Thursday College Basketball Odds & Picks: Campbell at Hampton, BYU at Pacific
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Barcello
After sweating out a pair of unders in the past week, I thought I would treat readers to a pair of mid-major contests showcasing loads of offensive talent and more than enough half-hearted defensive play.
You may end up watching these games on your phone, but I promise it’ll be worth the data required to stream them.
Thursday College Basketball Betting
Odds as of Thursday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Campbell at Hampton
- Spread: Campbell -2
- Over/Under: 147.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Hampton is one of only two programs in the country to feature a pair of 20-plus point scorers, but was missing one for a stretch.
Benjamin Stanley did a fine job holding down the fort offensively, awaiting the return of Jermaine Marrow from injury. Stanley is an old-school big, content banging away on the block and cleaning up the glass (22.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg).
He’s a perfect compliment to Marrow, who appears to be modeling his game after modern mid-major point guards like Ja Morant. In Marrow’s 12 games this season, the senior from Newport News is averaging 24.6 points and 6.7 assists.
Since Marrow’s return to action on Jan. 4, the over has hit in every Hampton game and they’ve alternated wins and losses both straight-up and ATS.
The rap on Hampton is simple — they can fill it up, but they’re one of the worst defensive teams in the country.
Here’s a greatest hits list of the defensive metrics in which they rank 300th or worse in:
- Opp PPG
- Opp Effective FG %
- Opp Three Point %
- Opp FGM/Game
- Opp FTM/Game
You can shoot inside, outside or get to the line whenever you want against the Pirates.
That last option is something that Campbell could really use tonight. The Fightin’ Camels are above average when they get to the line (74.6%, 68th) but they rarely find themselves at the charity stripe (13.6 FTA, 337th). Hampton will be more than happy to oblige (19.7 fouls per game, 304th).
The over has cashed in five of Campbell’s last seven games, and a recent offensive drought should be remedied by the Pirates’ matador defense.
If you can find an alternate total that offers positive juice, I’d play this over up to 155.5.
Pick: Over 147.5
BYU at Pacific
- Spread: BYU -6.5
- Over/Under: 136
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: Stadium
Unlike football, a single player’s absence can significantly swing a basketball game. You see injuries and suspensions baked into spreads and totals every day.
Where the market can lag behind, however, is when difference-makers return from injury or suspension. It can take a few games for the market to recalibrate, opening the door for gamblers to snatch some value.
In the case of BYU, Yoeli Childs’ return from injury moves the needle. Offensively, with Childs in the lineup, BYU’s scoring average jumps from 76 points per game against D1 competition to 79 ppg.
Childs is one of five players in the country currently averaging 20-10, and he checks in at No. 6 in terms of “NBA Efficiency” according to TeamRankings.com. His rebounding prowess and effectiveness around the tin will be critical against a Pacific team that is having one of its best defensive seasons since Michael Olowokandi was defending the paint in the mid-to-late 90s.
Luckily for over-backers in this spot, Pacific has an offensive star of its own to rely on in this conference matchup. Jahlil Tripp, a Brooklyn native, has been making the most of his relocation, averaging 15.4 ppg and 8.3 rpg for the Tigers this season.
In his last seven games, Tripp has taken a massive leap forward. During an upset of St. Mary’s, the senior wing poured in 39 points on 12-for-21 shooting. He now appears comfortable being Pacific’s go-to option, evidenced by his 13 shot attempts per game during that stretch.
If you’re unmoved by the offensive star power, you may be swayed by recent history. The over has hit in four straight Cougar contests and paid out in three of the last four Tiger tussles.
Pick: Over 136