Thursday College Basketball Betting Previews: Stanford-Washington, James Madison-Delaware

Thursday College Basketball Betting Previews: Stanford-Washington, James Madison-Delaware article feature image

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matisse Thybulle (4), Noah Dickerson (15) and David Crisp (1)

In my debut college hoops piece for The Action Network, I’ll be analyzing two Thursday games:

  • James Madison at Delaware (-4.5) — 7 p.m. ET
  • Stanford at Washington (-9.5) — 9 p.m. ET

Let’s get to it.

>> All odds as of Thursday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.

Betting Odds: James Madison Dukes at Delaware Blue Hens

  • Spread: Delaware -4.5
  • Over/Under: 135.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

The setup: Delaware (12-7) has surprised this year after being predicted to finish seventh in the CAA preseason poll.  It had won four in a row in conference before Saturday’s 71-58 loss at Charleston.

The Blue Hens are 4-2 in conference and 6-3 at home. They are 9-3 ATS overall and 3-1 at home.

James Madison (9-9) has won two in a row in conference following a three-game CAA losing streak. The Dukes rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Towson 74-65 at home on Jan. 12.

The Dukes are 2-6 on the road overall and 0-2 away from Harrisonburg in conference. They are only 5-9 overall against the spread including a poor 2-7 on the road.

For James Madison: The only positive offensive metric for James Madison is 3-point percentage. The Dukes rank 83rd in the country shooting 36.2%.  However, that number is greatly bolstered by a 10-for-19 (52.6%) performance at Charleston.

Overall, they rank just 298th in 2-point percentage at 46.1%.

They also fail to protect the ball, averaging 14.2 turnovers per game, which ranks 237th nationally.

Senior guard Stuckey Mosley (15.7 ppg) has led the Dukes and in shooting 38% from 3-point range. Leading rebounder Dwight Wilson (9.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg) missed the last game with a foot injury and has been wearing a walking boot. He is questionable for tonight’s game.

For Delaware: With a 53.3 effective field goal percentage, Delaware is simply a better offensive team. The Blue Hens are also the superior 3-point shooting team at 38% ranking 43rd in the country.

In their two CAA home games, Delaware has shot 41% from deep (18 of 44).

The Blue Hens have a balanced offensive attack with four players averaging double-figures. Senior forward Eric Carter (17.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg) dominates inside, and is balanced by guards Kevin Anderson (10.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg) and Ryan Allen (14.4 ppg, 37% 3P).

Allen has fully recovered from foot surgery in October and was the CAA rookie of the year last season as a freshman.

Freshman guard Ithiel Horton is explosive, scoring 31 points in a win at UNC-Wilmington last week. He is shooting more than 42% (47 of 111) from deep this season.

Summary: The Blue Hens have impressed this year despite playing without Allen for 11 games. The Dukes will struggle to stop Carter inside, and that’s even if Wilson plays.

Look for Horton to have another hot-shooting game at home to complement Anderson and Allen. The Dukes are just 1-5 ATS in their past six road games, all of which were straight-up losses.

The Blue Hens continue to impress with a double-digit conference home win.

THE PICK: Delaware -4.5

Betting Odds: Stanford Cardinal at Washington Huskies

  • Spread: Washington -9.5
  • Over/Under: 139.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2

The setup: Washington (12-4) has found its groove winning five straight games after a neutral-court loss to Virginia Tech on Dec. 15.

The Huskies are a perfect 3-0 in the Pac-12 and 8-0 at home. However, they are only 7-7-1 overall against the spread including a mediocre 4-5-1 at home.

Stanford (8-8) stopped a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a big 85-71 home win over Arizona State.

The Cardinal are 1-3 in conference and only 1-5 on the road. They are 6-7-2 ATS overall and 3-4-2 on the road.

For Stanford: Stanford fails to excel in any one specific offensive area. The Cardinal only rank 162nd in adjusted-offensive efficiency and are a dismal 66% (296th) from the free throw line.

They also provide their opponents with extra opportunities, averaging 15.6 turnovers per game, which ranks 318th nationally.

Sophomore forward KZ Okpala (17.7 ppg) has been a bright spot with seven consecutive double-digit scoring games. In Stanford’s big win over Arizona State, Okpala combined with fellow sophomore Oscar da Silva (9.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) for 42 points and 19 rebounds.

For Washington:  The Huskies offense has started to click. While Washington is shooting a modest 33% from 3-point range overall this season, the Huskies are a scorching 47% (29 of 62) over their past three games.

Head coach Mike Hopkins’ zone defense is superb at limiting 2-point shots. Washington allows opponents to only shoot 43% from inside the arc, 10th best in the country.

The Huskies also have symmetric efficiency on offense with guard Jaylen Nowell (16.7 ppg, 52% FG) and forward Noah Dickerson (13.9 ppg, 55% FG).

The X-factor has been point guard David Crisp (11.3 ppg), who is averaging 18.7 points while shooting a blistering 67% (12 of 18) from 3-point range over his past three games.

Summary: Washington swept the Colorado/Utah road trip for the first time ever, holding the opposition to a combined 38% from the floor.  The keys to beating the Washington zone are 3-point efficiency and rebounding. Stanford only ranks 197th in 3-point efficiency and 196th in total rebounds per game.

The Huskies are undefeated at home and Stanford has lost five consecutive road games since beating UNC Wilmington on Nov. 9. Stanford will struggle to score against the defensive length of Washington, and the hot-shooting Crisp should propel Washington to a big home victory.

THE PICK: Washington -9.5