NCAA Basketball Picks: Colorado vs. Oregon State

Darin Zank

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 3:58 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2015 3:58 PM GMT

Colorado is a big disappointment this season, but gets a last chance at redemption in this week's Pac-12 Conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Buffs are short favorites for their tournament opener Wednesday night against slumping Oregon State.

Buffaloes-Beavers Betting Odds
The NCAA Basketball odds opened this game with Colorado favored at -2 or -2.5, then bumped the Buffs to -3.5. Also, most books opened the total on this game at right around 114, then bumped that to 115.

 

Buffs-Beavers: Background
Colorado devolved into the most disappointing team in the Pac-12 this season. We thought the Buffs were good for a top-three finish in the Pac-12, and a fourth-straight NCAA Tournament. bid. Instead, after getting to 4-4 in conference play through January, Colorado lost six of its next seven games, several in non-competitive fashion, and eventually finished a tie for eighth place at 7-11.

But the Buffs come into this Pac-12 tournament having won two of their last three games, the loss coming last Saturday at Washington in overtime 96-91. Colorado led that game late, but gave up the hoop that forced OT with one second left. The Buffaloes shot 51 percent from the floor, but allowed the Cougars to shoot 52 percent, and hit nine-of-18 on 3-pointers.

Just before that Colorado won at Washington State 64-47, and just before that it beat Arizona State at home 87-81.

On the other side of this match-up we thought Oregon State was headed for a long season, its first under a new coaching regime. Our guess was OSU would finish right near the bottom of the Pac-12 Tournament. But after beating Washington back in early February the Beavers sat at 7-4 in conference play. Unfortunately, that's as good as things got; Oregon State has lost six of its last seven, going 1-6 ATS in the process.

The Beavers ended the regular season with a three-game losing streak, falling to Stanford 75-48, Cal 73-56 and, last Wednesday, Oregon 65-62.

In a classy move by head coach Wayne Tinkle the Beavers started five walk-ons against the Ducks. Ultimately, that might have cost them the game, considering they fell behind 8-0 right out of the gate.

Oregon State shot 43 percent from the floor last Wednesday, and held Oregon to just 36 percent shooting. But the Beavers got outscored from the FT line 19-8.

The winner of this game will play second-seeded Oregon Thursday.

 

Buffs-Beavers Recent History
Since Colorado joined the Pac-12 four seasons ago it's taken four of seven meetings from Oregon State. But the Beavers won the only meeting this season three weeks ago 72-58, covering as two-point favorites at home. And OSU is 3-0-1 ATS over the last four meetings.

The Beavers led that game three weeks ago 34-12 at the half, holding the Buffs to just three first-half field goals. Colorado scrambled back to within eight points with about four minutes to go, but could get no closer.

Oregon State shot 49 percent from the floor that night, one of its best performances of the season, while limiting the Buffaloes to just 35 percent shooting.

That game played OVER its total of 112 as the teams combined to explode for 84 points in the second half.

 

Buffs-Beavers, By the Numbers
Colorado is shooting just 43 percent from the floor this season, and 34 percent from 3-point land. At the other end of the court the Buffaloes are holding opponents to just under 42 percent FG shooting.

Oregon State is shooting just 42 percent from the floor, and 32 percent from long range, but is holding foes to just 38 percent FG shooting, which ranks in the top 10 in the country.

 

Buffs-Beavers Betting Trends
Colorado is 13-15 on the totals this season, as Buffs games have averaged 134 points.

Oregon State is 11-14 on the totals, as Beavers games have averaged just 118 points. They've actually played six OVERS in their last seven games, but mainly because they've been tagged with some seriously low totals, like 112 (twice), 117 and 118.

 

Buffaloes-Beavers Free Pick
Colorado has won two of its last three games, while Oregon State has lost six of its last seven. OSU is also a bit shorthanded, with just seven scholarship players. The Beavers thumped the Buffs three weeks ago, but in retrospect that outcome seems a bit fluke-ish; Oregon State almost shot 50 percent that night, and that's unusual for this outfit. So for Wednesday's game we'll take the team that's been better as of late with our NCAA Basketball picks.

Free Pac-12 Tournament Pick: Colorado -3.5 at BookMaker

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