The Oregon Ducks beat the BYU Cougars in a wild contest back in December, so the Cougars will be looking for revenge on Thursday night when the schools meet again in West Region action at the NCAA tournament.
Lots of early money went behind the Ducks, who have been money makers lately with an 8-2-1 against-the-spread run.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Ducks opened as two-point favorites, but the line was up to -5.5 by Tuesday. The total was hovering around 158. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick BYU to cover the spread
After missing the NCAA tournament last year, the No. 10 Cougars are back, earning an at-large bid by playing a tough nonconference schedule and going 13-5 in the West Coast Conference. BYU owns wins this season over Stanford, Texas and Gonzaga, and six of its losses have come against tournament qualifiers Iowa State, Wichita State, UMass, Oregon and the Zags.
The Cougars have won 10 of their last 12 games, and in a pinch, they've got a kid in Tyler Haws (23 PPG) who can throw it in the hole from almost anywhere.
Why pick Oregon to cover the spread
After making it to the Sweet 16 last year, the No. 7 Ducks are back looking for more, earning an at-large berth by going 13-1 in nonconference play and 10-8 in a tough Pac-12. Oregon started 13-0, lost eight of 10, then won eight in a row before falling to UCLA in the conference tournament. The Ducks start three seniors and have 10 guys averaging at least 10 minutes per game.
As usual, Oregon likes to shoot it often and has made enough to average 82 points per game. The Ducks have also been beating expectations lately, going 8-2-1 ATS over their last 11 games. BYU, meanwhile, has struggled to cash in at tournament time.
Smart betting pick
Oregon beat BYU back in December in Eugene 100-96 in overtime, and the Ducks are favored for Thursday's game. The Cougars suffered a blow when guard Kyle Collinsworth, who averaged 14 points and eight boards per game this season and tallied 15 and five in the loss to Oregon, went down and out with a knee injury in the conference championship game.
His absence will be felt. Take the Ducks, minus the points.
BYU Cougars: No. 60
Oregon Ducks: No. 21 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Oregon 8-2-1 ATS past 11 games
- OVER is 5-1 past six Duck tournament games
- BYU ended year on 10-2 SU run
- BYU 1-7-1 ATS in first-round games since 2001