College and NBA Basketball Betting Preview – February 4

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
College and NBA Basketball Betting Preview – February 4

Carrie Stroup here with your College and NBA Basketball betting preview for Thursday night.

COLORADO BUFFALOES (17-5, 6-3 Pac-12) at OREGON DUCKS (18-4, 7-2 Pac-12)

Oregon -10, Total: 152             

No. 16 Oregon tries to remain perfect at home on Thursday night when it welcomes red-hot Colorado to Matthew Knight Arena.

The Buffaloes (13-6 ATS overall) have won five of their past six contests, as they picked up their third straight win Sunday in a 70-62 defeat of Cal. The Ducks (11-7 ATS overall) are a perfect 13-0 at home (7-3 ATS) this season, and are also sizzling with four straight victories (SU and ATS) since falling 91-87 in a thriller in Boulder on Jan. 17.

Both teams shot exceptionally well in that matchup with Colorado making 50% FG and 57% threes and Oregon knocking down 52% FG and 57% threes. The difference was at the free-throw line, as the Buffs made 25-of-32 FT attempts (78%) and the Ducks made only 11-of-17 FT (65%). That gave Colorado a 6-3 SU advantage (5-4 ATS) in this series since joining the Pac-12, but Oregon holds the slight 2-1 edge (SU and ATS) at home during this span.

There are plenty of favorable betting trends for both schools on Thursday, as the Buffaloes are 6-0 ATS when the total is 150 to 159.5 this season, and head coach Tad Boyle is 17-4 ATS as a double-digit underdog in his coaching career, including 14-3 ATS as a road 'dog of 10+ points. However, the Ducks are 23-3 ATS under head coach Dana Altman after a 4-1 ATS stretch in their previous five games, and are 15-5 ATS in the past three seasons following two straight Pac-12 victories.

Colorado has a strong offense that scores 78.9 PPG (56th in nation) on a pedestrian 44.2% FG (159th in D-I), but is outstanding from beyond the arc at 41.2% threes (8th in nation). This is also an excellent rebounding team (+9.4 RPG margin, 13th in D-I), which helps make up for a turnover-prone offense (13.4 TOPG, 224th in nation).

Defensively, the Buffaloes allow 70.2 PPG (146th in D-I) on 41.4% FG (96th in nation), but struggle to defend the perimeter in giving up 35.5% threes (237th in D-I). The Buffaloes are able to rack up an impressive 5.3 blocks per game (28th in nation), but their paltry 4.8 steals per game (313th in D-I) leads to just 10.9 forced TO per game (320th in nation).

The star of this team is senior C Josh Scott (17.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG), whose 11 double-doubles rank second in the Pac-12. Scott has averaged a career double-double when facing Oregon, including 17 points and 11 rebounds in the Jan. 17 victory.

Swingman George King (14.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG) shoots well from all areas of the floor at 48% FG, 48% threes and 75% FT, and has been on fire recently. The sophomore King has scored in double-figures in five straight games where he averages 17.8 PPG on 55% FG and 15-of-22 threes.

Another player heating up is junior G Josh Fortune (10.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG) who had a season-high 21 points versus Stanford last week and scored eight points in just 14 minutes in Sunday's win over Cal.

Sophomore PG Dominique Collier (8.6 PPG, 3.3 APG) filled up the stat sheet on Sunday with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and scored 14 points in the Pac-12 Tournament loss to Oregon last season. Collier has been lights-out from behind the arc all season at 49% (31-63).

Another key contributor down low is 6-foot-9 junior F Wesley Gordon (6.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.1 BPG), who has multiple blocks in five of his past eight contests.

Oregon's offense has been strong all season at 78.3 PPG (75th in nation) on 47.1% FG (45th in D-I) and a mediocre 34.4% threes (183rd in D-I), which includes a recent surge of 87.2 PPG on 50.2% FG over the past five contests. This is a decent ball-handling team with 14.0 APG (130th in nation) and 12.3 TOPG (118th in D-I), and rebounding is solid too with a +3.5 RPG margin (88th in nation).

The defense has also been sound in limiting opponents to 68.0 PPG (98th in D-I) on 41.3% FG (91st in nation) and 34.3% threes (175th in D-I). The Ducks force a bunch of turnovers (14.8 per game, 50th in nation) with an active defense that tallies 7.8 steals per game (42nd in D-I) and a hefty 6.0 blocks per game (7th in nation).

