With Thursday Night Football being done for the year, there aren’t many sporting events to take up your Thursday evening. Thankfully, we have some of the best teams in college basketball playing this Thursday.
We have around a month left of the regular season, and there are only so many seats available for the NCAA Tournament. Some teams are going to be dancing at home, and we are running out of time to see who will make a final push to reach the big dance.
With conference play continuing, there are plenty of chances for teams to earn some brownie points with the selection committee for the NCAA Tournament. Quadrant 1 wins go a long way, and there are certainly some games that fit the bill this Thursday.
So, what are the best games for our NCAAB picks today? Here are three to watch out for.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Thursday, February 9, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Mackey Arena
Purdue has been a great team all season, and they are specifically elite when they play at home. Zach Edey is the best player in college basketball right now, and his size is nearly impossible to stop in the paint.
However, Purdue is coming off of a loss against Indiana. The Boilermakers’ defense could not keep up against the Hoosiers, and Purdue is now looking to bounce back after an incredibly disappointing performance on the road.
Purdue’s defense will need to sort things out quickly if they want to cover the spread against Iowa. This is a fast-paced offense that will want to turn this game into a track meet.
Iowa doesn’t have the size to stop Edey, but they can hope to wear him down with a potent offense and double teams throughout the game. This is all great, but is it enough to cover the spread?
It’s hard to see Purdue losing two straight games, but I don’t feel great about the spread at the best sportsbooks. Instead, give me the over. Purdue’s defense showed an inability to stop Indiana, and I think that Iowa learned how to exploit the Boilermakers from that game.
Also, Iowa lacks the size to stop Edey consistently. He should be able to feast on offense, turning this into a barn burner.
NCAAB Pick: Over 149.5 (-110) at FanDuel
UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon State Beavers
Thursday, February 9, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Gill Coliseum
When you look at this game on paper, it’s easy to just assume that UCLA will run away with it. After all, UCLA has a shot to be a one-seed, and Oregon State is not projected to make the NCAA Tournament.
However, that is exactly why I like the Beavers to cover. This team is desperate for a statement win, and playing at home against the best team in the conference is a great place to get one. Oregon State has eight of its nine wins at home this season, and UCLA might be too confident in this one.
Now, in no way am I predicting UCLA to lose this game. However, I do like the pick of Oregon State at least covering the spread. This spread will be massive due to the gap in talent.
The Beavers don’t have a great offense, so this will come down to defense. If they can force mistakes from UCLA and turn them into easy points, they have a chance of keeping this one close.
NCAAB Pick: Oregon State +15 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks
Thursday, February 9, 2023 – 11:00 PM EST at Matthew Knight Arena
We have another interesting Pac-12 matchup to watch on Thursday night. This one is between two teams who are currently in the bubble. USC is on the inside looking out, and Oregon has a bit of catching up to do.
Now, there is plenty of basketball left to be played. There is a solid chance that both of these teams make the NCAA Tournament. Still, this is a great opportunity for both teams to boost the resume late in the season.
USC has won four straight games, but they haven’t played on the road since January 21. Because of this, give me the Ducks to cover the spread and take one step closer to reaching the NCAA Tournament.
NCAAB Pick: Oregon -4.5 (-110) at BetMGM