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Odds and Ends

Duke vs Georgia Tech and the Red River Rivalry

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: January 26, 2021, 2:13 pm ET

Georgia Tech at Duke (-6)

This is one of the most intriguing matchups of the College Basketball slate for a few reasons. The iconic Duke program is on a three-game losing streak, all coming on the road, but return home in hopes for a much-needed win. Georgia Tech won five straight before losing by two to Virginia after leading at halftime 36-32.

During this losing streak, Duke has struggled mightily in the first half. The Blue Devils allow 41.6 points per first half during the current three-game losing streak. On the other end, Duke is putting up 33.6 points per first half in that span. In ACC play, Duke's averaged 35.6 points in the first half and allows an alarming 39.1 per game. 

On the road, Georgia Tech averages 32.2 points per game in the first half and allows 32.6 per game. In the last three games overall, Georgia Tech has averaged 38.3 points and recorded 35, 36 and 44. In ACC play, the Yellow Jackets average 35.0 points per first half and allow 31.8 thanks to a 21-point outing from Wake Forest. 

Georgia Tech's other four ACC opponents all surpassed 32 points, while Georgia Tech scored 34, 35 and 36 points in three first halves and 29 in the other two. In Georgia Tech's two road losses, they scored 29 and 36 points while allowing 32 and 36. In Tech's two non-conference losses, the halftime scores were 38-31 and 38-35, not in favor of the Yellow Jackets. 

The Yellow Jackets are shooting the three-ball at an alarming rate this season. They hit the trey-ball at 38.3% (30th) and own a 55.0% effective field goal percentage (28th). Versus Virginia, Georgia Tech made 9-of-15 threes (60%) and 16-of-26 (61.5%) against Clemson. Those are just the previous two games. 

Duke and defending the three have not gone together this season. The Blue Devils are ranked 298th with 37.4% three-point percentage to opponents and 260th overall in defensive effective field goal percentage (52.6%). This first half over should be a close call as halftime over bets always include sweat! 

Both teams come out with something to prove in the first 10-20 minutes before either side settles in. I took the -118 on DraftKings and would play 66.5 or more for 1u. I will buy the 0.5 for the push factor, as always. I lean Georgia Tech to cover 

Game Pick: First Half Over 66 Points (1.5u)

 

Oklahoma at Texas (-4.5)

The Red River Rivalry! This game will be a treat tonight. Shaka Smart will not be on the sidelines coaching for Texas as he is under COVID protocol. Oklahoma is hot right now and without Smart, the door is open for the Sooners.

Texas got back in the win column against Kansas State (82-67) after taking a toss two-point loss to Texas Tech on Wednesday. The Longhorns are 11-2 on the year and the Sooners are 9-4 after three straight wins, including a 75-68 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks.

This matchup will be intriguing as Texas' only two losses have come at home, while three-of-four losses for Oklahoma are on the road. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. Oklahoma is also 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, while Texas is 0-5 ATS in the previous five home games. 

Texas is 4-2 SU in the last six meetings with Oklahoma. In Texas, the Longhorns have gone 2-1 SU winning by three and five, but losing last season's meeting 72-62. Oklahoma's three conference losses have come to Baylor, Kansas and Texas Tech - three great teams. On the road, they lost to Baylor, Kansas and Xavier.

The Sooners are 9-9 against Texas under Head Coach Lon Kruger. Each of the previous three seasons have featured game-winners from each squad. Oklahoma is 3-1 since making a slight change to their lineup. They are four guards strong after adding Elijah Harkless. The only loss was at Kansas and in that four-game span, Oklahoma held opponents to 41.1% from the field and 27.6% from three. Offensively, Oklahoma has scored 75, 76 and 82 points in the last three games.

Texas without Shaka Smart could go through rough patches, and I am interested in how the Longhorns will attack the Sooners' small-ball lineup. Texas shoots the three-ball on 42% of their field goal attempts in conference play. If they do not dominate down low, Oklahoma will be able to keep this within three possessions. Texas has scored 72 or more in eight straight games and 75 or more in six-of-eight.

Oklahoma is riding an emotional and program-boosting win over Kansas, and this is usually a competitive rivalry, so I will be watching closely for a live bet. I lean Oklahoma +4.5 and the Over in this matchup with both teams able to score 70-plus but would instead shop in-game for a larger spread. If Oklahoma falls behind early, Oklahoma +7 or better would be ideal for a little cushion. I want to see if Oklahoma will fall into a letdown game here or can hang early with Texas. The +4 should be around in game as long as Texas isn't up by double-digits for a majority of the game. 

Lean: Live Betting Oklahoma Spread

 

Drake (-3.5) at Missouri State

America's Team? The Drake Bulldogs? I didn't say it, but they do play like it. The Bulldogs were a bettors dream going 13-0 SU and 11-0 ATS as they played two non-DI opponents. Missouri State is also one of the most profitable ATS teams in the country. The Bears are 9-1 SU and 7-1 ATS for the season.

Good teams win - great teams cover. Both are that. The two also have in common a lengthy layoff. Drake has not played in over two weeks and Missouri State just over 10 days. Teams coming off the break have come out aggressive and barely rusty, so it will be fun to see these two squads matchup. 

In the last six meetings, Drake has won five in the series and two of the previous three at Missouri State. This will be the first of a back-to-back between the two, both at Missouri State (Springfield, Mo.). They split the season series 1-1 last season, with Drake winning 71-69 at home and Missouri State winning 97-62 at home. Before that, Drake won four-straight and five of the last six. 

I lean Drake to win, but Missouri State would want nothing more than to win two straight on their home floor and hand Drake the first loss of the season. This matchup is a more live bet type of game for me, and see which side is the aggressor after the length layoffs. I don't want to fall into the Drake trap, but at the same time -- it is tempting!

Lean: Live Betting Drake or Missouri State ML for + value in game

Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and also a contributor on numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.