Pac-12 Takes the Spotlight for Wednesday's NCAA Basketball Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 4:01 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 4:01 PM UTC

This handicapper came within a free-throw of sweeping our free college basketball picks for Tuesday. Can we get a little better luck with our Plays of the Day for Wednesday?

Ducks Head South
Oregon, which has beaten USC nine times in a row, begins its two-game with a battle with the Trojans.

The Ducks had a bunch of holes to fill coming into this season, and an NCAA bid seemed a bit iffy, but at 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the Pac-12, just a game and a half out of first place, they're in good shape at the moment. Oregon has won three games in a row, after sweeping the Washington teams at home last week, beating the Huskies 78-74 and the Cougars 95-72.

USC, on the other hand, has lost eight games in a row, after falling at Stanford Sunday 70-62. Just before that the Trojans lost at Cal 70-69 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and just before that they got blown out by Utah 67-39. At just 1-10 in conference play USC is having trouble topping last season's Pac-12 win total of two.

Oregon just beat USC three weeks ago 75-67 up in Eugene. The Ducks flew out to an early 16-2 lead, but allowed the Trojans to come all the way back and tie the game with about six minutes to go. Oregon then won the game at the free-throw line, but came up a bucket short of pushing the spread as a nine-point favorite. That game, like both of last season's meetings, stayed UNDER its total.

The Ducks are fighting to stay in the Pac-12 race, and for NCAA Tournament worthiness, while USC is, well, we're not sure what USC is up to. We'll take the better team here, at a spread that seems perfectly manageable.

College Basketball Pick: Oregon -4 at 5Dimes

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Maximize Your Profit with These Picks for Tonight's Games

Beavers Battle Bruins
For our second NCAA Basketball pick for Wednesday we stay in the Pac-12, and just down the freeway, for UCLA's game with upstart Oregon State.

The Beavers have won two games in a row, after also sweeping the Washington teams last week, beating Wazzu 55-50 and U-Dub 64-50. So Oregon State has held nine of its last 10 opponents to 57 points or less. Last Thursday the Beavers limited the Cougars to just 37 percent FG shooting, and Sunday they held the Huskies to just 36 percent. OSU doesn't scare anybody offensively, but it's been grinding out the victories, to the tune of a 7-4 record in conference play, which, if extrapolated through the rest of the regular season might just be enough for its first invitation to the Big Dance in 25 years.

UCLA, meanwhile, just had a three-game winning streak snapped by a 64-62 loss at Cal. The Bruins led that game by five points with four minutes to go, but got outscored 9-2 from there. At 14-10 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play, UCLA is riding the NCAA tournament bubble.

Oregon State won the first meeting between these teams this season three weeks ago up in Corvallis 66-55. The Beavers shot 51 percent from the floor that night, a crazy number for them, while holding the Bruins to just 30 percent shooting. We doubt we'll see such disparate numbers from these teams tonight, but we do believe Oregon State is perfectly capable of keeping this one close.

The Beavers can play some nasty defense, and if they can just throw the ball in the hole enough to stave off scoring droughts they should stay right in this one. We'll take the dog and the points in this spot.

College Basketball Pick: Oregon State +9 at Bookmaker

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