O/U NCAA Basketball Picks: Pair Of Up-Tempo Games To Go 'Over'

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, February 18, 2016 1:53 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 1:53 PM UTC

Our NCAA handicapper looks to his own backyard for some inside knowledge on local teams to help him make his selection of Over/Under Thursday NCAA Basketball picks.

Pacific vs. Gonzaga (Over 137.5)
The Pacific Tigers (7-17, 5-19) make their yearly trek north to Spokane tonight to get outclassed by the Gonzaga Bulldogs (20-6, 12-2). Of course, a chance to get out of Stockton is probably welcome even if it comes with an ass-whooping. The Bulldogs are a 19-point favorite in our sportsbooks' NCAA basketball odds boards and the O/U total has been set at 137.5 over at BetOnline.

These teams last met on the back end of a Bay Area swing for Gonzaga a few weeks ago, with the Bulldogs beating the Tigers 71-61 behind the 23 points of Kyle Wiltjer. That score went under the posted total of 143.5. The Tigers kept it close up until halfway through the 2nd half, and covered the 11-point spread by keeping the game within ten points. The first half was an anomaly for Gonzaga on offense, as they only scored 26 points, but in the second half they shot 52% from the floor and scored 45 points. That 2nd half should be more like what we should expect out of Gonzaga tonight.

The last three matchups in this series played on Gonzaga’s home floor have gone well over the listed totals, with scores in a tight range from 150 to 152 in each. This reeks of an 80-60 type matchup if Gonzaga can shoot as well as average. The Bulldogs average 80.2 points per game at home anyway. Also, when Gonzaga is coming off a period of rest and coming into a Thursday home game they tend to be better on offense. Just an observation, but Gonzaga’s tempo is higher coming off of the mid-week rest. For that reason, I’m taking over 137.5 in this game as one of my NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 137.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Eastern Washington vs. Sacramento State (Over 155)
I picked up on a trend for Eastern Washington (15-10, 9-4) last week, again a team that plays Thursday and Saturday games, in that they play at a higher tempo on Thursdays. However, with the host of this game being lowly Sacramento State (10-13, 3-9) that trend may be due for a reversal. The oddsmakers have caught up with Eastern Washington’s defense, and have posted a rather high total of 155 for this game. Review all offerings from the best sportsbooks by visiting SBROdds.com

The Eastern Washington Eagles have the most efficient offense in the country right now, with 1.5 points scored per possession; however, when looking at the opponent in this game you see a Sacramento State team that is ranked at 212th in the country with 71.8 points scored per game. They could easily lay an egg in this one if not for the Eagles’ 298th ranked defense on the road that gives up 80.8 points per game.

Then there is this little nugget. Even though the first matchup between these two teams went well under the listed total of 156 with a 141 combined score, there isn’t much chance of Eastern only scoring 74 points in this one. The Eagles went an abysmal 1-20 from 3-point range in that game, but somehow still managed to shoot 47.4% from the floor. There is that efficient offense rearing its ugly head. Sacramento State shot 40.9%, below their 44.5% average, but did so with 66 attempts. This game was higher pace than the score leads you to believe.

Eastern Washington has won 6 games in a row coming into this one, with an average score of 90.5 points in those games. There is no reason for them to look to changing the pace in this one, and that is why I am taking over 155 in this game as another Thursday NCAAB Pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 155
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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