Welcome to Weekend Eve, better known as Thursday night when we meander across the college basketball betting schedule looking for juicy contests to wager.
Three games have caught our eye, including the evening's only matchup of ranked teams. We'll start there before heading out west for a couple of free college basketball picks. Let's get this show on the road.
Bearcats Host Huskies In AAC Clash
The Cincinnati Bearcats take aim at their 15th-straight win in a 7 PM (ET) contest at home. In town to try and stop the Bearcats are the Connecticut Huskies, and ESPN will televise the contest from Fifth Third Arena in Porkopolis.
The Bearcats started at -5, but the spread is now -5.5; there are no totals yet available on SBR's live NCAA basketball odds.
Connecticut (17-4 straight up, 10-9 against the spread) reaches Cincinnati with a 3-game win streak, both on the floor and at the window. The Huskies have risen to No. 22 in the AP Poll as a result of winning five of their last six after beginning the American Athletic Conference schedule with two losses. The latest triumph avenged one of those defeats as UConn stormed out to a big lead last Thursday against Houston, and coasted to an 80-43 decision as 13 point chalk.
Cincinnati (21-2 SU, 10-7 ATS) remains in full control of the AAC with a spotless 10-0 mark, pushing Mick Cronin's crew up to No. 7 in both polls. Their 14-game win streak has not been a boon to bettors lately with just three covers in the last eight contests. The Bearcats struggled to just get the dubya Sunday at home vs. South Florida, needing a late push to eke out a 50-45 triumph as 15.5 point chalk.
College Basketball Pick: Connecticut +5.5
'Zona Looks To Bounce Back From 1st Loss
Don't go anywhere once the UConn-Cincy tilt is in the books, because ESPN will follow it up with a Pac-12 battle in Tucson between the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks. Tip-off is expected a few minutes past 9 PM (ET), and the Wildcats are favored by 11.5.
Oregon (15-6 SU, 10-10 ATS) started the year 13-0, but that seems a distant memory for Dana Altman's troops who have flopped to a 2-6 mark since. The dip is even deeper against the NCAA odds; the Ducks covered their first nine lined contests, but have since turned into a solid fade by beating the spread just once in the last 11 contests.
Arizona (21-1 SU, 13-8 ATS) is taking the floor for the first time since losing its first game of the campaign. Favored by 6 on the road at California, the Wildcats fell 60-58 last Saturday, the fourth consecutive ATS loss for Arizona backers. The final score also ran Arizona's streak to four straight 'under' winners. Take Arizona at -11.5 for your free NCAA Basketball picks.
College Basketball Pick: Arizona -11.5
Gaels Continue 4-Game Road Trip At Lions
Randy Bennett and the Saint Mary's Gaels look to stop a 2-game skid when they visit the Loyola Marymount Lions. It's the third of four consecutive road games for the Gaels, and Root Sports will have the broadcast starting at 11 PM (ET).
The Gaels went out as 4 point favorites, but that number is now 4.5 with even a few 5's showing up on SBR's live college basketball odds.
Saint Mary's (16-7 SU, 10-10 ATS) started the trek last Thursday with a game at San Diego, and turned in a horrible performance in a 61-43 loss to the Toreros. That was followed with another setback Saturday at BYU where the Gaels dropped an 84-71 decision to the Cougars. Saint Mary's failed to cover either game, leaving backers 1-4 ATS in recent action.
Loyola Marymount (11-12 SU, 8-14 ATS) also comes in having lost two in a row, and eight of nine to push the Lions to the bottom of the West Coast standings. About the best thing you can say about this team is it has been a great fade since the new year arrived, failing to cover nine of the past 10 matchups.
College Basketball Pick: Saint Mary's -4.5