Josh Nagel is a Reno-based analyst who has worked in the Nevada sports handicapping industry for more than 16 years. He has covered the wagering industry on a variety of platforms, and also has won numerous sports handicapping contests. He specializes in college sports and prides himself on consistency. Last year, he hit a documented 61 percent of his college football picks, 59 percent of NFL selections and 58 percent of college basketball selections for SportsLine. From 2010 to 2014, Nagel picked college football games for the Reno Gazette-Journal, also at a 61 percent accuracy rate. His work also has been featured in USA Today, on Covers.com and Poker News. He is the former managing editor of the Reno-based gaming and entertainment magazine Best Bets. For Josh Nagel media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
LAST 53 CBB PICKS
30-22-1 LAST 53 CBB PICKS | +617
This is one of those rare instances in which the public backs an underdog and sportsbooks will need a favorite to deliver in the NCAA Tournament. Many public bettors are newfound fans of Xavier after its stunning upset of Arizona, but I think the Bulldogs present matchup problems for the Musketeers. Big man Przemek Karnowski will present problems against the zone, and Gonzaga?s perimeter defense should limit Xavier star Trevon Bluiett. This should also have a bit of a free-flowing pace, which favors the Bulldogs.
30-22-1 in last 53 CBB picks | +617
Kansas has the look of a team poised to compete for the national title, and I expect the Jayhawks to seal their Final Four bid Saturday with a win and cover against Oregon. The short-handed Ducks have put up an admirable fight in reaching the Elite Eight, but this should be the ceiling on it. I don?t see Oregon having the depth to compete with Kansas for 40 minutes and, in current form, the Jayhawks are the only side to consider here. Look for them to post another double-figure win.
Although it?s tough to pass on taking this many points, particularly at this time of year, the backdrop is there for a strong situational play Friday on North Carolina against Butler in the Sweet 16. Over the past few years, the Tar Heels have historically responded to a poor performance with an outstanding one. They are fortunate to still be standing following a sluggish showing against Arkansas in the second round. North Carolina won?t take Butler for granted and, although the Bulldogs have a rigid half-court defense, they won?t be able to keep pace with an inspired Tar Heels club.
South Carolina?s physicality and defense have long made it a difficult opponent. When the Gamecocks add some offense, the result is what we saw in their stunning 88-81 upset of Duke behind a 65-point second half. Afterward, Coach K said South Carolina was the most physical opponent his team had faced. This spells trouble for Baylor, a more finesse team than the Blue Devils. The Bears are similarly stingy on the defensive end, but have struggled with slow-down, physical opponents. These points loom as valuable in what rates to be a choppy, low-scoring affair.
I?ve long believed this Kentucky team would save its best for when it matters most, and the Wildcats have a chance to prove me right Friday in their rematch with UCLA. The Bruins upset Kentucky as a double-figure underdog in their first meeting behind a memorable display of shooting and efficiency. Lost in that effort is how well Kentucky played to take the game to the wire. Ultimately, the Wildcats are better on the defensive end and the team that gets key stops should win this rematch. I?m backing the underdog.
In partnership with...