Odds & Pick for Colorado vs. Oregon College Basketball: Back Ducks During Push for Pac-12 Title (Thursday, Feb. 18)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Oregon’s Eugene Omoruyi.
- Colorado and Oregon's Pac-12 rivalry usually goes the way of the home team.
- Will that trend continue on Thursday night?
- Mike Randle breaks down the matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Colorado vs. Oregon Odds
There are several teams still alive in the race for the Pac-12 regular season title. Both Colorado (10-5) and Oregon (7-3) remain within striking distance of USC (11-2) with over almost three weeks left in the season.
The Buffaloes continued their home dominance over the Ducks with a 79-72 win on Jan. 9. That loss sent Oregon on a tail-spin, losing three of its next four games. However, the Ducks have now won three games in a row and swept the difficult Arizona road trip.
This Pac-12 rivalry usually goes the way of the home team. Will that trend continue on Thursday night?
While Colorado rates highly in all computerized rankings, the Buffaloes have slowly shown weaknesses throughout the season.
Colorado is one of only two conference wins by cellar-dweller Washington and is also coming off a bad 71-62 loss at California. The Buffaloes are just a different team on the road, with four of their five Pac-12 losses coming away from Boulder.
Their offense is led by the uber-consistent McKinley Wright IV. The senior guard does everything for the Buffaloes, with 14.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 5.7 APG. He is also the top free-throw shooter (83.1%) for a Colorado team that ranks first among all teams in foul line efficiency.
Forward Jeriah Horne (11.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and Evan Battey (10.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG) provide interior balance and serve as the foundation for a defensive rebounding team that ranks top-80 in the country.
Colorado’s defensive metrics look strong in totality. They are 38th overall in adjusted defensive efficiency and are holding opponents to a 47.6% effective field goal percentage. However, those numbers are greatly bolstered by a weak nonconference scheduled that ranks 190th in the country.
In conference play, the Buffaloes have allowed 35% from beyond the arc and 48.2% from 2-point range, both significant increases from their overall averages. They force a modest 13.5 turnovers per game and were fortunate to thrive off an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers by Oregon in their first matchup.
The most important difference in this matchup for the Ducks is the health of their point guard. They now have junior Will Richardson, who is completely healed from thumb surgery in December. In the four games since his return, Richardson has averaged 12 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 4.3 APG. He gives Oregon a reliable leader down the stretch of games who makes over 80% of his free throws.
Richardson’s return has placed top scorers Eugene Omoruyi (17.8 PPG) and Chris Duarte (17.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG) back into their regular roles. Duarte just returned from an injured ankle to hit a key 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in a 63-61 win at Arizona.
The Ducks are careful with the basketball on both ends of the floor, ranking third in offensive turnovers and second in defensive turnovers in Pac-12 competition.
Oregon has also found its stroke from deep, shooting 41.3% (31-of-75) from 3-point range over the past three games.
The only concern for Oregon is a knee injury to junior forward Eric Williams (11.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG) who missed the win over Arizona. He is listed as a game-time decision.
Oregon has all the advantages in their favor: revenge spot, Richardson back and playing Colorado away from Boulder.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Ducks were very competitive in their first matchup, despite having never won in Colorado since the Buffaloes joined the conference in the 2011-12 season.
Over the past six seasons, Oregon has been a strong bet at home against the spread. The Ducks are a tremendous 31-18 (64%) at home against Pac-12 opponents.
I suspect Williams will be a full-go in a game of this importance, especially after sitting out against Arizona.
Look for Colorado’s road struggles to continue and for the Ducks to get sweet revenge at home as they make a late push on USC for the conference title.
Pick: Oregon -3 (up to Oregon -3.5).