Top College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday, January 19th (2022)

Jan 19, 2023 - 11:18 AM

Today’s college basketball best bets involve three point spread plays, with two coming from some of the Big Ten’s biggest matchups of the day and the third from a Pac-12 rivalry that has seen some thrillers in recent years.

Here are our other best bets for Thursday:

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

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Best College Basketball Bets for Thursday

Here are our best bets for Thursday’s college basketball action.

Michigan vs. Maryland Spread

Of Maryland’s six losses, each of the last four has been by at least 14 points. However, none were as eye-popping as the Terrapins’ 35-point road loss at Ann Arbor eighteen days ago. We are only analyzing the first half of the game here, as it was more-or-less over when Michigan jumped out to a 44-13 first-half lead. The Wolverines shot 18-for-27 (67%) in the opening 20 minutes while limiting Maryland to just 4-of-30 shooting and one made 3-point basket. Maryland did not put up much of a fight on the glass either, as Michigan rebounded 23 of 26 Maryland misses.

Michigan used dominance in the paint to race out to a big lead, outscoring the Terrapins 24-6, and held a 12-0 advantage in fast break points. Will a mere change in the venue tonight close the gap in all those areas?

Bet: Michigan +2.5 (-115 at DraftKings) 

Indiana vs. Illinois Spread

Before Indiana’s 63-45 victory over Wisconsin, its defensive issues were widely discussed, as the Hoosiers allowed an average of 86.7 points per game during a three-game losing streak. Making matters worse, just one of those opponents ranked in the top six of the league in scoring. Thus, we are not about to declare Indiana fixed defensively after facing a Wisconsin team that played without leading scorer Tyler Wahl (12.9 points per game).

Ever since freshman point guard Skyy Clark left the Illinois program, the Fighting Illini have won four consecutive games. Leading up to the winning streak, Illinois had failed to top 70 points in four of the previous seven games and has now scored 75+ in each of the last four. The ball is moving more offensively with the new lineup, and defensively, the Fighting Illini are connected, having allowed 61.3 points per game during the winning streak. We expect an Illinois offense with a 57-to-37 assist-to-turnover rate in the last two weeks to give the Hoosiers fits defensively en route to a convincing win.

Bet: Illinois -6 (-115 at DraftKings)

UCLA vs. Arizona State Spread

Here are the results from the last four times Arizona State has hosted UCLA: 87-84 win (three overtimes), 81-75 loss (one overtime), 84-66 win, 88-79 win. Thus, Arizona State has won three of its previous four home games against UCLA, and the only game the Sun Devils lost in that stretch was the overtime battle in 2021.

The key to the Sun Devils’ success in these home matchups is how well they have defended UCLA leading scorer Jaime Jaquez (16.7 points). Arizona State has held Jaquez to an average of 15 points over the previous four meetings, but those numbers are slightly skewed by the 20 minutes of extra action with four overtime periods. Arizona State defends inside the arc at a top-five rate (41.9% allowed), which should thwart UCLA’s most significant strength of interior scoring (the Bruins get the fifth-highest percentage of their points from 2-point range).

Four of the previous five meetings between these teams have been decided by six or fewer points, which makes this line feel a tad high.

Bet: Arizona State +4.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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