Following a frenetic Saturday of NCAA Basketball betting action, during which we could only split our free picks, the pace settles down Sunday. Nonetheless, we think we've found two more games worth playing.
Washington vs. Oregon State: Upstart Beavers Hungry for More
Oregon State, a pleasant surprise out in the Pac-12 Conference this season, gets a chance to equal its win total of all of last season when it hosts Washington Sunday afternoon.
With a new head coach and complete turnover in the starting lineup we thought the Beavers might finish last in the Pac-12 this season. Instead, OSU is tied for third place and has a shot an at NCAA tournament bid.
Oregon State had lost two in a row, but beat Washington State Thursday night 55-50. The Beavers, as usual, didn't exactly light up the stat sheet offensively, but held the Cougars to just 37 percent shooting, pulling way late for the victory. If Oregon State had just shot a little better than 10-for-22 from the free-throw line it might have covered the spread as a seven-point favorite.
Meanwhile, Washington has lost four games in a row, after falling at Oregon Wednesday night 78-74. That game was close throughout, and tied in the final minute, but the Huskies gave up the last four points of the game. Still, much to our delight, U-Dub hung on for the cover as a six-point underdog.
But at 3-7 in Pac-12 play Washington appears to be fading, and we're going to fade it today.
These teams just met three weeks ago, the Huskies winning at home 56-43, covering as seven-point favorites. But Oregon State did itself in that night, shooting just 32 percent from the floor, committing 15 turnovers. We expect a better performance out of OSU today & are willing to place our NCAA Basketball pick ATS on them.
If the Beavers were favored by today's line Thursday night they would have covered. We like the home team at the short spread in this spot.
Free College Basketball Pick: Oregon State -4 at YouWager
San Diego State vs. Boise State: Showdown in the Mountain West
In a big game out in the MWC first-place San Diego State visits third-place Boise State.
The Aztecs were the preseason favorites to win the MWC, and the Broncos were the second choice; at the moment SD State leads the Mountain West at 8-2, while BSU sits in third place at 6-3. With a victory today the Broncos could pull to within a half-game of the conference lead, although 8-3 Wyoming is also in the mix.
The Aztecs are also almost sure bets to return to the NCAA Basketball tournament. But Boise State is probably on the bubble, at best, at the moment, and sure could use a win over a quality opponent to enhance its resume.
San Diego State owns victories this season over Utah, BYU and Pitt, and has won its last three in a row, after beating Nevada in Reno Wednesday night 65-62. Just before that the Aztecs defeated Utah State by 20 points, and just before that they beat Fresno State by 11.
Boise State owns 16 victories on the season, but hasn't beaten anybody of much worth, outside maybe of Colorado State. The Broncos have won six games in a row, though, after beating Utah State Tuesday night 68-63. Boise hit 11 of 25 three-point attempts, and covered as two-point favorites in NCAA Baskeball odds.
Ultimately, we give San Diego State the edge in this match-up; the Aztecs don't shoot the ball as well as the Broncos, but they play better defense and do a better job on the boards. And they're a little more battle-tested. Also, SD State has beaten Boise State three meetings in a row. And the spread is amenable; if this game were being played in sunny San Diego the Aztecs might be favored by half a dozen points, or more.
Free College Basketball Pick: San Diego State