Stanford vs. Oregon: Slow Pace Suggests 'Under' As Wise NCAA Basketball Pick

Jason Lake

Sunday, January 10, 2016 1:30 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 1:30 PM UTC

The Oregon Ducks are a juicy NCAA basketball pick when they're playing at home. It's up to the Stanford Cardinal to put a stop to it this Sunday night in Eugene.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 138
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


There are some pretty darned good teams in the Pac-12 this year. Maybe not any great teams, but pretty darned good. Take the Oregon Ducks (12-3 SU, 6-6 ATS), for example. They were in the AP Top 25 for four weeks, before things started getting a bit rough out there on the road. Ken Pomeroy still has the Ducks at No. 37 overall on his world-famous rankings. That's some restaurant-quality basketball right there.

One notch lower, you have the Stanford Cardinal (9-5 SU, 6-6 ATS). Stanford is No. 79 on the Pomeroy charts, but overlook this team at your peril. The Cardinal have already pulled off upset victories over Arkansas (–1 on neutral ground), Utah (–4.5 away) and Oregon State (–6 at home), and they'll be barking this Sunday when they visit the Ducks as 9-point dogs on our NCAA basketball odds boards. Tip-off is at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Slow Ride
Before we go too far down that track, let's consider that 137-point total for your NCAA basketball picks. Oregon and Stanford each have the UNDER at 7-5 this year, which is lovely, and the Cardinal have just the right kind of team to get the job done Sunday night. They're one of the slowest programs in Division I, checking in at No. 313 in Adjusted Tempo. Stanford also ranks just No. 129 in offensive efficiency, and No. 55 on defense. Extra-lovely.

The Ducks (No. 45 offense, No. 47 defense) aren't lopsided the way we'd like, but at least they're not speed merchants at No. 120 in tempo. Things got a little less speedy for Oregon when senior point guard Dylan Ennis (16.9 PER, +7.7 BPM for Villanova last year) was lost for the season with an injured foot; Ennis only managed to get in 21 minutes of floor time with his new school. It's a shame.


I Like Nike, But Wait a Minute
If the total doesn't tickle your fancy, the Ducks have been a strong home team against the spread, going 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games at Matthew Knight Arena. This has been their home since 2011; when it was built, it was the most expensive on-campus arena in the whole country. It's not McArthur Court or anything, but it'll have to do.

As if the Cardinal are concerned. They beat the Ducks 82-80 here last January as 6.5-point underdogs, and they just beat the Beavers 78-72 in Corvallis. That win was doubly impressive considering forward Reid Travis (17.6 PER, +2.7 BPM) was out for Stanford with a stress reaction in his left leg. We're going to stick with our pick against the total, thank you kindly. That's where the profit margin appears to be in this matchup. Make it so, and may the sphere be with you.

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