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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez tells us which college hoops teams he's backing on Thursday

BET OF THE DAY: (2u) Arizona State Sun Devils -6.5 @ -110

Washington Huskies @ Arizona State Sun Devils, 9:00 PM:

  •  Arizona State has won 4 of the last 5 meetings with Washington
  •  Washington has lost each of the last eight night games. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we’re backing Arizona State

Arizona State (19-10) was swept on their two-game California road trip, losing to both UCLA and then most recently USC 71-61.

The Sun Devils were ice-cold, shooting 33 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range.

Team-leading scorer Remy Martin did what he could to keep the game close, scoring a team-high 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting.

Rob Edwards was the only other Sun Devil to score in double figures, adding 10 points with four rebounds and four steals. 

Washington (13-16) fell back into the losing column and lost for the ninth time in the last 10 games, falling to Washington State 78-74.

The Huskies leaned on the three-ball and it cost them, shooting 18 percent from beyond arc.

Jaden McDaniels scored a team-high 19 points with six rebounds, and Isaiah Stewart added a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

These teams met in Washington in early February which resulted in Arizona State winning 87-83. In that matchup, five Sun Devils scored in double figures.

Although Arizona State is in a current slump, the Sun Devils have been a tough out at home (12-2) and I like them to repeat the offensive success against Washington and cover the spread at home.

(1u) Ohio State Buckeyes -6.5 @ -110

#23 Illinois Fighting Illini @ #19 Ohio State Buckeyes, 7:00 PM:

  •  Ohio State has won 8 of the last 10 meetings with Illinois
  •  Ohio State has won each of the last eight home games following a win

The reason we’re backing Ohio State

#19 Ohio State (20-9) picked up a third straight win with a commanding victory over rival #25 Michigan 77-63.

The Buckeyes were lights out as all five starters scored in double figures while shooting 47 percent from the field and over 50 percent from three-point range.

Duane Washington Jr. led the way with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range while Kaleb and Andre Wesson each added 14 points.

#23 Illinois (20-9) edged out a fourth straight win, defeating Indiana 67-66.

The Fighting Illini were led by the efforts of three players - Ayo Dosunmu, Andres Feliz and Kofi Cockburn.

Dosunmu scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting while Feliz and Cockburn each had 15 points - Feliz totaled seven rebounds, four assists and three steals and Cockburn added six blocks and five rebounds.

The Fighting Illini sit only a half game out of first place in the Big Ten standings which makes this a crucial must-win for Illinois.

Yet, with that said, the Buckeyes have been stout at home (15-2) while the Fighting Illini have been up-and-down on the road (6-5).

This game will surely be back-and-forth down to the closing minutes but my lean is towards the home Buckeyes to pull off the win.

(1u) Memphis Tigers -1.5 @ -110

Wichita State Shockers @ Memphis Tigers, 7:00 PM:

  •  Memphis has won each of the last 12 night home games.

The reason we’re backing Memphis

Memphis (20-9) got back on track on the road and avoided the near upset with a 74-67 overtime win over Tulane.

The Tigers defense showed up big, holding the Green Wave to shoot 28 percent from the field and 13 percent from three-point range.

Precious Achiuwa went off for a monster double-double 22 points with 22 rebounds and five blocks. Tyler Harris came off the bench and contributed 12 points and six rebounds.

Wichita State (22-7) pulled off the road upset and won a second straight game, outlasting SMU 66-62.

Dexter Dennis and Grant Sherfield were the lone players to score in double figures, but those proved to be enough.

Dennis was on fire, knocking down 7-of-14 three-point attempts for a game-high 25 points and eight rebounds. Sherfield came off the bench and added 14 points with six assists.

These teams met back in early January as Wichita State played a stellar defensive game and pulled off the home win 76-67.

The Shockers are going to need another top-notch defensive game in order to pull out the road win, but that’ll be tough to do against the Tigers who average 72.7 ppg.

My expectation is the game will open as back-and-forth in the first half, but Memphis will pull away late down the stretch.


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