NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon State Beavers -6 over Portland Pilots

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Oregon State was shocked at home by Coppin State Sunday, but it was short two starters and gets Devon Collier back Wednesday, so look for a bounce-back effort vs. Portland.

The home team looks to atone for an embarrassing season-opening loss on Wednesday night when the Portland Pilots (1-0, 0-0 away) pay a visit to those Oregon State Beavers (0-1, 0-1 home) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, OR at 9:00 ET in a game available on Pac-12 Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Oregon State as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -6 with odds of -108.

Oregon State thought it was opening up this season with a breather at home vs. the Coppin State Eagles out of the lightly regarded MEAC, a team that had been 0-16 lifetime vs. Pac-12 teams, but instead the Beavers were upset 78-73 despite getting 36 points from guard Roberto Nelson.

Portland on the other hand reached the century mark in its season opener in a 100-83 win over UC Davis while shooting a blistering 50.8 percent from the field at 32-for-63. That outing was at home though and the Pilots are 3-25 straight up on the road over the last two years.

In fairness to Oregon State, they were without two starters vs. Coppin State with Devon Collier and Eric Moreland suspended for violating institution rules. Moreland must serve 14 games and will not be back until after New Year’s Day, but Collier served his one-game suspension and will return tonight, which is critical because he was the team’s second leading scorer last season with 12.6 points per game.

Thus the Beavers’ two leading scorers from a year ago are now back on the court together after Nelson led the team with 17.8 points per contest, and he was magnificent in the opener while scoring about half of the Oregon State points. Yes, Nelson took 26 of the team’s 59 shots, but the Beavers did not have much of a choice without any other bona fide scorers on the floor. That should change here with Collier as the second option, so the Beavers should be more balanced.

As for the Pilots, they are certainly a veteran group as they return all five starters from last season. However, that team went 11-21 overall and Portland was picked to finish ninth in the West Coast Conference this season in the conference’s preseason poll, so what the Pilots gain in experience, they are apparently giving up in talent.

Portland finished 292nd in the country in offensive efficiency with these same starters last year and it was not much better on the other end ranking 198th in defensive efficiency. Sure, the Pilots looked good vs. UC Davis, but this looks like a rise in class vs. a Pac-12 opponent. Do not expect a repeat of that 50.8 percent shooting performance here, especially since Portland received career highs from not one but two players in that game.

Kevin Bailey finished with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting while Ryan Nicholas added 27 points while going 8-for-12, but more “normalized” outings from that duo combined with the rise in class on the road and Oregon State looking to atone for an embarrassing loss should all add up to a handy win by the Beavers Wednesday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon State -6 (-108)

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