College Basketball Best Bets for Thursday: Blue and Maize and Scarlet All Over

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NCAAB Pick: Over 133 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 133 (-110)
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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights don’t usually cash in the Over, but the Michigan Wolverines make this the right NCAAB pick for Thursday.

Now, this is more like it. Yesterday’s college basketball picks were all about the favorites here at the ranch; today, it’s back to those delicious totals. Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

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Michigan Wolverines vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 08:30 PM EST at Jersey Mike’s Arena

The Big Ten may be the cradle of college hoops, but it feels like the standings got thrown in a blender this year. Michigan (Over 15-12) and Rutgers (Under 16-11) are both stuck in the middle at 9-7 in conference play, but the Wolverines are clearly the worse of the two, and their porous defense makes Over 133 the right choice on the NCAAB odds board at BetOnline.

Isn’t Rutgers Too Good on Defense?

They are undoubtedly very good: fourth in the nation according to Ken Pomeroy’s advanced stats. Combine that with the No. 140-ranked offense in Division I, and a somewhat slow 66.6 possessions per game (No. 237), and you can see why Rutgers has been cashing in the Under this year.

Have no fear; Michigan’s No. 72 defense is here. It’s been a season to forget for the Wolverines, and their No. 37-ranked offense isn’t ideal for our pick, but at least Michigan still has some bounce in their step at No. 142 in Adjusted Tempo (68.4 possessions per game).

If this were a closer matchup with a bigger threat of overtime, we might recommend more than a fun-sized bet, but the Knights (-6) project to win Thursday’s game 70-64 or thereabouts. Enjoy the NIT, Michigan. You’ve earned it.

NCAAB Pick: Over 133 (-110) at BetOnline

Pacific Tigers vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at University Credit Union Pavilion

Now, here’s a total bet we can sink our teeth into and maybe even two units of our bankroll. Never mind that Saint Mary’s has split their totals at 14-14, and Pacific has the Over at 15-12; this matchup screams “Under 136.5” with that -105 juice at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review).

How Good Is Saint Mary’s?

Outstanding. They’re No. 8 overall (No. 34 offense, No. 6 defense) on the Pomeroy charts, way better than their No. 15 spot on the AP poll. And not only do the Gaels have the offense/defense imbalance we want in an Under bet, but they’re also one of the slowest teams in the country at 62.0 possessions per game (No. 360).

Granted, the Tigers (No. 107 offense, No. 278 defense, No. 62 tempo) are pretty much the opposite of what we’re looking for in a dance partner. However, the one thing they’re great at on offense is 3-point shooting, and the Gaels are lockdown defenders behind the arc, ranking No. 11 overall in made threes allowed (5.4 per game) and attempts allowed (16.7).

NCAAB Pick: Under 136.5 (-105) at Bookmaker

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Under 136.5 (-105)
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USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at CU Events Center

It feels like we’re back in the Big Ten for our finale. The Trojans (Over 14-13) will make the move from the Pac-12 in 2024; Colorado (Under 16-12) might join them before too long, but not before they go Over 140.5 this Thursday night, if the projections we’re looking at are suitably prescient.

Will USC Make the Tournament?

It’s very close. Joe Lunardi has the Trojans among the Last Four In according to his latest Bracketology report at ESPN. They “deserve” to make it as the No. 47 overall team (No. 52 offense, No. 57 defense) on the Pomeroy charts.

No. 52 Colorado (No. 136 offense, No. 18 defense) should be there as well, but it looks like they’re joining Michigan in the Not In Tournament. Their defensive prowess makes the Over worth only a slight lean here, but the Buffs do get in 69.8 possessions per game (No. 72) and they project to win this matchup 72 to 69-70, so bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.

NCAAB Pick: Over 140.5 (-110) at Bookmaker

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Over 140.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.