Thursday is going to be a fun day of action in college hoops. I am not sure any top teams are going to fall but we have three games featuring teams in the Top 15, including two in the top 6. Three different conferences are profiled too (plus a bonus).
Here are the games you are going to want to check out:
Odds via Fanduel as of Thursday, January 28 (10:15 am ET)
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Kansas Jayhawks (#15), ESPN+, 8:00 PM ET
Spread: TCU +14.5 (-110), Kansas -14.5 (-110)
Total: Over 136.5 (-112), Under 136.5 (-108)
Money Line: TCU +1040, Kansas -2000
Kansas has a nice number next to its name but this is not a typical season for the Jayhawks. They have not fallen as far as teams like Duke and Kentucky, but they are on a three-game losing streak. Yes, all those games were on the road though Texas whipped them at home earlier in the season. There is just no feeling of strength with this team. They are far from bad of course but there might not be an obvious NBA player on the roster and game to game they are searching for who to rely on. TCU might have them right where they want them if they were a better team. Keeping it close looks like too much to ask. TCU has also lost three in a row, beginning with a home loss to Kansas by a 93-64 score. Even if they cut that in half they still won’t cover.
Betting Advice: Take Kansas
Gonzaga Bulldogs (#1) vs. San Diego Toreros, 9:00 PM ET
Spread: Gonzaga -28.5 (-110), San Diego +28.5 (-112)
Total: Over 156.5 (-106), Under 156.5 (-115)
Money Line: Gonzaga -100000, San Diego +3000
The Zags are 15-0, though just 7-7-1 ATS this season. Still, I don’t know how you bet against them in a situation like this. I hate taking teams with the argument that they can keep it close just because it is a big number. Gonzaga is like an NBA team playing in the WCC. They are dominating, it’s just hard to maintain discipline with the bench when the game is decided sometimes. They are 0-2 ATS in their two road games this season but both were non-covers by less than five points. Teams are not rising up, they are just making an extra basket or so when nobody is looking. I am never going to encourage you to wager for that. If you want to take a pass no problem but there is only one side here.
Betting Advice: Take Gonzaga.
Houston Cougars (#6) vs. Tulane Green Wave, ESPN, 9:00 PM ET
Spread: Houston -17.5 (-106), Tulane +17.5 (-114)
Total: Over 126.5 (-112), Under 126.5 (-108)
Money Line: Houston -4000, Tulane +1500
The Cougars have just one loss on the season, by a point. They seem unlikely to lose against in the AAC so it all comes down to how much are they going to win by. Houston is an interesting team because they don’t play anyone over 6’8”. That lack of size has not prevented them from being the best defensive team in the country, giving up 56ppg. These teams met about three weeks ago and Houston took care of business winning by 21 at home. Tulane only scored 50 points in the loss. They are going to have to get a lot more than that to be competitive but I just don’t see it. Houston can have an off shooting day and still win by double digits.
Betting Advice: Take Houston.
They may not feature ranked teams but the PAC 12 has a small slate today with half the league in action. They are always playing with the schedule so we actually get some action early. Below are some quick hitters and games to consider to round out your card.
Oregon State Beavers vs. USC Trojans
5:15 PM ET
USC is 8-1 at home so a win seems pretty solid. The Beavers have been surprising teams on occasion but USC is the roster with an NBA lottery pick. I would rather lean that way tonight.
Betting Advice: Take USC -11.5.
Stanford Cardinal vs. Arizona Wildcats
10:15 PM ET
This number has gone up a full two points since opening. That creates even more value for the visitors who have momentum after dealing UCLA their first league loss of the season. Arizona has a nice record but they are not at the talent level of the recent past and have no motivation due to self-imposed sanctions.
Betting Advice: Take Stanford +8.5
Cal Bears vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
11:00 PM ET
ASU has been a disaster this season, I didn’t realize how bad until I looked at the standings. They are in last in the PAC 12 and have just one win, Cal has 2. Nevertheless, they have the better roster by far so I am going to the well one final time with the Sun Devils. It doesn't taste good but medicine never does.
Betting Advice: Take Arizona State -7.5