College Basketball Picks Christmas WeekJosh Bailey
Use my pre-Christmas college basketball betting picks of the week to bet and win big this week. Starting Wednesday night we should get a glimpse of which Kentucky team is probable for a Final Four run in March Madness along with the undefeated USC Trojans headlining a HOT Thursday night NCAA Basketball schedule.
College Basketball Picks Christmas Week
#6 Kentucky Wildcats (10-1) vs #11 Louisville Cardinals (10-1)
When: Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center (22,090 capacity) – Louisville, Kentucky
TV: ESPN/WATCH ESPN
Analysis: Coach Rick Pitino got win number 400 at Louisville last week giving him 752 wins across the nation which is respectable, but we are talking present day right now. They have one of the best defenses in the nation but unless they improve their crappy shooting they can’t take it all this year. They’re shooting 32% from deep, 48% inside the arc and only 68% from the free throw line-SHAQ would be proud.
Louisville won 5, lost 1 and won another 5 to get to their 10-1 record and following the pattern would imply a loss, but that isn’t the reason they will lose. After playing No. 6 Kentucky they play No. 13 Virginia, No. 9 Indiana and No. 21 Notre Dame all in a row which may be a bit overwhelming.
Kentucky has a group of kids almost old enough for prom (kidding), but these one-and-done college kids are consistently some of the best in the nation and are again. They are still molding together, but they already look epic.
When I read that Jay Bilas says this freshman backcourt is the best going back to 1980 I have to respect that and take it into heavy consideration. And I think Louisville’s defense can only keep it close for a half or so. By the end of the game, I see these new studs blowing it out and winning by close to double digits.
Pick: Kentucky Wildcats
Missouri State Bears (7-3) vs #24 USC Trojans (10-0)
When: Thursday, Dec. 22 at 11:00 pm ET
Where: Galen Center (10,258 capacity) – Los Angeles, California
TV: Fox Sports 1
Analysis: Well USC is almost done with the cream puff part of the schedule and about to be really tested in the next month by the teams in the Pac-12 Conference that are ranked like No. 22 Oregon, No. 19 Arizona and No. 2 UCLA. The problem is that they better not look past Missouri State or they could be an accidental lunch for the Bears.
Missouri State just smacked Oral Roberts around by 10 points 86-76 a week ago, and the Golden Eagles nearly upset the 10th ranked Creighton Bluejays losing in a tight one 66-65 this week.
The Trojans haven’t been undefeated this far into the season since 1970, and I believe they felt that pressure in a squeaker they just had against Troy this week. They won’t let that happen with an inferior opponent again, but they will be tested later. They shouldn’t be fazed by Missouri State and should win by 15-20 points easily.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (11-1) at Seton Hall Pirates (9-2)
When: Friday, Dec. 23 at 6:30 pm ET
Where: Prudential Center (18,711 capacity) – Newark, New Jersey
TV: Fox Sports 1
Analysis: Seton Hall showed fierce competitive spirit in beating No. 16 South Carolina last week by overcoming a 7 point 1st half deficit and closing it out in the last minute as the Gamecocks pushed them to the limit.
The Pirates have quite a schedule to either make or break a serious run at March Madness glory starting with No. 10 Creighton Dec. 28 and defending champion and No. 1 ranked Villanova Jan 16th, both of which they will play again being that they are all in the Big East Conference.
Rutgers is a former Big East competitor and will be the last non-conference game the Pirates deck the halls with before they head into their Big Ten schedule starting with No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers Dec. 27th. They seem to be a whole different team this year under 1st-year coach Steve Pikiell.
The Scarlet Knights are playing the daylight out of rebounding with an average of 44 boards a game or 7th best in the country. CJ Gettys and DeShawn Freeman lead their “Ghost Gang” which is also playing as a top 20 defense allowing a mere 61.3 points per game, but this game will be one where they are outclassed by Seton Hall.
The in-state rivalry should keep this fairly close until the end where the class of this horse race cannot help but win. Seton Hall is a half class level ahead of Rutgers and should prove that without a doubt in the 2nd period.
Pick: Seton Hall Pirates