The Super Bowl is still a week away, college football is long gone and baseball has yet to pick back up, but there are still some interesting basketball matchups to pick during this upcoming weekend.
Hail Varsity's Brandon Vogel, Greg Smith, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson take their best shot.
Our weekly Friday Forecast is presented by the Gamblers Assistance Program, the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling and Choices Treatment Center. If you or someone you love has a problem with gambling, call the state-wide help line at 1-800-522-4700.
MBB: No. 4 Duke vs. No. 2 Virginia
BV: Virginia is forever my value pick in the NCAA Tournament that never comes through. Maybe I’ll switch up my strategy then and try the Cavaliers in the regular season. PICK: Virginia 62, Duke 58
GS: Like Brandon, I’m constantly picking Virginia in the tournament but since it’s the regular season, they won’t let me down. PICK: Virginia 61, Duke 55
JP: This game will tell us a lot about both of these teams. Neither has really faced a really good opponent in quite a while. Duke has some talented pieces, but it’s hard for me to feel good about them against a defense like Virginia’s, especially with how erratic Trevon Duval can be at point guard. PICK: Virginia 63, Duke 60
DP: Virginia is usually outstanding defensively and they’re even better right now. They just held a ranked Clemson squad to 36 points on Tuesday. Give me the better version of the Cavs. PICK: Virginia 60, Duke 53
MBB: Maryland vs. No. 6 Michigan State
BV: Can’t decide what’s the better scenario here, Maryland gets a big win or Maryland gets handled and falls back to the pack a little bit. The latter is probably going to happen. PICK: Michigan State 85, Maryland 72
GS: Who doesn’t like a good upset? I think Maryland shoots better from 3 in this game out of fear of going in the paint. PICK Maryland 73, Michigan State 70
JP: Michigan State has had its issues lately, but in its current state I don’t think Maryland has quite enough talent to knock off the Spartans. Anthony Cowan is going to have a tough time in the paint against that Michigan State defense. PICK: Michigan State 79, Maryland 68
DP: Sparty plays Wisconsin Friday night, then turns around and plays Maryland on the road Sunday. I think they win one of their games this weekend. It won’t be the Maryland game. PICK: Maryland 77, Michigan State 71
MBB: Nebraska vs. Iowa
BV: Nebraska’s better. Nebraska’s at home. Nebraska should win. And that’s why this game terrifies me. PICK: Iowa 70, Nebraska 68
GS: Nebraska has to win this game and they’ve been winning those types of games lately but something tells me they stumble here. PICK: Iowa 69 Nebraska 65
JP: Iowa is having a terrible season, but even so the roster has plenty of offensive talent and that’s a little worrisome with how much Nebraska has struggled to put the ball through the hoop lately. Can the Huskers score enough points to keep up? Fortunately, Iowa can’t defend a lick and this is in Lincoln, so I’ll say yes. PICK: Nebraska 76, Iowa 70
DP: The Huskers are 11-1 in Pinnacle Bank Arena. And Iowa is really bad. PICK: Nebraska 74, Iowa 62
MBB: Creighton vs. Georgetown
BV: Have to admire the Jays consistency: 14-0 as a favorite, 1-5 as an underdog. They’ll be the former here and should roll at home on a Saturday night. PICK: Creighton 90, Georgetown 76
GS: Creighton rolls in this one. They’ll be fired up for the Pink-Out Night. PICK: Creighton 88, Georgetown 68
JP: It’s the Pink-Out game, and the Jays are always fired up to get a win on Pink-Out Night. Georgetown has two good players and then a bunch of dudes. Creighton smashed the Hoyas in their own gym not too long ago. Martin Krampelj was still playing at that point, but it was Toby Hegner who went off and torched the Hoyas and Hegner has taken on an even bigger role since Krampelj went down. PICK: Creighton 85, Georgetown 70
DP: Pink-Out games are my favorite. Creighton is also a BPI top-15 squad, Georgetown is… not. PICK: Creighton 93, Georgetown 78
NBA: Golden State vs. Boston
BV: Blew the Warriors pick last week, so I’ll go with my heart here and probably get that wrong, too. PICK: Boston 108, Golden State 104
GS: I don’t like picking against Golden State. Kevin Durant is just too good. PICK: Golden State 120 Boston 108
JP: I just watched Golden State shoot 18-25 from 3 in the first three quarters against the Clippers last night. PICK: Golden State 111, Boston 105
DP: Golden State looks really good and has Andre Iguodala back. Boston has lost four of its last five. This has the makings of a game that’s close early and then the Warriors do Warriors things in the third quarter. PICK: Golden State 109, Boston 98
Our picks today are for entertainment purposes only. Between 6 and 8 million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction, and many more are affected by another individual’s gambling problem. Don’t gamble more than you can afford and if it stops being fun seek help.
Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It’s a serious condition. But with help, problem gamblers can put the game in perspective and make decisions to improve their lives.
If you or someone you love has a gambling problem, in Lincoln call Choices treatment center 24/7 at 402-476-2300 or statewide call The Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-522-4700. Help is free so call today.