Our Staff’s 3 Best Bets for New Year’s Eve
College football will rule the national landscape Saturday, but did you really think we’d forget about college basketball?
Not only is the table strong, but most games tip over before CFP begins at 4:00 p.m. ET. That gives us plenty of time to bet on both, but we also have a later Mountain West game below for you if you want to stick with the basketball side.
Get your top three bets and top college basketball odds and tips now.
3 college basketball bests on Saturdays
The team logos in the table below represent all of the matchups we are targeting in Saturday’s playlist. Click on the team logos for any of the following matchups to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
St Johns vs Seton Hall
I’ll be right back to the fountain and the fading Seton Hall.
So both teams are on a losing streak. In general, I try to place teams on losing streaks at great rebound points.
However, I don’t think that rule currently applies to Seton Hall. I think the pirates are broken and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Watching Seton Hall play offense is like watching Michael Cera act. It’s like watching a flamingo in an agility competition. It’s like watching a not-so-fun friend attempt a comedy career.
It’s awkward. Everything is so difficult at Seton Hall.
The Pirates don’t have consistent sets and mid-range cohesion, and they accidentally run together more than any offense I’ve seen.
Shaheen Holloway is a great defensive coach and motivator, but his Peacocks teams have never been great offensively, and he doesn’t let the X’s and O’s jump in the big east.
Now, the team, ranked 333rd in offensive turnover rate, welcomes a St. John’s team that relies on ball pressure and creates fast-break points from turnovers. This is the worst matchup I can imagine.
I don’t have a good feel for St. John’s, but I know the Red Storm aren’t bottom feeders. They have non-conference wins against Nebraska and Syracuse, solid defensive metrics, and hit the offensive boards hard.
Additionally, it’s difficult to fade the backcourt duo of Posh Alexander and Andre Curbelo, especially when Kadary Richmond and Al-Amir Dawes have a combined ORtg under 95.
I also think Mike Anderson should rally the troops after losing the last two games. The bounce back rule doesn’t apply to Seton Hall, but I’ll happily apply it to St John’s.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the team that can’t score misses possession? That’s all you need to know about this game.
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Texas Tech vs. TCU
I love backing veteran teams early in conference play and this game on TCU is no different.
The Horned Frogs entered the season with high expectations, having brought back almost every key player from last year’s team that almost upset Arizona in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
But injuries and a suspension prevented the start of this new season.
The Horned Frogs struggled in the early weeks but Mike Miles Jr – their top scorer – was injured and Damion Baugh – a key player at both ends of the floor – was suspended.
Sure, they shouldn’t have lost at home to Northwestern State either without those two, but Jamie Dixon’s side have had nine straight wins since then, including wins over then-No. 25s in Iowa and Providence.
As for this matchup against Texas Tech, I don’t think the Red Raiders can be trusted right now, especially in a conference road game. They don’t have an elite, true-shot creator to play when needed, and Utah Valley transfer Fardaw’s Aimaq is still out.
Daniel Batcho (13.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG) has made a monster leap this season, but Eddie Lampkin Jr. will be able to match – or at least contain – the second son on the interior.
Defense should rule this game – Texas Tech is 29th in AdD and TCU is 22nd – and that usually favors the underdog. But turnovers and goals will be a problem for Texas Tech in this game and I have a lot more faith in TCU’s experienced ball handlers, especially at home.
State of San Diego vs. UNLV
There won’t be many free prizes in the Mountain West this year and every road trip is a challenge. UNLV will try to get it right on Saturday when Brian Dutcher and the San Diego State Aztecs visit Las Vegas.
SDSU was the clear favorite to win the league and must keep up with surprise challengers New Mexico. UNLV had a solid non-conference, but there are some worrying signs in the underlying metrics that suggest it will have a problem fitting in with San Diego State.
These worrying signs have particularly surfaced with two losses in the last three games.
Without Bryce Hamilton, the Rebels don’t have enough reliable goals on the halfcourt. They’ve been great when faced with a team that doesn’t have a ball handler to turn around and score with in the transition phase.
However, trying to speed up San Diego State is a really tough task as the Aztecs are masters at forcing teams to play at their pace. UNLV won’t get enough in court to compete with San Diego State.
The Rebels’ defense forces teams to play isolation ball to generate offense and the Aztecs should score enough goals from Matt Bradley and their quietly improving ball-chute offense to win this game away from home.
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