Hershkovich’s Tuesday College Basketball Bets: Xavier-Missouri, Oregon-Memphis
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Peyton Pritchard
Eli Hershkovich is an Action Network contributor and produces/hosts the You Better You Bet Podcast on RADIO.COM Sports.
We’re blessed with a loaded Tuesday night college basketball slate, with nine ranked teams in action.
I’ll break down three of them, as No. 21 Xavier hosts Missouri while No. 14 Oregon faces No. 13 Memphis in the Phil Knight Invitational.
Odds as of Tuesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Missouri at Xavier Odds
- Spread: Xavier -6
- Over/Under: 136
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
Believe it or not, the Musketeers (0-2 against the spread) are slightly undervalued in this spot.
Xavier lost 71-56 in Columbia, Mo. last season, shooting just 32.2% from the field while getting wrecked inside by Missouri big Jermiah Tillmon.
But the Musketeers had yet to reach their defensive potential under now-second-year coach Travis Steele — before a late-season surge — part of the reason I invested in a Xavier future.
Steele’s bunch will enact revenge, led by the 6-foot-9 Tyrique Jones’ improved interior defense. Even though transfer Dru Smith has provided Mizzou with a reliable floor general, the Musketeers’ backcourt should be able to limit ball penetration and keep Missouri uncomfortable in the halfcourt.
Moreover, Xavier guard Paul Scruggs (knee) is expected to suit up after a one-game absence, giving the Musketeers a boost on both ends of the floor, including his prowess for creating off the dribble and spacing the floor.
If Xavier delivers while keeping the Tigers off the offensive glass, look for its transition game to expose Mizzou’s interior group, especially by drawing contact. Tigers freshman Kobe Brown boasts an athletic build, but the 6-foot-7 junior Naji Marshall (18.5 ppg) should be able to take advantage of his inexperience off the dribble.
I rarely side with a six-point favorite in college basketball. But this spot makes it an intriguing play.
The Pick: Xavier -6 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Memphis vs. Oregon
- Spread: Oregon -3
- Over/Under: 146.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Although the event is on a “neutral court,” it’s being played in the Ducks’ backyard in Portland.
The NCAA robbed us of a James Wiseman-N’Faly Dante matchup, as Oregon’s 5-star freshman was ruled ineligible until at least mid-December. Wiseman was dealt the same fate on Friday, but the potential 2020 No. 1 pick remained in the lineup with Memphis and is set to fight for his status.
Despite missing Dante’s athleticism against Wiseman, the Ducks should get the 6-foot-9 Francis Okoro back in the lineup after he missed their last game (hit by car).
Oregon coach Dana Altman also boasts a well-rounded perimeter defense, stemming from his team’s ball pressure. Memphis freshman Boogie Ellis and Co. have been reliant on their perimeter attack, but they’ll be in for a test against veteran Peyton Pritchard and the Ducks’ pesky guards.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have struggled most with defending around the arc, so expect the crafty Pritchard to generate 3-point looks for New Mexico transfer Anthony Mathis and sixth man Will Richardson.
Memphis’ No. 1 recruiting class hasn’t faced an experienced backcourt like Oregon’s, and its youth will show in this “road” test.
If you’re looking to invest in the Ducks’ title futures (35-1), which I’ve gotten a piece of, I’d do so before a potential dip in value.
The Pick: Oregon -3 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]