus on the weekends have shifted to college basketball. I’ll be giving out my picks, previewing games and letting you know what you should be watching on these 12 hours of Saturday basketball.
Reags Recommendations (3-4 overall, 3-4 last week)
Kentucky -2.5/Over 129.5
NC State -2
Over 155.5 UNC/Louisville
Under 134.5 Kansas/Texas Tech
5 Best Games of the Day
5. San Francisco at St. Mary’s
4. Virginia Tech at NC State
3. Kentucky at Florida
2. Texas Tech at Kansas
1. UNC at Louisville
Kentucky at Florida – 4pm (Kentucky -2.5/129.5)
We started last week’s blog with Kentucky and we’re going to continue that trend, because, well, I want to. Last week we saw them rock the Paul George sneakers, this week we have a Kobe promo. Can’t say I love that. I hate snakes. They freak me out:
Now as for the actual game? Well, I was sold on Florida coming into the year. I thought Andrew Nembhard was going to be a great freshman (not saying he isn’t) to go with the experience they have. However, Jalen Hudson has been irrelevant. They’ve been wildly inconsistent on offense. Throw in the fact that Keith Stone is out for the year and, well, Kentucky should have a field day in the paint. Specifically PJ Washington
Florida has been a pretty awful defensive rebounding team while Kentucky just beats teams up on the offensive glass. This line as I write this is Kentucky -2.5. This feels like a different Kentucky team after the last few weeks. I usually hate going with small road favorites, but I just don’t know how Florida bothers Kentucky in the paint.
Reags Homer Pick of the Week (1-0) – Kentucky -2.5 AND over 129.5
North Carolina at Louisville – 2pm (Louisville -1/155.5)
First things first we have to talk about these Louisville jerseys. They are in honor of Muhammad Ali and they are absolute fire. I hate that I say that about Louisville, but my God, these are beautiful. I hate that I love their colors and jerseys.
Now, we all remember what happened earlier in the year. Louisville handed UNC its worst home loss under Roy Williams. It was a complete ass kicking. I can guarantee no one from UNC did this
What we are going to see though is just how much Roy trusts Nassir Little. Louisville wants to run a lineup based around Malik Williams, Dwayne Sutton and Jordan Nwora. Those are two athletic wings that can get up and down the court. What that means is UNC is better suited playing Little over Brooks and moving Luke Maye to the 5 spot. We know Roy doesn’t love that though.
In that first game we saw two things. 1) Louisville shoot the shit out of the ball from three and 2) Coby White absolutely struggle. He’s the key for UNC’s offense. If Louisville (who can throw multiple guys on him) can contain White, they win this game. If not, UNC wins.
Reags Hate Pick: Over 155.5
Virginia Tech at NC State (NC State -2/151)
Here’s the one thing we may need to wait and see. Does Kevin Keatts rock this outfit again?
If so, NC State by 100. The one thing to really keep an eye on is Justin Robinson’s health. He was listed as doubtful when I was writing this and I’m going to assume he misses this game. That’s huge against NC State’s press – on the road. I know Virginia Tech tends to play multiple guards, specifically Alexander-Walker and Robinson together. I know Virginia Tech can shoot the hell out of the ball (2nd in the country from three). But, that’s all predicated on Robinson. He’s excellent at drawing attention and kicking. He’s a scoring threat. I mostly just don’t see how Virginia Tech succeeds on the road against the NC State press/trap without him.
The Injury Pick: NC State -2
Nebraska at Illinois (Nebraska -4/145)
Nebraska was supposed to take the jump this year. This was the year that Nebrasketball fans have been waiting for. This core group of upperclassmen with NBA talent on the roster coming off a fairly successful year. Then the Isaac Copeland injury happened and Nebraska is a bit of a free fall. They’ve lost four in a row, 3 at home and one on the road to Rutgers.
On the other side, Illinois has a terrible record. I know people will look at that and just jump to the fact that they suck. I disagree. Illinois is a top-100 team who has played the 3rd toughest schedule. 6 of their 15 losses were top-25 teams. I think the small ball lineup that Illinois uses will completely disrupt Nebraska without Copeland.
Buy Me A Beef Pick: Illinois +4
Texas Tech at Kansas (Kansas -4/134.5)
I want to spend a quick minute just addressing how goddamn dumb the NCAA is. They suspended Silvio de Sousa for 2 years (same for Miami’s Dewan Hernandez) because of his guardian accepting money from an agent/runner. Here’s the problem. Why aren’t these coaches getting punished? Shouldn’t Bill Self be the one punished here too? Instead the NCAA is punishing a kid and ending his career. It makes no sense. The amateurism setup is a joke and just wildly outdated. Let these kids make money off their name, likeness and image. It’s not that tough. Stop pretending like you’re this righteous organization when nothing you do makes sense.
As for this game? Every analytical score has this game between 129-131. Probably because of Texas Tech’s slow play combined with Culver being guarded by Marcus Garrett and Kansas’ inability to kill you from three. We’re going to rely on that here.
National Corrupt Athletic Association Pick: Under 134.5
National TV Schedule
St. John’s at Duke – Noon
UNC at Louisville – 2pm
Kentucky at Florida – 4pm
Indiana at Michigan State – 6pm
Tennessee at Texas A&M – 8pm
Oklahoma at West Virginia – Noon
Texas at Iowa State – 2pm
UCLA at Washington – 4pm
Syracuse at Pitt – 6pm
Alabama at Auburn – 8pm
Loyola Chicago at Illinois State – 10pm
Memphis at South Florida – Noon
Tulsa at Wichita State – 2pm
Kansas State at Oklahoma State – 6pm
TCU at Baylor – 8pm
New Mexico at Fresno State – 10pm
Texas Tech at Kansas – 4pm
CBS Sports Network
Kent State at Ball State – Noon
Southern Illinois at Bradley – 2pm
St. Louis at URI – 4pm
Boise State at Nevada – 6pm
SMU at Cincinnati – 8pm
South Carolina at Georgia – 1pm
Mississippi State at Ole Miss – 3:30pm
Arkansas at LSU – 6pm
Vanderbilt at Missouri – 8:30pm
Big 10 Network
Rutgers at Ohio State – Noon
Nebraska at Illinois – 2:15pm
Seton Hall at Butler – Noon
Providence at DePaul – 2:30pm