Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM
Thursday's Tip Sheet
The first Thursday of the New Year offers a full slate of college basketball games highlighted by a trio of nationally ranked teams.
In the Big Ten, Illinois will be on the road against No. 14 Michigan State. Closely following that game is an Atlantic 10 tip off between No. 20 Dayton and La Salle. Out west in the Pac-12, No. 4 Oregon looks to stay hot in a road game against Colorado.
Illinois at No. 14 Michigan State (FS1, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Michigan State -11, Total 147
One of Illinois’ biggest straight-up victories this season was against Michigan in a 71-62 win on Dec. 11 as a slight 1 ½-point home favorite. This followed a tough 59-58 road loss to Maryland as a 10-point underdog in early Big Ten play. The fighting Illini are 9-4 SU with a 6-5-1 record against the spread in 12 previous games.
In their last outing against North Carolina A&T, center Kofi Cockburn posted a career-high 26 points. Illinois went on to win 95-64 as a 25 ½-point home favorite.
Michigan State won its two early Big Ten games against Rutgers and home and Northwestern on the road but it failed to cover as a double-digit favorite in each contest. The Spartans have won their last five games as part of a SU mark of 10-3. They have failed to cover ATS in eight of the 13 games and the total has also gone OVER in eight outings.
All-American guard Cassius Winston missed his last start with a knee injury. He remains questionable for Thursday.
-- The Fighting Illini are 2-4 ATS in their last six January games. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five conference games.
-- The Spartans have won 10 of their last 11 home games SU and the total has stayed UNDER in their last six January games.
-- Michigan State has a 4-2 edge both SU and ATS in its last six games against Illinois. The total has stayed UNDER in nine of the last 10 meetings in Michigan State.
No. 20 Dayton at La Salle (CBSSN, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Dayton -1, Total 138.5
Dayton opens conference play as the only nationally ranked team in the Atlantic 10. The Flyers are 11-2 SU. The two losses were to Kansas by six points as a four-point underdog and to Colorado by two points as a six-point favorite. They are 7-5-1 ATS after failing to cover in three of their last four contests. The total has stayed UNDER in four of Dayton’s last five games.
Forward Obi Toppin scored a career-high 31 points on multiple dunks and layups in Monday’s romp of North Florida.
The Explorers moved their SU winning streak to five games with Saturday’s 71-59 win against Bucknell as part of a SU 9-3 mark this season. They have been one of the best betting teams in the nation at 10-2 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in their last three games and in seven of 12 games this season.
La Salle has a trio of players averaging at least 10 points a game. This is part of a 71.8-point scoring average.
-- The Flyers have covered in four of their last five road games and they are 5-2 ATS in their last seven A-10 games.
-- The Explorers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games with the total staying UNDER in four of their last five conference games.
-- La Salle has the 4-2 edge ATS in the last six meetings and the total stayed UNDER in five of its last six home games against the Flyers.
No. 4 Oregon at Colorado (ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Colorado -1.5, Total 139
Back-to-back losses to Gonzaga and North Carolina at the end of November were Oregon’s only two SU losses this season along with 11 victories. It has covered in four of its last five games to improve to 10-3 ATS on the year. The total has gone OVER in six of the Ducks’ last seven contests.
In Sunday’s 98-59 rout over Alabama State, Chris Duarte put up a season’s best 31 points. Senior guard Payton Pritchard is Oregon’s leading scorer with 18.5 points per game.
The Buffaloes beat Iona 99-54 as 16-point home favorites to go 11-2 SU in their first 13 games. The first win was a 81-71 victory over Arizona State as 5 ½-point favorites in an early Pac-12 matchup. Colorado has covered in three of its last four games after going 2-6-1 ATS in its first nine games. The total has gone OVER in five of its last seven outings.
The Buffaloes are well down the list in scoring with 71.8 PPG but they jump all the way to 26th in the nation in points allowed (60.5).
-- The Ducks have posted a highly profitable 17-3 record ATS over their past 20 games. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven road games.
-- The Buffaloes are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played in January and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five Pac-12 games.
-- Colorado has won its last six home games against Oregon SU and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the last five meetings overall.