Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/30/11
College Basketball Betting – Cougars, Ducks Open Up Pac-12 Slate In Pullman

While most NCAA football fans are engrossed in bowl season, hoops fans are starting to see teams begin the conference portion of their schedule and on Thursday, the Pac-12 opens up with Oregon heading to Washington State, and both teams are out to prove they’ll be dangerous this season.

Oregon Washington State Odds – Thursday, 9:00 PM ET

The Ducks (9-3) have now won three in a row after a 55-45 win over Stephen F. Austin, although a Bodog review of this game would point to the fact that both teams were playing in their third game in three nights because of the Global Sports Hoops Classic. E.J. Singler was the high man with 12 points, while Devoe Joseph was next with 10 points and eight boards for the Ducks, who shot 41.9% from the field, but held their opponents to 36.5%. Oregon also had a sizeable advantage at the foul line, going 14-of-23 while Stephen F. Austin was just 6-of-9. If you’re a player that uses bookie software, you may not have run across Oregon in terms of odds to win the Pac-12, and this will be a decent test for the Ducks.

The Cougars (8-4) extended their winning streak to six games with a 67-56 win at home against Pepperdine, although this wasn’t technically a home game as it was played in Seattle. Still, most players that use price per head systems will tell you that if you play close to your campus, it’s a home game and Pullman is close enough to Seattle. Faisal Aden came off the bench to notch 17 points, while DaVonte Lacy had 15 points for the Cougars, and like Oregon, they didn’t shoot well against their opponents (40.4%), but they did better than their opponents (Pepperdine shot 35.6% from the field). Washington State usually shoots better than that, and they’ll look to improve on Thursday night.

Washington State should be the home favorites in this intriguing Pac-12 encounter, but it is Oregon who is 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five meetings with the Cougars, with the last two falling under the posted total. However, the Cougars are 3-1 SU and ATS in their last four at home against the Ducks, and they should be your choice on Thursday night. Washington State takes better shots than Oregon and that will come into play in a meeting of two teams that don’t generally score a lot of points. Washington State is a patient team that passes the ball around until they find the shot they like, and that will serve them well as they open the conference portion of their schedule with a bang. Take Washington in Thursday’s college basketball betting picks.
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