Oklahoma St. vs. Oregon NCAA Tournament Picks: Against the Spread

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, March 20, 2015 2:48 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 20, 2015 2:48 PM GMT

Here's our professional prediction & free picks for tonight as the Oklahoma St. Cowboys from the rugged No. 1 ranked Big 12 Conference square off with the Oregon Ducks in Omaha, Nebraska.

Oklahoma St. (9) vs. Oregon (8) (-1-) 6:50 ET TBS
The game will be televised by TBS.  It is a matchup of two teams that are moving in distinctly opposite directions.  The Big 12 entered Thursday’s NCAA Tournament Round of 64 with 7 participants.  Three of those teams were in action yesterday.  But when the dust cleared from Thursday’s action, Baylor, Texas and Iowa St. have all lost outright as favorites in NCAA Tournament Odds.  A case could be made for the fact that these teams cannibalized each other in the regular season and CCT Tournament.  There has been a significant line move in this game which saw Oklahoma St. as a 1 point favorite with Oregon, now favored by 2 points.    

Oklahoma St. scored this bid as the No. 7 team in the Big 12 Conference, despite a dismal finish that saw them end the year on a 1-6 SU ATS slide, including losses to Big 12 bottom feeders, TCU and TTRR.  This looks like a team who has run out of gas as they feature only a 2-man scoring combo of Forte and Nash.  That combo led them to only 67 PPG.  A bit more disturbing is the fact that these two big guns often had to search for their own shot.  For, the Cowboys dished out an average of just 11.5 PPG.  In addition, Oklahoma St. is one of few teams from the NCAA field with a negative rebounding margin.  The late season demise was characterized by the fact that in five of those final 7 games, they allowed 70 or more points.  That could well prove lethal against the high-scoring Oregon offense.   

Behind leading scorer, Joseph Young, the Ducks finished the season on a 13-3 SU, 11-5 ATS run, including covering 6 of their final 7 games.  Their calling card this year under 5th year HC Dana Altman was an up-tempo offense that averaged 76 PPG on 46% shooting, 36% behind the arc.  It may come in handy for our NCAA Tournament Picks this evening that the Ducks convert 76% from the stripe.  They are also an unselfish team with an average of 14.2 assists per game.  Loss to Arizona in the CCT Finals, certainly no shame, but sets up a strong situational bounce back for this better seeded team as the loser of a CCT Final.  In fact, .700 or better Round of 64 better seeded favorites to -16, who lost in the Semi-Final or Final Round of their just completed CCT are a better than 70% play, if their opponent did not lose as a favorite in the previous game.  YTD numbers may point to the Cowboys under 7th year HC Travis Ford.  But, current form is clearly in the corner of the Ducks.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Oregon -1.5 at Bovada

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