NCAA Basketball Picks: Oregon vs. Colorado

Jeff Grant

Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:03 PM GMT

The Oregon Ducks have won 18 of 20 games with point guard Dominic Artis in the lineup. They will focus on gaining revenge against the Colorado Buffaloes Thursday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Pac-12 Conference affair that’s scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. ET at the Coors Events Center on ESPN2.

Playing better basketball

Oregon has won five of its last six games, including a 85-75 victory over the Oregon State Beavers as 10-point home favorites a week ago. The score went OVER the total for the third time in that span.

The Ducks are 3-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) when playing with five or six days rest during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season, while the UNDER is 2-0 in that situation.

Little separation in conference play

Colorado is 9-7 SU and 8-8 ATS in Pac-12 play this season, as it tries to bounce back from a deflating 62-46 defeat to the California Golden Bears as five-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the ninth time in 10 contests.

The Buffaloes are outscoring conference foes by just an average of 1.6 points per game, which is lower than its 4.5 mark for the entire season.

Artis looms large

College basketball handicappers need to realize that the Ducks are a much different team with point guard Dominic Artis in the lineup—winning 18 of 20 games in that situation (5-4 without).

Oregon is averaging 76.4 points per game with the star freshman on the floor, which is nearly 13 points better (63.8) than the nine games it played without him due to a foot injury.

Artis didn’t play in the first meeting, which resulted in a 48-47 loss as seven-point favorites—snapping the program’s 20-game home winning streak.

Close shave

During the Tad Boyle era in Boulder, Colorado has had 20 of its 102 games decided by three points or less, which is important to consider when making your college basketball picks due to the point spread that’s currently available.

It’s also important to take into account that Oregon is 27-17 ATS when getting points since the start of the 2010-11 season.

[gameodds]14/223398/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Ducks as one of their college basketball picks against the spread, as I believe the early movement downward in the market from 3.5 to 3 is significant.

Oregon ranks first in the conference in rebounding margin, which will help limit Colorado forward Andre Roberson, who leads the country in averaging 11.5 boards per game.

College Basketball Pick: Oregon Ducks +3 at Pinnacle