NCAA Basketball Picks: Take BYU To Cover Double Digits At Home Over Santa Clara

Charles Stark

Thursday, January 7, 2016 1:08 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 1:08 PM UTC

The Santa Clara Broncos visit the BYU Cougars on Thursday night. This WCC matchup will take place at the Marriott Center in Utah. Get the best NCAA basketball picks for tonight.

Don't Miss Our Preview On What To Look For In A Good Team

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: BYU -14
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 


I think Santa Clara is a better basketball team than their record, but they are not really a well rounded team relying mostly on their best player.  In the past four seasons with BYU coming into the WCC they have not had much success when they visit BYU, and I expect that trend to continue today.


NCAA Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds have come out with BYU a -13.5 favorite like at Pinnacle -106. In their previous four matchups at BYU the Cougars have won by 17, 17, 13, and 19 points last year. With Santa Clara having a few tough losses on the year and hanging tough with the like of Arizona taking the point might seem appealing. For one of my Thursday's NCAA Basketball picks, though, I like for BYU to continue their home dominance against Santa Clara and win this game by a healthy margin.


Santa Clara Broncos
The Broncos are averaging 65.7 points per game on 41.6% shooting from the field, and allowing 70 points per game on 41.7% shooting from the field. They are led by all everything guard Jared Brownridge who averages over 20 points per game, but after that there is a pretty steep drop with two other guys averaging 10 per game and then that is about it. They have been a really scrappy team this year hanging with the likes of Arizona and Gonzaga and only really having one bad loss in their last 10 games losing by over 20 against St. Mary's, but that game was still pretty close with 10 minutes to go. For them getting over 13 seem like a gift if it wasn't for the fact they have not traveled well and that BYU is extremely tough at home. Offensively, they don't do anything particularly well, but they do shoot from beyond the arc decently at 35.9% per game. After that there is not much to talk about as they are not very efficient and rank at the bottom part of the country in field goals made per game. They are a much better defense than offense but even on this side of the ball there is not a lot to get excited about. Their 41.7% opponent shooting is pretty good, but they allow team move the ball too much and get off quality shots allowing 23.7 attempts per game from beyond the arc.


BYU Cougars
BYU is averaging 81.9 points per game while shooting 46.1% from the field, and allowing 74.6 points per game on 42.8% shooting from the field. Offensively, they are one of the better teams in the country and should be pretty excited to play on their home court after being on the road their last five games. They have four guys averaging double figures and they really like to push tempo averaging 63.7 shots per game which ranks 27th in college basketball. Across the board they are an efficient scoring team from the inside out and can absolutely light up the scoreboard in Provo. Defensively, their number are not that great but this has a lot to do with the pace they want to push as they allow teams to get up and down the floor with them. Even with that pace though they don't allow a lot of assists, and they hit the glass hard not allowing a lot of second chance buckets. Look for them to push this tempo all night and for Santa Clara simply not being able to keep up.

Looking at how tough Santa Clara has been for the most part, it might be a tempting aspect to back them tonight because double digits is never easy to cover. For one of your NCAA basketball picks, though, I recommend taking the better team in BYU to do just that. Expect for Brownridge to get his points, but overall for BYU to win this game close to 20 going away.

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