Thursday College Basketball Odds & Picks: Oregon-Arizona State, Hofstra-Drexel
Head coach Dana Altman of the Oregon Ducks. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
- Mike Randle is eyeing Oregon vs. Arizona State and Drexel vs. Hofstra as his two favorite college basketball bets for Thursday night.
- Should you roll with a Pac-12 title contender in Oregon (-1) even though it is paying a road visit to the red-hot Arizona State Sun Devils, winners of five in a row?
- Randle's picks, analysis and breakdowns are below for two games with tight spreads that should provide plenty of action.
The race for the Pac-12 Conference is one of the tightest in college basketball, with six teams separated by just one game. Two of those teams face off in Tempe when Oregon visits Arizona State.
In the CAA, the Hofstra Pride have outperformed preseason expectations and have a second consecutive conference title in sight. They look to maintain their lead when they travel to Philadelphia to battle Drexel.
Let’s see which teams we should back in these important late February matchups.
Thursday College Basketball Odds & Picks
Arizona State vs. Oregon
- Spread: Oregon -1
- Over/Under: 143
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Oregon (20-6) is tied atop the Pac-12 conference at 9-4 and is on a two-game winning streak. This will be the last regular-season road trip for the Ducks, who end their Pac-12 schedule with three consecutive home games. They are 15-11 against the spread including 3-3 in their last six contests.
Arizona State (17-8) is on a five-game winning streak and has won four straight conference home games. The Sun Devils are just one-half game behind Oregon and Colorado in the Pac-12 race with six conference games remaining. They are 13-12 ATS but just 1-2 in their last three games.
The Sun Devils have enjoyed some fortunate luck and favorable scheduling during their recent winning streak. They played Washington (Quade Green) and Stanford (Oscar da Silva) without key starters, and have not played any of the top three teams currently in the Pac-12 during that time.
The Sun Devils have also survived despite shooting just 68.4% from the free-throw line in conference play, while their opponents have only shot 67.7%.
The Ducks have won consecutive games over Colorado and Utah and are starting to regain their early season form. Oregon has tallied 20 wins against the fifth-hardest schedule in the country, and have non-conference victories over Memphis (with James Wiseman), Houston, and Seton Hall, as well as an overtime loss to Gonzaga.
This is an Oregon team that been able to win at Arizona State in the past, despite the strong home-court advantage for the Sun Devils at Desert Financial Arena. The Ducks have won two of the last three visits to Tempe.
The Ducks are shooting 36.8% from 3P, eighth-best in the country, and have made 20 three-pointers over their last two games. It is also rumored that 6-foot-11 freshman center N’Faly Dante may return for this game after suffering a knee injury in the overtime win at Washington on Jan. 18.
I am backing Oregon in a nice situational spot against an overvalued Arizona State team, with a Pac-12 title clearly in its sights.
Pick: Oregon -1
Drexel vs. Hofstra
- Spread: Hofstra -4
- Over/Under: 145
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: FloSports
Hofstra (20-7) is again sitting atop the CAA standings with a 1.5 game lead over William & Mary. The Pride are 11-3 in conference play and are on a six-game winning streak. They are 19-7 against the spread and have covered their last six games in a row.
Drexel (13-14) is just 6-8 in conference play and is on a three-game losing streak. The Dragons lost at home to Hofstra 72-59 on January 25. They are just 10-15-1 ATS and have failed to cover six of their last seven games.
The Pride have been particularly dominant on the road, with a 6-1 record in CAA play and an average margin of victory of 10.3 points. The Pride have been the most balanced team in conference, ranking No. 1 in CAA play in adjusted offensive efficiency and second in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Hofstra is also superior in two key metrics for covering road games: offensive turnover percentage and free-throw shooting. They rank 42nd in offensive turnover percentage and ninth among all teams with a 77.9% team free-throw average.
Drexel generates 32.3% of their points in conference play from beyond the arc, which will be tested by Hofstra’s conference best 3P% defense, holding opponents to just 30.1%.
The Pride also excel at pressuring their opponents, ranking second in defensive turnover percentage in conference. The Dragons rank dead-last in offensive turnovers per game, which was a problem with Drexel’s 17 turnovers in their first matchup.
There is too much at stake for head coach Joe Mihalich’s team to falter in this spot. Hofstra’s road dominance and Drexel’s losing streak support laying the points with the Pride.
Pick: Hofstra -4