Home » College Basketball Betting Picks for Thursday 2/8/24

College Basketball Betting Picks for Thursday 2/8/24

The college basketball season always provides a flurry of twists and turns that few saw coming — especially when March Madness comes around. This can make college basketball one of the most challenging sports to bet on.

Fortunately, we have plenty of tools available that can aid our chances of taking the most favorable college basketball bets. Bart Torvik and KenPom are excellent sources that give insights into team-level efficiency, and Sports Reference provides a wide range of useful team stats, as well.

Let’s check out FanDuel Sportsbook’s college basketball odds and select some of the best bets of the day by utilizing the mentioned tools.

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

College Basketball Best Bets

No. 8 Arizona at Utah

Utah +5.5 (-114)

There aren’t a ton of high-profile games tonight, but I do see value in the Pac-12.

That starts with the Arizona Wildcats versus the Utah Utes, where I like the Utes to cover as 5.5-point home underdogs.

Utah would make the NCAA Tournament if it started today, but they aren’t a lock by any means. A Quad 1 win against the conference’s top team would go a long way toward solidifying their spot in the big dance.

Thankfully for Utah, they get the Wildcats at home. The Utes have been a completely different team at the Huntsman Center. In Pac-12 play, Utah is a perfect 6-0 at home but 0-5 on the road.

One of those losses came in an earlier bout with Arizona. The Wildcats took that one, 92-73, thanks to a dominant second half. Arizona shot 60% overall and 56% from three in the first matchup, and they out-rebounded Utah by 18.

However, Utah was only down three points at half, so I’m optimistic they can keep things close for the full 40 minutes tonight.

Arizona has only three conference losses, but they’ve all come on the road. They shot under 30% from beyond the arc in all three of those losses, so Utah’s perimeter D figures to be a key factor tonight.

Utah has struggled to defend the three in conference play, but they’ve done a better job at home. Pac-12 opponents are shooting just 31% from deep when they visit Salt Lake City. That instills some confidence that Utah will do a better job defending outside shots in tonight’s rematch.

On the flip side, Utah should shoot better from deep this time around. Though they made just 10-of-35 threes in the earlier matchup, the Utes average the second-most threes per game in conference play. In total, 39% of their buckets have come from deep — third in the Pac-12, according to Bart Torvik.

Arizona, meanwhile, has allowed the threes at a high clip in Pac-12 play. Nearly 40% of opponents’ baskets have come from beyond the arc, the second-highest rate in the conference.

I’d expect both sides to level out from distance tonight. Based on the first half of their earlier matchup, that should keep things close.

Bart Torvik has Arizona by 2.9 here, but our numberFire model is even higher on the Utes, projecting Arizona to win by less than a full point. Both are well within this 5.5-point line, so I’ll back the models and count on some three-point regression, culminating in Utah covering +5.5.

Washington at Oregon

Washington +7.5 (-102)

I’m backing another Pac-12 underdog here, though it’s a bit scarier with the Washington Huskies on the road against the Oregon Ducks. While the Ducks beat the Huskies by two last month, Washington played well enough to consider them as 7.5-point underdogs in tonight’s rematch.

Washington and Oregon were pretty even across the board in that first matchup. They were practically even on the glass (33 to 30 in favor of Oregon) and in the turnover department (Washington had 13; Oregon had 11). Washington did shoot better from three (42% to 33%) and got to the line more (22 attempts to 13), but they missed ten free throws. That’s a surefire way to lose a one-possession game.

Still, neither side led by more than seven points in the first game, so I’m expecting another tightly contested game tonight.

Washington may be just 4-7 in Pac-12 play, but their average scoring margin is only -0.4. Five of their seven losses came by fewer than 10 points, so it’s not like they’re getting run off the floor.

Oregon is 7-4, but their average margin of victory is only 1.7 points. They’re just fifth in scoring offense and seventh in scoring defense. Just three of their seven wins came by eight or more points, two of which were against last-place USC.

Washington boasts the second-highest scoring offense in the conference, so they should have the firepower to hang with Oregon. They’re also 17th nationally in second-half scoring, allowing room for a backdoor cover if need be.

Analytically, these teams are much more evenly matched than this line shows, and they went back and forth throughout the first matchup. That gives me confidence in the Huskies to cover as 7.5-point underdogs.

Looking for more college basketball betting opportunities? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to check out all of the upcoming college basketball odds.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.