Sophomore F Dillon Brooks (16.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 SPG) was named national player of the week for his heroics on the road at Arizona (24 points) and Arizona State (18 points) last week. Brooks is averaging 19.7 PPG during a seven-game streak of double-figure scoring, and has made 10 threes in the past five contests.

F Elgin Cook (13.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG) has also come on strong in his past five games with 16.8 PPG, including 14 points on Sunday. Freshman G Tyler Dorsey (13.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG) rarely takes a bad shot, evidenced by his 46% FG and 44% threes this season. Dorsey is coming off a well-rounded effort at Arizona State when he recorded 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Two other players that have shined all season are 6-foot-10 C Chris Boucher (12.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG), who leads the nation with 3.3 blocks per game, and sophomore PG Casey Benson (6.0 PPG, 3.3 APG) who ranks second in Division-I in assist-to-turnover ratio at 5.54. Benson has 72 assists and only 13 turnovers all season.


New Orleans -10.5, Total: 209.5

The Lakers will be going for their second straight victory when they face the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on Thursday.

Los Angeles snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 119-115 win at home against Minnesota on Tuesday. The Lakers turned the ball over just nine times in that game and forced the Timberwolves to cough it up 15 times. They will need to continue to take care of the ball moving forward and it also helps that they hit 50% of their shots against the Timberwolves. It was the first time they shot 50% or better since a loss in Sacramento on Jan. 7.

New Orleans, meanwhile, has now dropped two straight after losing 110-97 as a 12.5-point road underdog in San Antonio on Wednesday. The team has also failed to cover in three straight games and four of the past five. The Pelicans are just not defending well, as they have allowed each of their past two opponents to shoot over 50% from the field and they have not held an opponent to under 40% shooting since facing this same Lakers team in Los Angeles on Jan. 12. The Lakers won that game 95-91, though.

Despite that victory for Los Angeles, the Pelicans are 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in this head-to-head series over the past three seasons. That includes a 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS record when playing at the Smoothie King Center. Yet, the Pelicans are just 4-12 ATS revenging a road loss versus an opponent this season. Fortunately the team is facing a Lakers team that is 6-15 ATS after a game where it covered on the year.

The Lakers were able to get back into the win column on Tuesday night and that was strictly because SG Kobe Bryant (16.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG) had a throwback night at the Staples Center. Bryant went off against the Timberwolves, finishing with 38 points, five assists, five boards and two steals in 33 minutes of action. He was 10-for-21 from the field and 7-for-11 from the outside in the game and if he can come anywhere close to touching those numbers then the Lakers could beat this Pelicans team in New Orleans.

PG D’Angelo Russell (12.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.1 SPG) also played well against the Timberwolves on Tuesday, finishing with 18 points, three assists, three boards and a steal in 28 minutes of action. Russell is starting to get more minutes for the Lakers and he will need to continue to make good decisions with the ball in order to stay on the court. This Pelicans team struggles defensively and it’s important that Russell takes advantage of that by driving to the hoop and finding his teammates for open shots.

PF Julius Randle (11.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG) could also help this team win games by continuing to dominate around the basket. Over the past five games, Randle is averaging 15.6 PPG and 11.2 RPG. He has really found his game for Los Angeles and is starting to realize how impossible he is to stop when he puts his head down and drives the ball to the rim. His strength could give Anthony Davis a lot of problems on the glass in this one.

The Pelicans have been really disappointing this season, but one guy that has continued to play at an elite level is PF Anthony Davis (23.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 1.3 SPG). Davis has been a monster this season for New Orleans and most recently put up 28 points with 10 boards, four assists, four blocks and four steals in a loss to San Antonio on Wednesday. Davis is a mismatch for his opponents whenever he steps on the floor and he will need to impact the game in multiple ways on Thursday. His offensive numbers will mean nothing if he cannot protect the rim against a red-hot Julius Randle in this one.

Another guy that will need to play well in this game is PG Jrue Holiday (14.4 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.1 SPG). Holiday has been on fire recently, averaging 21.4 PPG and 6.6 APG over the past five contests. He is healthier than he has been in the past two seasons and is really starting to come into his own for New Orleans. He will need to start shooting the ball better for the Pelicans, though. He is hitting just 25% of his threes over the past five games and he is a much better shooter than that, as evidenced by his 35.7% shooting from the outside on the year.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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