NCAA Basketball Picks: Oregon vs. St. Louis

David Lawrence

Saturday, March 23, 2013 12:01 PM GMT

Many people felt the Oregon Ducks were slighted as they were given the No. 12 entering the Round of 64. They proved this be the case as they easily handed fifth-seeded Oklahoma State in a 68-55 win.


College Basketball Betting – Saint Louis vs. Oregon Picks

Now they’ll face one of the hottest teams in the country when they clash with fourth-seeded Saint Louis, who crushed New Mexico State 64-44 in their opener.

Saint Louis can win because…

They are red-hot. The Billikens come into this contest as the 13th-seeded team in the country and winners in 16 of 17. What fuels this team is their defense, which is among the best in the nation. They ranked 16th in points per game allowed and seventh in defensive efficiency.

NCAA basketball odds makers know that Oregon has a good offense but they aren’t exactly explosive. The Ducks don’t shoot it particularly well from the outside and since Saint Louis doesn’t turn over the ball very often, the Ducks could have a tough time scoring on Saturday.

Oregon only shot 39% from the field against Oklahoma State and turned over the ball 18 times. If they do that again, they’ll be packing their bags and going home.

Oregon can win because…

They feel disrespected. They played like they had a massive chip on their shoulder in the Tournament opener and if you’re making your NCAA basketball picks for Saturday, you can expect that to continue.

Oregon could very well be one of the most underrated teams in the country. With Dominic Artis in the lineup, this team has lost only four games this season. They’ve won four straight games – including the Pac-12 Tournament – and are very confident going into this contest.

The Ducks should have a huge edge on the offensive glass in this contest. They pounded away on Oklahoma State with offensive rebounds, winning the battle on the boards 44-30. Meanwhile, the Billikens did win their opener by 20, they lost the clash on the glass 41-30. They also gave up a whopping 21 offensive rebounds. Saint Louis isn’t even in the Top 200 in the nation in rebounding. This is a huge edge for Oregon and unless that changes, they are going to win.

[gameodds]14/225378/92-43-19-999996/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Prediction:

People making their sports picks will be evaluating which team can play better. The Billikens won their first game by 20 but gave up 21 offensive rebounds. As for Oregon, they rolled Oklahoma State despite coughing up 18 turnovers.

The Ducks seem to have more versatility in their starting lineup than the Billikens, who run most of their offense through Dwayne Evans, but the Billikens have more depth on the bench. This is a very close game to call but I just see rebounding as being a problem for Saint Louis. Yes, their defense will be good but giving extra opportunities to Oregon will be problematic. Take the Ducks to cover the spread in this one.

NCAAB Pick: Ducks +3.5 at Bet365