NCAA Basketball Picks: California vs. Oregon

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:12 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 1:12 PM GMT

The California Golden Bears have won all 10 of their meetings against the Oregon Ducks under head coach Mike Montgomery, as the two teams prepare to meet at Matthew Knight Arena Thursday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for this Pac-12 Conference matchup that tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. 

Based on the NCAA Basketball odds posted at the top online sportsbooks, the Oregon Ducks are currenly listed anywhere between -5 and -5.5 point favorites for tonight's contest. The total surrently sits at 138 or 138.5, depending on where you do your shopping.

When push comes to shove

California has won five of its last six games, including a 76-68 victory over the USC Trojans as eight-point home favorites Sunday, while going OVER the posted total of 136.

The main storyline in that affair was Montgomery shoving star guard Allen Crabbe during a time out, but I found it to be a coach trying to motivate a player when watching the video. 

Leading the conference

Oregon sits atop the Pac-12 Conference standings with a 10-3 record versus league opponents, as it returns home off a sweep of its two-game road trip to Washington, which included a 79-77 overtime victory over the Washington State Cougars last Saturday. 

The Ducks are 4-9 against the spread (ATS) versus conference foes this season, with the UNDER going 7-1 in that situation.

Perfection

The Golden Bears deserve a long look as one of your potential college basketball picks in this affair, considering they’ve won 10-straight games in this series by an average of 13.0 points. California has also managed to cover the number in seven of the last nine meetings in this series, including four consecutive in Eugene.

Crashing the boards

Rebounding figures to be the key to this game, as California grabbed 12 offensive boards in a 58-54 victory over Oregon as 1.5-point home favorites on Feb. 2, which was a bit surprising. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in out-rebounding foes by 7.8 boards per game during conference play, while ranking second in grabbing 30.5 rebounds per game on the defensive end.

Quite a duo

Crabbe and Justin Cobbs make up the highest scoring pair in the conference, as they combine to average 34.6 points per game. The pair were held to 21 points in the first meeting with the Ducks, but they haven’t dropped a single game in this particular series since arriving in Berkeley.

[gameodds]14/221588/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

For tonight's free picks, I’m going to recommend that readers back the Golden Bears, as they’ve gone 5-2 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons. Oregon will likely be without the services of starting point guard Dominic Artis (foot) again, which is why I have no interest in laying this type of number.

College Basketball Pick: California Golden Bears +5 at Bookmaker

Also check out my free picks for the Duke & Virginia Tech matchup.
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