College Basketball Betting: Friday Picks
You won't find a packed schedule this upcoming Friday for your college basketball betting, but two schools that are well known to mid-major basketball fans will be testing
themselves in conference play.
Creighton Bluejays at Missouri State Bears
Here's the thing to realize about this Friday's game in Springfield, Missouri: Missouri State might be 3-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, which makes the Bears look like a solid team on the surface. However, Missouri State is 5-11 overall. Of even more relevance to potential bettors is the fact that each one of MSU's three conference wins has come against a team that is 0-4 in the MVC to this point in time. Southern Illinois, Drake, and Illinois State are all 0-4 in the Valley, and those are the teams Missouri State has been able to take down in the first two weeks of conference competition. Creighton is 4-0 in the Valley, but the Jays have beaten tougher teams in the conference. All in all, Creighton displays terrific execution in its halfcourt sets. The Jays run crisp set plays and get great spacing and ball movement. Creighton simply performs at a much higher level than Missouri State. It can fairly be said that the Bears are something of a mirage at this point in the Missouri Valley Conference. As soon as they play the upper tier of the conference, they will no longer have a winning record in the Valley. Creighton is definitely the smart pick here.
Pick: Bluejays -14 at Bodog
San Jose State Spartans at Utah State Aggies
This is going to be a legitimately competitive game and diffcult to handicap for our sports picks. San Jose State is 3-1 in the Western Athletic Conference. The Spartans, even in past seasons when they weren't too much of a factor in the league, were able to be a pest for Utah State. It's worth recalling that San Jose State, as a No. 8 seed in the WAC Tournament a few years ago, was almost able to upset top-seeded Utah State in the quarterfinal round in Las Vegas. San Jose State can definitely bother Utah State, chiefly because the Spartans have done so in the recent past.
The other point to realize is that Utah State – the standard-bearer in the WAC for many years – did not make the NCAA tournament last season. The Aggies had a seasoned and experienced core which all graduated together in 2011. Utah State was left shorthanded in the 2011-2012 season, and the Aggies are still trying to rebuild their basketball brand this season. They're not entirely what they once were. Utah State did make the championship game of the CIT postseason tournament last season, losing to Mercer in the championship game. The ability to make the final round of a postseason tournament did give a young Utah State team a lot of needed in-game experience. Will that extended season, plus a 9-1 start in non-conference play this season, give Utah State enough of an edge to beat San Jose State? Probably so, but only by a small margin. Make Utah State your pick in this game, but be sure to do your homework first and evaluate all your options.
Pick: Aggies -10 at WillHill