College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (2/9)

Feb 9, 2023 - 11:22 AM

Much of the narrative this season is that the transfer portal and new NIL rules have contributed to more parity, and there is no dominant team. However, the Purdue Boilermakers have a legitimate claim of being in a tier by themselves after retaining their No. 1 ranking despite a road loss at Indiana on Saturday. The Boilermakers went from being the first unanimous top-ranked team this season to garnering 38 of the 62 first-place votes this week. They get their first test this week when hosting the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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

  • YTD (as of 1/21): 23-16

And here are our other top picks for Thursday:

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Best College Basketball Bets for Thursday

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

Oral Roberts vs. St. Thomas O/U

Oral Roberts is the second-leading scoring team in the country (85.2 points per game). The Golden Eagles are led by the nation’s fourth-leading scorer, shooting guard Max Abmas (22.3 points per game), who makes better than 38% of three-point attempts and 92% of his free throws. Oral Roberts has won 18 of 19 and scored 80+ points in 14, using a breakneck pace (13th in shortest average possession length) to bludgeon opponents.

While St. Thomas is not particularly known for its up-and-down style (277th in adjusted tempo), it has the league’s best turnover rate (13.5%), free throw percentage (79.4%) and is third in adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom). The Tommies will attempt to slow the Golden Eagles’ tempo somewhat, but they are open to a fast-paced game, scoring 80 or more points in two of their previous four home games.

When the Golden Eagles are as well-rested as they are entering this matchup, the Over is the play, as it has cashed in six of their last seven games after having 4+ days off.

Bet: Oral Roberts-St. Thomas Over 153.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Northwestern vs. Ohio State Spread

Northwestern feels like an underdog in this matchup just because they have to be, given how difficult it is to win on the road in the Big Ten. Entering Wednesday, Big Ten home favorites were 51-13 SU against league opponents. However, the Wildcats are 7-5 in Big Ten play and in an excellent position for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament with a No. 52 NET ranking and a 4-4 Quad 1 record. Northwestern is responsible for one of those rare road league upsets in its last game at Wisconsin, and the Wildcats are being underrated against a reeling Buckeyes team.

Ohio State is just 2-9 in Quad 1 games and has won just one of its last ten overall. Northwestern has enough veterans to go on the road and earn a big victory, as it ranks in the top 70 in D-1 experience and minutes continuity. In addition, senior point guard Boo Buie has scored 20+ points in five of his last seven games (and three consecutive road games), and he is a huge weapon as the Big Ten’s leading free throw shooter (90.5% in league play) if the game is tight late.

The Wildcats have covered five of their last seven road games, and we expect them to do so again tonight. We are getting better value making this wager at DraftKings, as most other sportsbooks are at +4.5.

Bet: Northwestern +5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Saint Mary’s vs. Loyola Marymount Spread

It is fair to wonder what Saint Mary’s will have left in the tank coming off an overtime victory against Gonzaga in what was being billed as one of the last decade’s most anticipated West Coast Conference games. However, they cannot take Loyola Marymount lightly, especially as the Lions made history earlier this season by ending Gonzaga’s 75-game home winning streak.

Loyola Marymount matches up well with Saint Mary’s and is built to negate its biggest strength. The Gaels are the league’s best offensive rebounding team (they rebound 34.8% of their misses), but the Lions allow the second-fewest offensive rebounds (23.3%). In addition, the Lions will look to be aggressive on Saint Mary’s heavy pick-and-roll action, especially since they defend the 3-point line at a top-three rate in the league.

Loyola Marymount is 10-1 in its last 11 home games, with the only loss coming by two points to San Francisco in that span. It is 9-3 ATS at home and covered its only game as home underdogs.

Bet: Loyola Marymount +8.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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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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