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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives us his picks for a big Thursday in college hoops

PICK OF THE DAY: (**2u) Purdue Boilermakers -7 @ -110**

Indiana Hoosiers @ Purdue Boilermakers, 7:00 PM:

  •  The Boilermakers have won each of the last six meetings with Indiana.
  •  Purdue has won 11 consecutive Thursday games at home. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we’re backing Purdue

The Purdue Boilermakers (14-14) continued to trend downward as they dropped a fourth consecutive game, losing at home to Michigan 71-63.

Turnovers were the difference for Purdue (12 to 3), who trailed by 15 at halftime before battling back.

Sophomore Trevion Williams came off the bench and led the way with a double-double, scoring a team-high 18 points with 10 rebounds.

Indiana (18-9) picked up a second straight win when taking down the #9 Penn State Nittany Lions 68-60. The Hoosiers’ defense showed up, totaling 15 turnovers, and held Penn State to under 15 percent from three-point range.

Freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis made his presence felt on both ends of the court, totaling a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

These teams squared off earlier in February at Indiana which resulted in the Boilermakers winning 74-62.

In that matchup, Purdue shot nearly 50 percent from the field and three-point range.

With that said, the Boilermakers are known to play much better at home (10-4) and if they shoot anywhere near as good as they did in the first meeting they should cover with no issue.

(1u) Wichita State Shockers -9.5 @ -110

Temple Owls @ Wichita State Shockers, 8:00 PM:

  •  Wichita State has won 16 of the last 18 games at home.
  •  Temple has the second worst ATS record in the American Conference (12-15).

The reason we’re backing Wichita State

Wichita State (20-7) snapped a three-game winning streak on the road, falling short to Cincinnati 67-64.

Sophomore Erik Stevenson filled up the stat sheet by scoring a team-high 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Jaime Echenique added a double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Temple (14-13) suffered an ugly loss on the road to a struggling East Carolina Pirates 67-63. The Owls were sloppy, turning the ball over 15 times and shot 25 percent from three-point range.

Senior Quinton Rose was the lone starter to score in double figures, totaling 15 points with six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

These teams met in Philadelphia back in mid-January which saw the Owls pull off the upset 65-53.

In that matchup, Wichita State was ice cold, shooting under 30 percent from the field and 15 percent from three-point range.

My expectation is a significant bounce back effort at home from the Shockers, especially with them in the mix near the top of the American standings.

(1u) USC Trojans +5 @ -110

Arizona Wildcats @ USC Trojans, 8:00 PM:

  •  USC has the second best ATS record in the PAC-12 (17-11).
  •  The home team has won each of the last six meetings between these teams. 

The reason we’re backing USC

USC (19-9) stumbled on the road for a second consecutive loss when falling to the Utah Utes 79-65.

Freshman Onyeka Okongwu was the lone bright spot and the only starter to score in double figures, totaling a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-11 shooting.

Sophomore Elijah Weaver came off the bench and contributed 13 points including three made three-pointers.

Arizona (19-8) fought tough but snapped a three-game winning streak and suffered a disappointing overtime home loss practically at the buzzer to #14 Oregon 73-72.

Nearly all five of the Wildcat starters scored in double figures, led by the efforts of senior Dylan Smith.

He made 6-of-13 attempts, including four made three-pointers. Freshman Nico Manninon and Zeke Nnaji each added 13 points and senior Stone Gettings contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.

Despite the recent road troubles, USC is a different team at home (11-2) and have been a tough out ATS.

Although Arizona will be looking for a bounce back, my expectation is the Trojans will finally snap out of their funk to pull out the home win outright.


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