Radford (-1.5) vs. Campbell
In a battle between the No. 2 and 3 seeds in the Big South Conference, Radford and Campbell meet for a chance at Winthrop or Longwood in the Finals.
Campbell enters on an eight-game winning streak, their last loss coming 67-61 to Radford in their second meeting on Jan. 20. In the first matchup, the game was a triple OT thriller that Radford won 97-91. The Radford Highlanders won four straight games in this series, sweeping this season and last year's meetings. Radford has won by five or more points in all four of their wins.
In Campbell's last four of five wins versus Radford, the Camels have won by three or fewer points, so expect a close game. The main difference between the two teams lies in the interior.
Campbell allows Big South opponents to make 55.2% of their two-point attempts, ranking last in the conference and 322nd in the nation. Radford ranks second in the conference from two, with a 54.7% field goal percentage. The Highlanders struggle from three, connecting for 31.8%, so expect Radford to use their slight height advantage in the paint.
Radford holds the second offensive (34.3%) and defensive rebounding percentages (23.9%) in the conference, while Campbell cannot hold their own. The Camels rank 11th in offensive rebounding percentage (18.6%) and eighth in defensive (30.5%). If Radford controls the paint and boards, Campbell will need to win the battle from beyond the arc.
The Camels lead the conference in offensive (40.4%) and defensive three-point percentage (29.0%). The Highlanders rank last in the Big South with a 37.9% defensive three-point percentage, but limited Hampton to 3-of-18 (16.7%) from deep in the tournament's first round.
Radford held Campbell to 8-of-26 from deep (30.8%) and 14-of-31 (45.2%) in both meetings this season. Radford went 6-of-25 (24.0%) and 6-of-22 (27.3%) from three and still pulled out wins. I expect Radford to shoot a little better from deep, even if it is the 6-of-18 (33.3%) the Highlanders put up against Hampton.
I am backing Radford to get back to the Big South Championship Game despite Cambell's hot streak and hot shooting. The conference tournament was cut short in 2020, but Radford was the runner-up in 2019 and the champion in 2018.
Game Pick: Radford ML (1u)
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Nebraska at Iowa (-17.5)
This is an interesting game with a sharp total, in my opinion. The average score between the last five meetings is 171.4, with a low game score of 146. This is the only meeting of the season between the two teams, but the total has hit 151 or more in six of the last seven games. The total today opened 152.0 and counting.
Iowa has hit seven straight Unders, playing better defense than at the beginning of the season. Iowa is 8-2 (80%) to the Under in the last 10 games, changing everyone's betting angles on the Hawkeyes. Per NBC Sports Edge's Top Trends, Nebraska is 9-1 (90%) to the Under following a win, but 4-1 (80%) to the Over in the last five games.
Nebraska has been resurrected out of nowhere, averaging 72.2 points in the last five games and winning the last two. Iowa has averaged 73.8 points in the previous five and won five of the past six games, with the only loss coming to Michigan.
Iowa is 17-7-1 ATS (70.8%) in its last 25 games at home and should put in work on this Nebraska team today. Luka Garza has scored 23 or more points in three-of-four games and at least eight rebounds, including two double-doubles. His point prop is set at 24.0 today and that is worth backing as Nebraska has had more than few scorers hit 20-plus points.
Marcus Carr scored 41 (Minnesota), Kofi Cockburn had 24 (Illinois), Myreon Jones had 29 (Penn State), Eric Ayala had 24 (Maryland), Aaron Wiggins had 22 and 21 (Maryland), and Ayo Dosunmu scored 31 points (Illinois) all in the last nine games versus Nebraska. Nebraska allows a 53.1% field goal percentage from two and Garza is hitting 57.1% from the field and 47.8% from three at home this season.
Garza has averaged 26.0 points at home this season, scoring 23, 22, 16, 27 and 28 points in his past five at home. In his other Big Ten home games, he scored 33, 18 and 22, giving the 26.0 average. Garza scored 16 points in 36 minutes of a four-point loss to Nebraska last season and 22 points in 27 minutes of a 26-point win in the second meeting. Garza's career-high versus Nebraska is 25 points and that came as a sophomore. I like him at 24 or more today, playable up to 25.
Game Pick: Luka Garza Over 24.0 Points (1u)
Texas at Oklahoma (-2)
Texas and Oklahoma have split the series the past two seasons and have a chance at a third consecutive if Texas wins today. Both teams are 5-7 versus Quad 1 opponents and need a win here as Texas is a half-game up on Oklahoma in the standings. Texas lost the first meeting 80-79 at home.
Both have their reasons to win this game, but as the No. 5 and 6 seeds in the big 12 standings, Oklahoma needs this more. The Sooners are on a three-game losing streak, the longest of the season. Oklahoma wraps up the regular season with a senior night home game, while Texas still has TCU on the schedule (3/7).
Expect Oklahoma to play hard and attempt to split this series once again. Texas is 1-8-1 ATS in the last 10 games and the slight underdogs in this matchup in Norman, OK. This game seems much more like a live bet type of matchup. Based on Oklahoma's recent performances, Texas looks like the obvious choice, but the Sooners need this victory more than the Longhorns.
More than likely, one or both teams will find themselves trailing by a few possessions or double-figures at some point in this matchup. Live betting Oklahoma or Texas +6 and beyond seem like the safer options with the inconsistent play these two have dished out. Texas is 2-2 SU (50%) in the last four games and could easily be 1-3 with a lone win over Iowa State if they did not beat Kansas in OT.
NBC has an edge finder tool that allows you to build and find your own trends. For this matchup, I look to see what Oklahoma's ATS and ML record is after three straight losses. Oklahoma is 4-4 ATS (50%) and 3-5 SU (37.5%), dating back to 2017-18. Taking it back eight years to 2013-14, Oklahoma is 8-10 ATS (44.4%) and 5-13 SU (27.7%).
There is no safe bet in this matchup, so I will enjoy and make my decision after the first 10-20 minutes of game action or when one of the two teams' spreads is at the highest point.