On Thursday, we have a slate of 31 college basketball games being played. With a modest number of games, there are many betting opportunities that can be parlayed together. As the Sportsbook Review “king of the underdogs”, I typically pick longshots as single bets. Today I am taking a break by picking an underdog and point total in a parlay. I am parlaying the San Jose State +18.5 spread and over 120.5 points in the Merrimack/Mount St. Mary’s game for a +264 payout.
Merrimack Warriors vs. Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers
Thursday, January 14, 2021 – 7:00 PM ET at Knott Center
Why I Like The Over
Thursday night’s Northeast conference matchup between Merrimack and Mount St. Mary’s is going to be an interesting game from a betting perspective. Out of all 32 college basketball conferences, the NEC is rated as the 4th weakest conference according to KenPom’s ratings. In that conference both Merrimack and Mount St. Mary’s are expected to finish with a .500 record in conference play. That is why it may be surprising to see that MSM is favored by four points in Thursday night’s game.
However, Merrimack just started their season last week and little is known about them after playing only two games this year. Based on what we know I am hesitant to back the Merrimack moneyline just yet, but I like over 120.5 points to be scored in Thursday night’s game.
Currently Mount St. Mary’s averages only 66.2 possessions per game which is the 8th slowest pace in college basketball. The conventional wisdom is that any game involving the Mountaineers should be a low scoring game as there are fewer possessions. However, the conventional wisdom is already baked into the point total which has been set too low at 120.5 points. In a typical MSM game, 125.5 points are scored which is five more points than the point total for tonight’s game.
Merrimack is expected to be behind in a close game and they play at about an average pace. Additionally, Merrimack has been extremely unlucky with their free throws so far this season. I believe that about 125 to 130 points will be scored in tonight’s game and that is why I am taking the over on the betting sites.
Colorado State Rams vs. San Jose State Spartans
Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 9:30 PM ET at America First Events Center
Why I Like San Jose State
Thursday night’s Mountain West Conference game between Colorado State and San Jose State is very predictable. The Rams have an 8-2 overall record and a 5-1 record in conference play. The Spartans have a 2-8 record and an 0-6 record in conference play. CSU should easily beat San Jose State, but I believe that it won’t be as much of a blowout as the 18.5 point spread suggests. Both teams play an up-tempo style of basketball so there are many opportunities for the Spartans to have a backdoor cover. That is one of the reason’s why I am backing the San Jose State +18.5 spread.
San Jose State plays at the 8th fastest adjusted tempo in college basketball while Colorado State plays at the 43rd fastest adjusted tempo. In the Mountain West Conference, both teams by far play at the fastest tempo. Additionally, the Rams have been the 28th luckiest college basketball team and the Spartans have been the 285th luckiest. Eventually, both teams will revert to the mean and that is why I like San Jose State.
To cover, Colorado State must maintain a substantial lead in the second half and manage to continue to exceed expectations. There will be plenty of opportunities for the Spartans to score in garbage time against the Rams. That is why the Spartans are a smart bet to cover the spread on the top sportsbooks.
Leg 2 Bet: San Jose State Spread +18.5 (-110) at Bovada
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.