Free College Basketball Picks Thursday 2/20/2020 and Opening Line Report
Thursday's college basketball action features a couple new faces in the Top 25. BYU has emerged as a top team in college basketball with a six-game winning streak. They'll take on a struggling Santa Clara team, while the West Coast Conference also features Gonzaga against San Francisco. Gonzaga will look to put San Francisco away early this time around. The Pac-12 also has a couple intriguing matchups, while there's a Big Ten clash that could be the best game of the night. Here are the early lean's for February 20's college basketball action.
Ohio State vs. Iowa 2/20/20 (-2.5, 144)
Ohio State has won four of their last five games, and it finally seems like they're getting back on track. If you recall, Ohio State was unstoppable throughout the nonconference slate, but the Buckeyes quickly hit a dead end and found themselves in a funk. Now they're out of it, but they'll have a tough challenge against Iowa. Iowa has been fantastic at home and just mediocre on the road. Iowa defeated Minnesota last time out on the road but put up only 58 points. Iowa's season average is 78.2 points per game. Expect Iowa to get back to playing solid offense at home. Iowa also defends much better at home too.
Key trends: Iowa are 12-2-2 ATS in their last 16 home games.
Early lean: Iowa, Over
Oregon State vs. Arizona 2/20/20 (-11, 139.5)
Oregon State lost their last game to Colorado, 69-47, and couldn't find anything offensively at home. The Beavers are coming off a three-game homestand where they won two of three. Oregon State has stayed competitive on the road with a two-point loss to California and a five-point win against Stanford their last two road games. Arizona is ranked in the Top-25 after those said road games against Stanford and California. Arizona won both of them pretty easily. Arizona averages six more points than Oregon State and allows two less points. Arizona will also win the rebounding battle in this matchup. Take the Wildcats.
Key trends: ORST are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
Early lean: Arizona, Over
Oregon vs. Arizona State 2/20/20 (+1, 142.5)
In head-to-head matchups, the road team is 10-4-1 in their last 15 meetings. Right off the bat, Oregon looks to be the favorite in this matchup. Oregon has won their last two games over Utah and a ranked Colorado team after coming from behind in the second half. However, Arizona State has won five straight and are playing their best basketball yet. Four of those five wins have been decided by one or two possessions, and the margin for error will be a lot smaller with Oregon coming to town. Oregon has allowed two fewer points defensively and shoots at a much higher percentage from the field. Oregon is also very connected offensively. I like Oregon on the road here.
Key trends: ORE are 26-11 ATS in their last 37 games overall.
Early lean: Oregon, Under
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USC vs. Colorado 2/20/20 (-9.5, 135)
Just when we thought USC was falling apart, they've won two straight games in Washington, once against the Huskies and the other against Washington State. Colorado's defense has been spectacular this season where they've allowed 62.2 points per game. They're coming off that 69-47 performance over Oregon State. In the last meeting between these two teams, Colorado dominated USC, 78-57. When teams play a second time around, things get much closer. I expect Colorado to win this game, but I also think USC covers the spread in this one. If USC can control the boards, USC has a legitimate chance at pulling off this upset.
Key trends: The road team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings between these two teams.
Early lean: USC, Over
Santa Clara vs. BYU 2/20/20 (-14.5, 149.5)
BYU has been spectacular this season. They've been quietly good and are now ranked in the Top-25 after winning their last six games in the West Coast. Santa Clara, on the other hand, has lost three straight games and are struggling badly. Santa Clara allows 70.4 points per game, while BYU is scoring 80 points per contest. BYU also shoots 50.2 percent from the field and has scored 85.5 points in their last two home games. Look for BYU to continue shooting lights out at home and defeat a Santa Clara team that has fallen apart.
Key trends: BYU are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 vs. West Coast.
Early lean: BYU, Over
San Francisco vs. Gonzaga 2/20/20 (-18, 156)
Gonzaga is on an 18-game winning streak. However, during the streak, they struggled against San Francisco on the road on February 1. In the scare, Gonzaga's Corey Kispert had a three-point play with 1 minute and 33 seconds to play to hold the lead. San Francisco was up 43-35 at halftime. At home, I don't see that playing out. Gonzaga has played four of their last five games on the road and are likely eager to come back home and play in front of one of the best fan bases in college basketball. Gonzaga is averaging 88.6 points per game and shooting 51.6 percent from the field. They'll be ready this time around.
Key trends: SF are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 road games.
Early lean: Gonzaga, Over
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