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Can Oregon State Successfully Exploit a Potential Oregon Letdown?

Oregon State is arguably the hottest team in college basketball as the Ducks enter the Pac-12 Conference Tournament riding a seven game winning streak, including a huge upset over Arizona to end the regular season. Oregon is 22-8 SU and 17-11 ATS this season, including closing out the regular season on a 5-0 SU and 4-0 ATS run, but these “hot” teams are often times the best ones to fade in postseason play.  The reason for investing against these surging squads is twofold: (1) the oddsmakers are forced to overvalue these teams based upon public perception, and (2) the “hot” team usually takes a collective breath after such a great finish to the regular season, thereby falling into an inevitable letdown situation in postseason play.

There is no question that Oregon is the superior team as the Ducks are 12.6 points per game better than average offensively (82.3 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 69.7 points per game) and 0.7 points per game worse than average defensively (73.7 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.0 points per game).  Oregon State’s only chance in this game is to maximize its efficiency on the offensive end of the floor. The Beavers are averaging 75.3 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 70.7 points per game, including shooting 48.2% from the field and 39.2% from beyond the arc.  Those offensive numbers are good enough to exploit a subpar Oregon defense that is 0.7 points per game worse than average.  In fact, the Beavers possess a 5.3 points per game advantage offensively over Oregon’s defense.

The problem for Oregon State, however, is its mediocre defense that is 1.3 points per game worse than average (74.5 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.2 points per game). The Beavers are also yielding 76.6 points per game on the road so there is ample evidence that Oregon will match and/or exceed its season points per game average (82.3).  The technical analysis also favors Oregon as the Ducks are 12-2 ATS in March, 13-3 ATS after covering the spread, 13-6 ATS following a win and 9-1 ATS in all tournament games.  With that said, sports bettors should not discount the fact that Oregon State owns impressive wins over Maryland (90-83), Stanford (81-72), Oregon (80-72), UCLA (71-67) and Arizona State (78-76) this season so the Beavers are more than capable of competing (and possibly defeating) the Ducks in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.

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