College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for SMU vs. Oregon: Will Ducks Cruise to Win?
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Will Richardson
- Oregon will face off against SMU in a quality non-conference affair.
- The Ducks will look to shut down Kendric Davis and earn a quality victory.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
SMU vs. Oregon Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The SMU Mustangs had a shortened and disappointing 2020-2021 campaign. After a 11-4 regular season, they fell quickly to Cincinnati in the AAC Tournament and missed the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon, on the other hand, upset second-seeded Iowa in the Round of 32 after it received a forfeit in the Round of 64. The Ducks bowed out in the Sweet 16 against USC, as the Pac-12 made an impressive run in last year’s tournament.
Both rosters have almost an entirely new look to them. Oregon looks to have acquired far more talent via the transfer portal this offseason and transfer-portal wizard Dana Altman is an excellent coach.
SMU might remain a bit stagnant, but a game-changer like Kendric Davis matters plenty in college basketball. Unfortunately, he might not yet have the complementary players around him needed to make a run.
SMU returns its best player in Davis (as mentioned above) and Emmanuel Bandoumel.
The Mustangs lost Feron Hunt to professional ball and Tyson Jolly, Ethan Chargois, Darius McNeill and Yor Anei to the transfer portal. However, Tristan Clark (Baylor), Zach Nutall (Sam Houston State), Marcus Weathers (Duquesne) and Michael Weathers (Texas Southern) all transferred to the Mustangs.
They have, essentially, an entirely new lineup. Davis is an anchor, so he can keep the ‘stangs stable, but it might take some time against opponents of Oregon’s caliber.
The Mustangs turned the ball over 15 times against McNeese State in their season opener. This is a red flag because McNeese State is one of the worst teams in college basketball. Based on this, Davis seemed to be forcing the issue by himself because he had three of those turnovers.
They do run at a relatively fast pace, with Davis quarterbacking the offense, so this could explain a few of these turnovers. They cannot perform this way against a loaded team like the Ducks.
That said, SMU had 47 rebounds in this game. This is what could be a cause for concern among Duck backers, as rebounding was Oregon’s Achilles heel in 2020-2021.
Altman hit the transfer portal hard as the Ducks added Rivaldo Soares from Junior College while also landing a few marquee names. Jacob Young came from Rutgers, Quincy Guerrier came from Syracuse and De’Vion Harmon glued together the Oklahoma lineup last season.
The returning players — Will Richardson, N’Faly Dante and Eric Williams — make this a solid, deep team.
Guerrier will help Dante along with freshman Nate Bittle and sophomore Franck Kepnang in the rebounding department. This is the only area Altman should be concerned about when playing SMU, as the Mustangs can grab boards from virtually every position.
This is another edge. The Ducks are far better crashing the glass this season. Dante missed all of Pac-12 play last season due to a knee injury, so he will be another reason why the Ducks should be better on the glass.
In addition, Young, Guerrier, and Harmon all averaged over 10 points per game in major conferences last season, and they should transition easily to the Conference of Champions. Richardson likely mans the point, but that could easily shift to either Young or Harmon if he needs to rest.
Young averaged nearly two steals per game in 2020-2021. He is an absolute pest as an on-ball defender. Not to mention, both Richardson and Harmon each averaged 1.1 steals per game, too, so Davis may be in for a rude awakening.
This is where Davis’ turnover issues could come to the forefront. No, Oregon does not have a stifling defense, but it added the needed pieces to propel itself to a higher ranking than it resided last year.
SMU vs. Oregon Betting Pick
Oregon has improved on its two weakest links since the 2020-2021 season (rebounding and defense). These both negate SMU’s slight advantages.
Davis is an awesome guard and will find himself in the pros, but he will struggle with three different strong defenders on him at all times in this contest.
Guerrier and Dante will crash the glass, so SMU will not have an obscene rebounding discrepancy.
Take the Ducks at -6.5 and play to -8.
Pick: Oregon -6.5 (Play to -8)
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