We’re live from Rochester, MI. for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Thanksgiving will always be about football in this country, but all of the great tournaments and classics that college basketball has managed to put together of late has been awesome. Two of the better mid-majors get together when the Georgia State Panthers meet the Oakland Golden Grizzlies of the Summit.
It’s an early line, but the number has really shocked me in this matchup.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really know anything about Oakland basketball this year. I was a fan back when they had Travis Bader, but he’s gone and Oakland has just one win in its first five games. The Grizzlies lost at Iowa State by a lot less than Georgia State did and then at Eastern Michigan before losing non-road games to Western Michigan and Western Carolina. The Grizz did get a 13-point win against Chicago State on Tuesday. It’s a win, but that’s about it. Oakland’s leading scorer is 5’9″ Khalil Fielder, who has seen a huge upturn in his scoring since averaging 9.5 a game last year as a freshman. The Grizzles’ next two big scorers are both down on the block with Tommie McCune and Corey Petros.
Ryan Harrow isn’t known for his defense, but he’s still an elite athlete in college basketball, and especially in this game. He will mark Fielder, which gives me confidence Georgia State immediately has the check mark against Oakland’s best player. Other than that, I’ll just rant about the same guys I did in my last GSU write-up when the Panthers were blown out by Iowa State. I love this squad because of the backcourt. And I’m not sure that Oakland has an answer for both Harrow and RJ Hunter. These are two NBA-level guys who won’t see the same type of pure talent on the other side. On paper (and in my heart), it seems like this is a game that Georgia State wins fairly easily.
Yet Oakland has been favored by nine points in this game. That could be a faulty early line, but it’s the line we’ll play in this one. Assuming you can get this number, I recommend you play it for big. Let’s go GSU for double.
Free Pick: Georgia State +9 (2 units)
2014 CBB: 1-3 -2.3