There are five ranked programs in action on Thursday’s college basketball schedule, but one of the more underrated contests lies in the West Coast Conference — with San Francisco taking on BYU for the second time this season. Let’s dive into my college basketball best bets for this matchup.
Click on the odds below to place a bet.
In this COVID era, some of these wagers are contingent on player availability, so check back and follow me on Twitter. Continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect all of the games.
San Francisco Dons at BYU Cougars
BYU opened as a 2.5-point favorite after closing as a four-point underdog in the first affair versus San Francisco. Even if you account for the Cougars possessing more of a home-court edge than the traditional school, that spread was a bit inflated.
On Jan. 15, the Dons held a 10-point cushion with 13:34 left before coughing up their third straight loss to their in-conference foe. The deciding factor was Todd Golden’s group shooting 3-of-23 from behind the arc.
Nevertheless, Mark Pope’s bunch surrenders open 3-pointers on 40.0% of their opponents’ looks (via ShotQuality).
With BYU’s perimeter defense expected to regress in the wrong direction, San Francisco just needs some efficiency in that department.
Moreover, the Dons present a healthy size advantage, led by San Diego transfer Yauhen Massalski. They’re even generating the second-highest offensive rebounding rate in WCC play. If their prowess on the glass carries over, they’ll be in position to control the pace.
Pair that with BYU’s turnover issues, and USF’s pressure defense should set up its fair share of transition opportunities too.
Considering the Cougars are coming off consecutive losses, it represents a motivational spot for the home squad — especially with Gonzaga on deck. But keep in mind, this duel is massive for both teams’ at-large hopes, with the Dons dropping three of their last five games.
If you weren’t able to grab the opening line, aim for a live bet instead.
College Basketball Best Bets: USF +2.5 (-110; placed on Wednesday night)
Best Available Line: USF