Best Three Totals Plays For Your Thursday's NCAA Basketball Picks

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:18 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 3, 2016 6:18 PM UTC

Our handicapper has found a trio of games on Thursday's slate with O/U wagering value. Read on as he finds the most profitable picks for your Thursday NCAAB betting card.

Idaho State vs. Eastern Washington 
With one more weekend of home games before the Big Sky Conference tournament, the Eastern Washington Eagles (16-12, 10-6) have a chance to improve their seeding as they host the Idaho State Bengals (15-13, 10-6) who are making the drive up from Pocatello. These two teams have yet to meet this year, but if recent trends are any indication it will be a high scoring affair. The opening odds have the Eagles as a 10-point favorite and the O/U at 162.5 at BookMaker.

I’ve been backing Eastern’s recent scoring trend and they have rewarded me by going 5-1 over the totals in their last six games at home. Owners of the most efficient offenses in all of college basketball, the Eagles average 96 points per game at home this year on an incredible 55.4% field goal average. At that scoring rate we simply need an opponent to keep up with the pace to go over the total.

For their part, Idaho State has shown that they can score in the 70’s with regularity, crossing that threshold in 7 of the last 10 games. The Bengals scored 81 points in their last matchup, while shooting 50% from the floor. They should be willing to run with the Eagles, which makes over 162.5 at BookMaker the NCAA Basketball Pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 162.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


California vs. Arizona
In this matchup between two of the top teams in the Pac-12, the California Golden Bears (21-8, 11-5) go on the road to play the Arizona Wildcats (22-7, 10-6) in a nationally televised game on ESPN. These two teams played earlier in the season at Cal, with the Bears taking a nail biter 74-73 as a 2.5-point home dog and the score going over the listed total of 144.5. In this game Arizona is a 6.5-point home favorite, while the O/U total has been listed at 146 at 5Dimes.

Arizona is very though at home, going 15-1 there while scoring an average of 85 points. They shoot an average of 51.6% from the floor on their home court as well. And more importantly for us, the O/U is 13-3 in favor of the over this season at the McKale Center and has cashed in 6 of the last 7 games played at Arizona. For their part, Cal’s offense has been hot lately, and has scored 75 or more points in seven straight games.

One of these teams will reach 80 points tonight, which makes over 146 at 5Dimes the right Thursday NCAAB Pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 146
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Connecticut vs. SMU
As the 24th ranked SMU Mustangs (24-4, 12-4) play out their conference schedule with no chance of going to the postseason they welcome the Connecticut Huskies (20-9, 10-6) that are definitely on the outside looking in. UCONN won the first meeting between these two team a few weeks ago, 68-62, covering as 3-point home favorites as the 130 combined score went under the O/U total of 134.5. In this game, the bookmakers are looking for the Mustangs to return the favor, placing them as 5.5-point favorites. The O/U total is currently listed at 132.5 at 5Dimes.

SMU is another strong team on their home court where they are 15-1 SU this season, although just 4-8 ATS. One of the reasons for this is their strong defense at home, where the under has cashed in 7 of 12 meetings. SMU also has a streak of unders going that goes back 5 games in a row.

Connecticut also exhibits some suppressed scoring on the road, where they only average 68.8 points on 43.7% shooting. This is good for a 4-9 O/U record favoring the under. Both SMU and Connecticut are 6-10 O/U in conference play this year, and given the results of their earlier meeting, under 133.5 on the NCAA basketball odds.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 133.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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