College Basketball Odds & Picks: Can Northern Colorado Steal a Victory Against Montana?

College Basketball Odds & Picks: Can Northern Colorado Steal a Victory Against Montana? article feature image

Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonah Radebaugh

  • Looking for a fun under-the-radar matchup on Thursday night? Northern Colorado and Montana (-2) square off in a major Big Sky showdown in Missoula.
  • With a large discrepancy between the two teams in offensive efficiency, our expert feels the line is a bit skewed and ripe for exploiting.
  • See the full betting breakdown below.

There’s a huge game in the Big Sky tonight as third-place Northern Colorado (20-9, 17-10 ATS) heads to Missoula to take on Big Sky co-leader Montana (18-11, 14-13 ATS).

Northern Colorado won the reverse fixture in Greenly back in January, 74-66. And despite being in third place, NCU is the highest-rated Big Sky team in our power ratings by nearly three points.

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Northern Colorado at Montana

  • Spread: Montana -2
  • Over/Under: 136.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: Pluto TV

The Northern Colorado Bears boast a 110.1 offensive efficiency (48th nationally, according to KenPom) and is No. 1 or 2 in most offensive categories during Big Sky play.

The Bears have a 54.4 eFG% (ranked 19th in the country) and are shooting the 36.8% from three and 53.7% from two, which both rank inside the top 35 in the country. In addition, Northern Colorado is ranked 11th in the country in turnover percentage, only turning the ball over on 15.4% of possessions.

Montana defensively struggles defending the 3-point shot, ranking 201st in the country in 3-point percentage, which bodes well for the Bears because 39.8% of their point come from behind the arc.

Just like Northern Colorado, the Grizzlies boast very good eFG% (45th) and 3P% (25th). However, Montana’s offensive efficiency is 104.1, which ranks 154th in the country, meaning they are only a slightly above average offense. The Grizzlies never get to the free-throw line and barely offensive rebound, dragging down their overall efficiency.

Northern Colorado is one of the top teams in the country at defending the three, only allowing 29.5% from behind the arc (20th nationally).

One area where Montana will not able to get very many point on offense is second chance points. The Grizzlies are only grabbing offensive boards at a 20.5% rate (ranked 346th in country), while Northern Colorado only allows offensive rebounds at 24.2% rate (ranked 34th in the country).

My model has this game at a pick’em, so I think there is value on Northern Colorado +2 or better.

Pick: Northern Colorado +2

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