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Friday's Betting Notes

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The championship round of this season’s Coaches vs. Cancer Classic men’s basketball tournament tips off this Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with two semifinal matchups on the slate. 
 
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Seton Hall Pirates (TruTV, 7:00 p.m. ET)
 
Oklahoma opened as a 1 ½-point favorite over Seton Hall on Thursday evening.
 
The Sooners opened the season with a solid 82-73 victory over Alabama as four-point underdogs in the Buckets and Boots Showcase. As part of the preliminary rounds of this tournament as one of four host sites, they cruised past Idaho last Wednesday 85-65 at home in a game that had no posted line after posting a 95-82 victory over North Texas as 15 ½-point favorite on Nov. 11.
 
Buddy Hield has led Oklahoma is scoring so far with 18.3 points a game as part of a foursome of players scoring in double-figures. The Sooners are averaging 87 points a game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. They have also done a good job under the boards with 40 rebounds a game.
 
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Seton Hall faced Niagara as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer series in its season opener and came away with an 83-72 victory as a 14 ½-point home favorite. Its next game was against Kent State and the Pirates prevailed with a 78-76 win, but they failed to cover as eight-point favorites at home. They went on to lose to Mercer 77-74 in overtime last Saturday in a game that had no posted line and this past Monday they beat Monmouth 82-66, but fell to 0-3 against the spread after failing to cover as 19 ½-point home favorites.
 
The Pirates feature a trio of players that can put the ball in the hoop in Sterling Gibbs, Fuquan Edwin and Patrik Auda. They have accounted for 46.8 of the team’s 79 PPG. Gibbs has led the way in points (17.0) and assists (4.5) and Auda is Seton Hall’s leading rebounder with 6.3 a game.
 
The Sooners have failed to cover in four of their last five games dating back to last season and the total has gone OVER in their last seven games following a straight-up win. Seton Hall is just 14-30 ATS in their last 44 neutral site games and they are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight nonconference games.
 
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. No. 1 Michigan State Spartans (TruTV, 9:30 p.m. ET)
 
Michigan State opened as a 15-point favorite over Virginia Tech on Thursday evening.
 
Virginia Tech opened this ongoing tournament series with a stunning 64-63 loss to USC Upstate in a game with no posted line but it quickly bounced back with three straight wins including an 87-82 victory over West Virginia as a three-point home underdog. The also covered as a 5 ½-point home favorite in a 79-61 win over Western Carolina in another game that was part of this series.
 
The Hokies have averaged 83.5 points in their first four games with five different players scoring in double figures. Both Jarell Eddie and CJ Barksdale are averaging 16 points a game and Trevor Thompson is pulling down a team-high 7.3 rebounds. Overall, Virginia Tech is averaging 45 rebounds a game which is the 19th highest total in the nation. It is shooting 46.4 percent from the field and an impressive 44.8 percent from beyond the arc.
 
Michigan State came into this season as the No. 2 team in in the country in both major polls and the ascended to the top spot by knocking-off then-No. 1 Kentucky 78-74 in the State Farm Classic on Nov. 12. The Spartans were four-point favorites over the Wildcats in a game that ended as a PUSH. Since then, they had to sweat out a 62-53 win over Columbia as 23 ½-point home favorites in their first game in this series and shake off a sluggish first half to get by Portland 82-67 as 23-point favorites at home this past Monday in its second Coaches vs. Cancer series game.
 
The trio of Adreian Payne, Gary Harris and Keith Appling has lived up to all the preseason hype with a combined 49.3 points which is 62 percent of the team’s 80 point scoring average. Branden Dawson has done a good job under the boards with 9.5 rebounds and Appling leads in assists with 6.3 a game. The Spartans are ranked fourth in the nation in team assists with 21.5 and pulling down 40.8 rebounds a game.
 
The Hokies are just 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine neutral site games but they are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games against the Big Ten. Michigan State started this season 0-2-1 ATS and it is now 2-6-1 ATS in its last nine games dating back to last season.
 

  
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