Oregon Will Have Their Hands Full Against PSU Vikings

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 1:11 PM UTC

Our NCAAB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, keeps with the Big Sky Conference in taking on a late-night matchup between Portland State and the Oregon Ducks. Read on as he explains why the Vikings have a great shot to keep this game competitive.

Free College Basketball Picks: PSU Vikings +13.5
Best Lines Available at Heritage (-105)

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In a cross-state Big Sky Conference vs. Pac-12 showdown, the Portland State Vikings travel to the Oregon Ducks for a late-night game in Knight Arena on Wednesday. Portland State has the better record at 8-2 SU, yet it is the 7-3 Oregon Ducks which are favored in this game by 13.5 points as the lines open on Tuesday evening. This even with the Vikings a perfect 8-0 ATS on the young season, including being 7-0 ATS on the road. The totals market expects a barn burner as well, with the betting lines opening up at 167.5 at BookMaker.

Portland State has taken care of the early portion of their schedule nicely, with their only losses to then-undefeated Duke and Butler in the PK80 tournament in Portland in November. The Duke game was an eye-opener, as the Vikings shot out to a 49-45 lead at halftime before the refs got involved and handed the Blue Devils the game on a 33-16 foul advantage that had 5 Portland State players foul out. They also pushed Butler to the brink, only trailing by 2 points with 5 minutes left in the second half. These I would characterize as good losses.

The Vikings also have many scoring threats to bring to the table and push the tempo a lot. They are 18th in the nation in total scoring and have two senior guards in 6’ 4” Deontae North and 6’ 4” Bryce Canda that score 19.2 and 16.4 points per game, respectively. They have two other guards that score in double digits, and a good big man rotation that includes 7’ 1” senior Gonzaga transfer, Ryan Edwards. They shoot the 3 very well with a 38.7% team average – good for 61st in the NCAA. That should serve them well, although Oregon does defend the 3 well according to their first ten games.

Oregon is 7-3 on the season and all three losses have come to teams ranked higher than 100th in kenpom.com’s power rankings. They’ve been favored in 8 of 9 games this year and are 4-5 ATS, while Portland State has been favored in just one game with their perfect ATS record. They can put up some points though, and score an average of 88.3 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field at home. They are a young team compared to Portland State with 1.30 average years’ experience on the roster versus 2.24 for the Vikings.

The pace that these two offenses play will become a factor, as the Vikings' average possession length is the 14th fastest in the country and Oregon’s is 45th. Both teams will run the floor at will and be comfortable doing it. Based on that fact I will back the Over in this matchup, and with Portland State being 8-0 ATS I will also back the Vikings at +13.5 as my two Wednesday NCAAB picks.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 14-5, +8.70 Units

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