It’s American Thanksgiving week, which means plenty of holiday tournaments around college basketball. Here are two NCAAB picks from the Maui Invitational and which way to lean at the best sportsbooks.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Wednesday, November 23, 2022 – 07:30 PM EST at Lahaina Civic Center
Has there been a more disappointing team in the early going than once-powerhouse Louisville under first-year coach Kenny Payne?
Look, they aren’t going to fire him after one season, but the fans already are revolting with the team at 0-5 following a brutal 70-38 loss to Texas Tech on Tuesday – the Red Raiders are very good, but a 38-point loss? Louisville’s leading scorer had seven points.
The team shot 22.4% overall from the field and 16.7% from deep. A scoring drought of more than 10 minutes across the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half allowed Texas Tech to pull away with a 25-0 run.
The Cardinals rank 352nd in the country in turnover percentage (26.2%). They've committed at least 18 turnovers in each of their last four games but have also forced 16 turnovers in each of the last two outings. Louisville is 339th in the country in Division I experience with an average of 0.89 years.
Cincinnati lost its third straight game on Tuesday, also trashed 81-53 by Ohio State. The Bearcats had scored 93 points the previous night in a loss to Arizona. That’s the thing with these tournaments: You just don’t know how teams are going to react playing three games in three days.
UC had a six-point lead in the opening two minutes, but Ohio State used its size and athleticism to take control with a 38-27 halftime lead. Cincinnati had only four assists and didn't get its first until the second half. OSU had 19 offensive rebounds that led to 27 second-chance points. The Buckeyes outrebounded the Bearcats 42-29.
This is the final game for both in the Maui Invitational, the seventh-place game on ESPNU. The Cardinals and Bearcats, former longtime conference rivals, have played 99 times before – the most of any Louisville opponent, ahead of Memphis (90) – with a 56-43 UofL edge.
Cincinnati should win, but these are too many points at the Ohio betting sites. The Bearcats are just 6-13 ATS in their past 19 games.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 10:00 PM EST at Lahaina Civic Center
Honestly, this could be a Final Four preview – both teams are that good and very well-coached. SDSU’s Brian Dutcher and Arkansas’s Eric Musselman rank fifth and sixth, respectively, among active NCAA Division I head coaches in winning percentage (with at least five years of Division I wins).
Dutcher has a .750 win percentage (in six years) and Musselman has a .748 win percentage (in eight years). They meet in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational.
Arkansas comes off a 90-87 loss to an excellent Creighton team in a back-and-forth affair. The last tie was at 81-all when Arkansas’s Jordan Walsh made a pair of free throws with 1:32 left. The Hogs got to within one twice inside the final 20 seconds.
Davonte Davis sank two free throws with 18 ticks left to make the score 85-84 and Anthony Black drained a 3-pointer with seven seconds left to make the score 88-87.
However, Creighton’s Trey Alexander made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to put the Blue Jays up three and Arkansas’s half-court attempt at the buzzer came up empty. For the first time this season, Arkansas trailed at the half and allowed as many as 40 points in a half.
Arkansas lost despite committing just nine turnovers and outscoring the Blue Jays 21-3 on points off turnovers. The Razorbacks also outscored the Blue Jays 21-3 in points off the bench. Thus, I think that result was a fluke.
San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State suffered its first loss of the year, 87-70 to No. 14 Arizona on Tuesday. The only lead for the Aztecs was 42-40 early in the second half.
Arizona, which came in leading the nation shooting 62.9% from the floor, shot 58.6% and made 9 of 20 from beyond the arc. SDSU shot 38% overall and made only 3 of 19 from distance.
It’s the third career meeting between the programs. The Hogs lead 2-0, but they haven’t played since 1985. SDSU is just 2-5 ATS in its past seven games overall, while Arkansas is 5-2 ATS in its past seven after an ATS loss.
Following the NCAAB odds, we’ll take the SEC club.
NCAAB Pick: Arkansas +1.5 (-105) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.