Top College Basketball Picks for Thursday, January 20 (2022)

Jan 20, 2022 - 3:30 PM

How about last night! We finished with a 3-0 sweep on our plays on Wednesday night! Now we’ll look to continue our winning ways as we head into a solid slate for Thursday. I’ve got three games I’m eying. Let’s waste no time. Here are my three favorite college basketball picks and plays for Thursday, January 20.

All odds via BettingPros consensus

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St. Louis vs UMass: St. Louis -3 (-110)

(7:00 PM ET tip)

The St. Louis Billikens will head out on the road to start a two-game series against the UMass Minutemen. UMass has been awful defensively this season, allowing teams to shoot a 55.1 percent effective field goal percentage.

Yes, opponents are hitting 36.9 percent from deep and 55 percent from inside the arc against the Minutemen. That’s just absolutely horrible defense. But also add on that UMass is allowing opponents to earn nearly 30 percent offensive rebounds and that UMass struggles to force turnovers at a consistent rate, and it’s easy to fade UMass.

Saint Louis, on the other hand, dominates the offensive glass and shoots 35.7 percent from three. The Billikens are selective from downtown, but they’ll knock down open looks and also hit a high amount of foul shots. The UMass offense might be slightly better, but the defense is just bringing them down night after night.

Bet: St. Louis -3 (-110)

Chattanooga vs UNC Greensboro: Chattanooga -3.5 (-110)

(7:00 PM ET tip)

The Chattanooga Mocs are currently 14-4 on the year. Don’t be surprised if you see the Mocs in the NCAA Tournament this year. To do that, they’ll need to win the Southern Conference. And to win the Southern Conference, they’ll need to win as many conference games as possible in the regular season.

At 4-1 on the year, Chattanooga has done just that. With the terrific offense and an average defense, they’ve been getting the job done. The Mocs could be limited on the glass slightly in this game against UNC Greensboro, but overall, continue to stay consistent, shooting 34.9 percent from three and 53.2 percent from inside the arc while earning 37.3 percent offensive rebounds.

Meanwhile, UNC Greensboro is turning the ball over 22.4 percent of the time and has an effective field goal percentage of 48.1 percent. The reality is, the rebounding battle will be very close but when it comes to everything else, Chattanooga rates better.

Bet: Chattanooga -3.5 (-110)

Grand Canyon vs Stephen F. Austin: Grand Canyon (-130)

(7:30 PM ET tip)

While we’re on the topic of potential NCAA Tournament teams, let’s go ahead and take Grand Canyon on the moneyline. The Antelopes are 14-2 on the season and currently 4-0 in conference play. With a win over San Francisco, it’s clear that Grand Canyon is for real this season.

The Antelopes should destroy on the offensive glass and defend so well that they’ve held opponents to a 43 percent effective field goal percentage. Teams are literally shooting just 24.1 percent from downtown against Grand Canyon this season.

The Antelopes don’t shoot well from the foul line, at 61.8 percent, but they’ll still get there often knowing how often SFA fouls. Plus, SFA shoots 67.2 percent from the foul line, so it’s not that drastically different. Let’s take the favorite in this one.

Bet: Grand Canyon (-130)

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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.

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