Packing for Vegas: College Basketball Betting Picks Jan. 22

Andrew KahnCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2009

Hope nobody thought I had vanished after losing my only play on Sunday. Nope, I didn't go anywhere; just didn't see any games I really liked. I might disappear if I go 0-2 tonight, though.

Here's who I like: UCLA -5 at Washington State. The Bruin offense has been inconsistent this year, as I expected. Aboya and Keefe do not equal Kevin Love, and Jrue Holiday is still learning how to score consistently at the college level. In UCLA's three losses they have scored only 52, 64, and 58 points. Washington State is one of the best defensive teams in the country, so while I don't expect an offensive outburst tonight, I still think the Bruins will score enough to cover this spread (keep in mind that number might only need to be 60).

That is because WSU lost so many key players from last year's squad, and I just don't believe have enough offense to beat the top two teams in the conference — UCLA and Arizona State—even once this season.

I'm also taking San Diego at home against Saint Mary's. I like the Toreros to pull off the upset, or at least keep it very close. This is the same team that won three games in three nights (albeit on their home floor) to win their conference tourney. One of those games was against St. Mary's. They also beat the Gaels by 8 at home earlier in the season.

SD has disappointed a bit this season after it's NCAA Tourney victory over UConn, losing to UNLV, Wisconsin, and Miami. But they are 12-7 overall and 4-0 in conference heading into tonight's game, better marks than they had before last year's initial meeting with St. Mary's. Other than Brandon Johnson, who was lost for the season in December after tearing his ACL, this is still the same SD team from last year. I love that I'm getting points in this game. Also, as a bonus, it's an ESPN night game.


Today's Picks: UCLA -5; 1 unit

                    San Diego +4; 1 unit


Season Record: 37-27 (58 percent); +10.6 units