College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (2/2)

Feb 2, 2023 - 11:44 AM

Per ESPN Stats & Info, yesterday’s loss by No. 2 Tennessee at Florida was historic. Be sure to keep this trend in mind when the next release of the AP poll comes out.

Currently we are on a 10-2 run with our picks, with four straight profitable days under our belts. We look to make it five straight with another trio of picks.

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

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

YTD (as of 1/21): 15-12

And check out our other top picks for Thursday:

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Best College Basketball Bets for Thursday

Michigan vs. Northwestern Spread

Big Ten schedules are always challenging to navigate, as some disgruntled coaches have already voiced their opinions. But the condensed schedules are even tougher to deal with after experiencing a COVID-19 pause as Northwestern had. The Wildcats are now playing their fourth game in eight days, while Michigan has a decisive scheduling advantage, having last played on Sunday.

Northwestern looked entirely out of gas against Iowa on Tuesday. Northwestern was tied with the Hawkeyes 39-39 at the half and trailed 57-56 with ten minutes to go, but Iowa ended on a 29-14 run. 

Michigan already owns a seven-point home win against the Wildcats (Northwestern’s last game before the COVID-19 pause). The Wolverines found success despite 18 turnovers, mainly because of their 41-29 rebounding edge in the first meeting. Michigan head coach Juwan Howard would be wise to take advantage of a short Northwestern bench that ranks 299th in bench minutes.

The Wolverines have not covered any of their last four road games, but we expect them to end that streak tonight given their massive scheduling edge.

Bet: Michigan +3.5 (-110 at DraftKings) 

James Madison vs. Old Dominion Spread

James Madison plays at one of the fastest tempos in the country (34th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom), but its Achilles heel lately has been teams that make games a half-court grind. Old Dominion has consistently played at one of the country’s slowest tempos (298th this year) for the last several years, and we expect it to hit the brakes even more in this one.

Three of JMU’s last four losses have come against teams that rank 234th or slower in adjusted tempo. ODU is a poor matchup for JMU since the Monarchs are more adept at defending the Dukes’ pick-and-roll, which they use at the highest rate of any Sun Belt team.

Old Dominion’s path to victory is daring JMU to shoot threes (the Monarchs allow the second-highest of opponents’ points to come from beyond the arc), as the Dukes are connecting on a league-worst 28.9% of their 3-point attempts.

Old Dominion is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games, and we expect the underdog to cover for the second time in the previous seven meetings between these teams.

Bet: Old Dominion +1.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Pepperdine vs. Pacific ML

So much for WCC preseason poll predictions. Pacific was picked to finish dead last but finds itself fifth after a 4-4 start. Meanwhile, Pepperdine is the conference doormat at 7-16 and 0-9 in league play.

The Waves enter on a nine-game losing streak, one of which was a five-point home loss to the Tigers. However, Pacific is a respectable 9-7 since getting a massive boost from Keylan Boone. Boone returned to the team in late November after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the first six games (the team went 2-4 in that stretch). Boone’s shot-blocking and ability to stretch the floor (he made 39% of his 3-point attempts) has positively impacted Pacific on both ends, and the Tigers are a completely different team from what they were a year ago.

Last year, Pacific ranked dead-last at 30% from 3-point range per ShotQuality’s shot-making metric. However, we are backing the Tigers to win outright as a solid four-star play, as they now rank 16th nationally with a 38.4% team 3-point shooting percentage and an even better 39.7% clip in league play.

Pepperdine has covered just three of its previous 17 games, and we expect that to continue with another comfortable Pacific victory.

Bet: Pacific ML (-140 at DraftKings)

Go premium to view top prop bets based on Cover Probability, Expected Value & Star Rating >>


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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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