Thursday College Basketball Betting: Nebraska-Michigan, Arizona-Oregon State

Thursday College Basketball Betting: Nebraska-Michigan, Arizona-Oregon State article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Poole and Tres Tinkle

The NCAA Tournament’s Round of 64 tips off exactly one month from Thursday. If last’s night slate of games is any indication, we are in for a great month of hoops.

Tonight, we’ll take a look at one team trying to secure a No. 1 overall seed, and another trying to play its way off the March bubble.

Let’s examine Nebraska at Michigan and Arizona traveling to Oregon State.

Betting Odds: Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Wolverines

  • Spread: Michigan -12
  • Over/Under: 131
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and win probabilities on your bets.

Nebraska (15-13) has watched its season fall apart. After being a team that many thought could challenge for the Big Ten title, they have stumbled to a 5-12 record in conference.

The Cornhuskers have struggled to compete after losing senior Isaac Copeland Jr. to a torn ACL on Jan. 26. Nebraska has lost nine of its last 11 games, including four straight Big Ten road games. They are just 10-13-2 against the spread and 2-6-1 ATS on the road.

Michigan (24-4) is just one game back of Michigan State and Purdue for first place in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are 16-1 at home, having lost their first game in the Crisler Center to Michigan State last Sunday. They are 15-10 ATS but 3-1 in their last four homes games.

After losing Copeland, the Cornhuskers’ offense has been brutal. Since the start of conference play, Nebraska ranks 11th in 3P%, 12th in effective field goal percentage, and 13th in 2P%.  This does not bode well against a Michigan team that features the third-best adjusted defensive efficiency in the country.

Nebraska has been equally poor on defense. They rank 12th in 3P% allowed, next to last in effective field goal percentage allowed, and dead last in defensive rebounding. They are playing like a team that has given up on the season.

It is difficult to envision the Wolverines losing two straight at home, especially to a short-handed Nebraska team with no NCAA Tournament aspirations. The Wolverines hold a dominant advantage across the board on all offensive and defensive metrics. Expect a strong home court advantage on Senior Night to propel the Wolverines to a comfortable win.

THE PICK:  Michigan -12

Betting Odds: Arizona Wildcats at Oregon State Beavers

  • Spread: Oregon State -4
  • Over/Under: 134.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: FS1

Arizona (16-12) has fallen apart since starting 5-1 in conference play. The Wildcats are not that far removed from a seven-game losing streak. They are just 3-6 on the road and 11-14-1 against the spread.

Oregon State (17-9) is in third place in the Pac-12, including a 5-2 record at home. The Beavers have won three of their last four games and are 15-10 overall ATS.

Arizona’s offense has just been so inconsistent. The Wildcats have experienced dramatic swings in their 3P, but only rank 194th in the nation from beyond the arc. In their first matchups against Oregon State on Jan. 19, the Wildcats shot a blistering 48.1% (13 of 27) from 3P, yet only led by five points with six minutes remaining.

The Wildcats have a limited inside game which is the reason for their ninth best 2P% in conference play. Arizona also ranks second worst in effective field goals percentage and offensive blocks per game.

On the contrary, Oregon State is the 60th most efficient offense in the country and third best in conference play. The Beavers rank first among all Pac-12 teams with a 56.5% from 2P within the conference. They have a balanced all-around offense averaging 36.1 rebounds and 15.6 assists per game.

Senior guard Stephen Thompson Jr. (16.4 ppg) has been hot from 3P, shooting 41.3% (12 of 29) from beyond the arc in his last four games.

Oregon State plays strong defense, too, ranking 31st in the country in 2P% defense. They also rank sixth in the country with an average of 5.5 blocks per game.

Arizona is coming off two home wins over California and Stanford, but has failed to grab a win in their last five Pac-12 road games. Oregon State has played well in Gil Coliseum, and the Wildcats are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games. Take the Beavers at home and give the four points.

THE PICK: Oregon State -4