Texas A&M and Penn State Favored in Legends Classic Semifinals

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Willie Bee

Monday, November 20, 2017 1:24 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 1:24 PM UTC

Think of Monday night’s Legends Classics matchups as the equivalent of appetizers for the rest of a busy week on the college basketball betting slate.

Next to the first week of March Madness, the week of Thanksgiving provides some of the be3st college hoops action a fan or bettor can find. Two dozen tournaments help fill the turkey fixture to the brim, one of them getting underway at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center tonight with a pair of regional clashes in the semifinals.

Texas A&M is the favorite on NCAA basketball odds to take the event, the Aggies recognized as a top 10 team according to early Pomeroy Ratings. They will meet another top 50 team on the Ken Pom list in Oklahoma State. Penn State and Pittsburgh collide in the second of this evening’s matchups, the Nittany Lions also a top 50 club while the Panthers have won the Legends Classic twice before (2008, 2013).

 

Aggies Favored By 6 Vs. Cowboys
With each side off to good starts, the 7 PM (ET) battle on ESPN2 between the Aggies and Cowboys finds Bookmaker selling Texas A&M for -6½ with 148½ for the total.

One of the big stories is both teams getting key players back from early season suspensions. Jeffrey Carroll is expected to make his season debut for Oklahoma State after averaging 17.5 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds game for the Cowboys a year ago. The 6-6 senior adds to Mike Boynton’s offense that averaged 84 PPG in winning the first three games. Texas A&M’s strong frontcourt should get even better with Robert Williams on the floor, the 6-10 sophomore potentially a lottery pick in next June’s NBA Draft.

There is some history between these two with the Cowboys being the 10th-most-played rivalry in Texas A&M history. Unfortunately, some of it dates 100+ years to when OSU was known as Oklahoma A&M and the schools competed in the Southwest Conference, and they haven’t played each other since the Aggies left the Big 12 five years ago. The Cowboys do have a 27-12 lead in the series, but Texas A&M covered four of the last five with four of the last six going ‘over.’ In this battle between backcourt and½ frontcourt, I’ll take the points.

Free NCAAB Picks: Oklahoma State +6½
Best Lines Available at WagerWeb

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Penn State Draws Chalk Line Against Pitt
Keystone State rivals meet for the 76th time in the nightcap, and for the first time since 2000, Pittsburgh isn’t favored. Penn State is giving up 9½-10 with 146 for the scoreboard target.

Expectations are down for the Panthers this year, picked to finish at or near the bottom of the ACC and already off to a 1-2 start overall. Kevin Stallings’ squad is led by senior Ryan Luther who is averaging close to a double-double, with juco transfer Jared Wilson-Frame tops on the team scoring 16.3 per night. The Nittany Lions are off to a 4-0 start, meanwhile, and Pat Chambers has five of his top 6 scorers back, though PSU could be without super soph Tony Carr for a second straight game due to an ankle injury suffered in the win over Montana.

I’ll close Monday night with a free college basketball pick on the ‘under.’

Free NBA Picks: Pitt-Penn State Under 146
Best Value is at Heritage (-105)

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Season: 2-3 (-0.15)

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