ATS Play for BYU vs. Oregon: NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Monday, March 17, 2014 3:07 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 3:07 PM GMT

The BYU Cougars have picked up at least one win in their last three March Madness appearances, which makes them a dangerous underdog against the Oregon Ducks Thursday. Find out why we have decided to focus our sports picks on this matchup's total.

Let’s take a closer look at the 2014 NCAA Tournament odds for this second round matchup in the West Region at the Bradley Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET on truTV.

[gameodds]14/262054/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Nice recovery 

Oregon started off Pac-12 Conference play with a 3-8 record, but recovered nicely in winning eight of its last nine games to land an at-large bid in the field of 68. 

The Ducks are worth a look in the futures market to win it all as a high-priced option, considering they were knocked out of last year’s tournament in the Sweet 16 by eventual champion Louisville.   

Sports handicappers will find that the program is 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games on a neutral floor. 

A bit surprising 

BYU was relieved to land a No. 10 seed and get the chance to make its seventh NCAA tournament appearance under longtime head coach Dave Rose, as its status was up in the air after starter Kyle Collinsworth suffered a season-ending ACL injury last week. 

Collinsworth earned All-West Coast Conference honors this season, which means that leading scorer Tyler Haws will need to step up his performance even more in hopes of the team advancing to the third round. 

Haws scored a game-high 32 points in a 100-96 overtime loss to the Ducks as 8.5-point road underdogs on Dec. 21 this season. 

Beyond the arc 

The Ducks are going to attract a good amount of action in the market due to their ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc, as they rank 18th nationally in knocking down 39.1 percent of their tries from that area. 

Oregon’s Joseph Young is the main player to watch for the betting favorite, as he leads a group of three players averaging double figures in scoring at 18.6 points a contest. 

Been here before 

The Cougars have a disappointing 15-30 SU all-time record in the Big Dance, but they’ve picked up at least one win in their last three appearances.

It’s important to point out that BYU is 19-40 ATS in its last 59 games when playing on a neutral floor.

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Outlook 

I’ve developed a handicapper line favoring the Ducks by five points, which offers little value in backing the Cougars as one of your college basketball picks.

BYU is playing with revenge on its side and has the benefit of a few extra days of prep time after losing Collinsworth. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  BYU Cougars +5.5

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