Free College Basketball Picks Thursday 1/23/2020 and Opening Line Report
Thursday's ranked college basketball slate features four conference matchups. Houston is ranked again after winning four of their last five, while Michigan State looks to build off their Wisconsin win against Indiana. There's also two Pac-12 matchups as Oregon and Colorado try to get back into the win column at home to stay ranked. Here are the early leans for Thursday's games.
(11) Michigan State @ Indiana (-3.5, 140)
The Big Ten seems impossible to predict this season. It felt like the home teams won every game, but then last night Illinois and Maryland won on the road in Big Ten play. Both teams were ranked, playing an unranked opponent. The trend should continue with Michigan State traveling to Indiana. Michigan State bounced back from a loss at Purdue and beat Wisconsin at home 67-55, while Indiana came back from a loss at Rutgers with a win at Nebraska. The reality is that Michigan State is the much better team, with more talent. They score more points, allow less points, shoot a higher percentage from the field and bring down a couple more rebounds a game. All of these stats will factor into Michigan State getting the win on the road against the spread.
Key trends: Spartans are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
Early lean: Michigan State, Over
UConn @ (25) Houston (-9, 132.5)
Houston is finally ranked again, winning four of their last five games and sitting tied in first place in the American Athletic Conference. Meanwhile, UConn has lost four of their last five games, but their last two losses have been extremely close. UConn lost to Villanova by six and Wichita State by three in double overtime. Could this be a letdown game for Houston after finally being ranked again? Quite possibly. UConn has stayed close in games and should at least cover the spread on the road.
Key trends: Huskies are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
Early lean: UConn, Under
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Washington State @ (23) Colorado (-14, 19.5)
Washington State has defeated Oregon and Oregon State back-to-back at home and are now 3-3 in conference play. Meanwhile, Colorado took a loss to Arizona on the road and are starting to fall backwards in the Top-25 rankings. The last time Colorado was home, the Buffaloes destroyed Utah, 91-52. After this loss to Arizona, I expect Colorado to come home and put a beating on Washington State to stay in Top 25 consideration.
Key trends: Buffaloes are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
Early lean: Colorado, Over
USC @ (12) Oregon (-9.5, 138)
Oregon will be a National Championship contender as the regular season concludes. The Ducks were on a roll before losing to Washington State on the road. Then they had to face Washington on the road and found a way in overtime. USC is also coming to life with three straight wins, with the last two coming at home. Oregon should be a safe bet at home. This will be a fun Pac-12 matchup with USC sitting at the top of the Pac-12 with a 4-1 record. Oregon is 4-2 and hopes to defeat USC to move them to 4-2 in the standings.
Key trends: Ducks are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following a ATS win.
Early lean: Oregon, Over
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