NCAA Basketball Picks: Lay The Points When Utah Meets Oregon St. In Pac-12 Matchup

Willie Bee

Thursday, February 4, 2016 1:08 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 1:08 PM UTC

Three point favorites in the NCAA basketball odds boards, the Utah Utes hit the Pac-12 highway for a matchup against Oregon State and in search of their 6th-straight win.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Utah -3½
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow on Tuesday, forecasting an early arrival for spring as the legend goes. Five of the seven ranked college basketball teams playing that night did see their shadows in the form of losses as the 2015-26 season continues to provide one upset after another.

Only two top 25 clubs are in action on Thursday, Texas A&M and Oregon, and each faces a tough opponent that could lead to more upheaval in the polls. One of the more interesting games involving unranked teams takes place just up the road from Eugene where the Ducks are hosting Colorado, and it's a rematch of a Pac-12 contest from a little less than three weeks ago that ended in controversy.

The result from that contest appears to have sent the two clubs in opposite directions heading into their 11 PM (ET) tip at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, ESPN2 providing the broadcast. The Utah Utes come to town riding a 5-game win streak while the Oregon State Beavers have dropped four of their last five, and five of six. Utah went out at -2 before that spread moved to -3 at Bookmaker, and 140½ is the total.


Reid's Return For Beavers Unclear
Oregon State was in control for much of the game at Utah on January 17, jumping out to a 11-2 lead early and the teams were tied with under three minutes to go in the second half. That's when OSU's Jarmal Reid, a senior from Decatur, GA became frustrated over the lack of a foul called on Utah's Jakob Poeltl, and tripped a referee.

Reid was assessed a technical and Brandon Reid made the free throw to give the Utes their first lead of the game. Utah went on a 6-1 run after that to claim the 59-53 victory.  The final wasn't enough to cover a -9 spread on the NCAA basketball odds, but the Utes have since won four straight and covered as chalk each time. Oregon State has gone 1-3 both straight up and against the spread since then. The victory was Utah's 4th-straight in the series against the Beavers, giving the Utes a 16-10 advantage in the rivalry.

Oregon State has won nine of the 11 games played in Corvallis, however, and Reid is eligible to return Thursday after serving the 4-game suspension head coach Wayne Tinkle levied on the forward. It is unclear right now if he will play, Tinkle said, since the game is against Utah. Reid is averaging 4.2 PPG in nine games for the Beavers after missing the first part of the season due to a stress fracture in his right foot.


Beavers Back Home After Losses To Sun Devils, Wildcats
Utah (17-5 straight up, 9-10-1 against the spread) spent last week at home collecting wins over California and Stanford, both of those games going 'over' the totals. The victory against the Cardinal might have been the most complete game for Larry Krystkowiak's club, save for possibly the upset of Duke back in December. The Utes shot nearly 60% from the field in the 96-74 decision, their highest offensive output of the Pac-12 schedule. They also held Stanford to 3-of-25 from 3-point range and scored exactly a third of their points at the free throw line.

Oregon State (12-8 SU, 9-10 ATS) traveled to the Grand Canyon State last week and promptly dropped both games to Arizona State and Arizona, failing to cover either affair in defeats by 18 and 17 points, respectively. One reason the Beavers were able to stay with Utah a few weeks ago was taking smart shots from outside, hitting on 6-of-8 beyond the arc. Against the Sun Devils and Wildcats, OSU netted just 18-of-53 combined.

With or without Reid, I just don't like the funk the Beavers are in right now, at least not enough to make them my free NCAA basketball picks; laying the points on the visitors.

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