Thursday has a number of intriguing betting choices for college basketball fans. Check out our quick-hitting notes on all the ranked games and Pac-12 openers.
(2) Michigan at Northwestern (11, 129.5)
The Wolverines are giving opponents headaches with a high-powered offense that's ranked in the Top 10 in field goal percentage, assist-to-turnover ratio, scoring margin and turnovers. Northwestern's leading scorer Reggie Hearn (ankle) and Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. both missed their previous games with ankle injuries. Hearn is expected to play and Hardaway Jr. is a game-time decision. Michigan is 5-1 ATS in its last six road games.
Colorado at (3) Arizona (-11, 140.5)
Arizona completed its non-conference schedule 12-0. The Wildcats look to continue their best start in 25 years when they host Colorado in the Pac-12 opener. The Buffaloes have won four of their past five games, routing Hartford 80-52 Saturday. Junior Andre Roberson is a beast on the backboards, averaging 12.1 rebounds to rank third nationally. Ranked earlier in the season, Colorado could leap back into the Top 25 by upsetting the Wildcats. The under is 10-0-1 in Arizona’s last 11 games overall.
(10) Gonzaga at Pepperdine (15.5)
Gonzaga carries a four-game win streak into its WCC opener at Pepperdine. The Bulldogs have won 22 straight against the Waves, who are coming off a one-point win over Division II Fresno Pacific Friday. The Waves' eight non-conference wins to begin the year represent their highest total since the 2004-05 season, but the latest one was not pretty, as Lorne Jackson's layup with 3.5 seconds left helped Pepperdine survive Fresno Pacific's upset bid. Pepperdine is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games.
Chicago St. at (24) UNLV (-31.5)
UNLV had a nine-game win streak snapped by North Carolina, but should have an easy time starting a new one when it hosts Chicago State. The Cougars are just 1-10 SU on the road and the lone victory came when they defeated Toledo Monday. Chicago State takes more than 21 3-point shots per game and makes 35 percent. UNLV holds opponents to 28.7 percent shooting from behind the arc. The Runnin' Rebels are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
Stanford at USC (2.5, 126)
The Trojans are the only team in the Pac-12 with a losing record, and they’ll face a Cardinal team that has won five of its last six games. Southern California has held opponents to an average of 53 points over the last four games after surrendering an average of 67.9 in the first nine games. The under is 6-0 in the last six meetings between the schools.
California at UCLA (-7.5, 152)
Two teams seemingly headed in different directions meet when UCLA opens Pac-12 play by hosting California. The Bruins have won five in a row, including a 97-94 overtime victory over then-No. 7 Missouri Friday. After starting the season 6-0, California has lost four of its last six games. The Bruins lead the conference in scoring at 80.9 points, while California averages 71.5. The Bears were down three players in their last game against Harvard, but they could get two of them back in time for the conference opener. Senior guard Brandon Smith sat out with a concussion, and sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow missed his eighth contest with an injured ankle. Both will be game-time decisions against UCLA. Sophomore forward Christian Behrens tore his ACL last week and is out for the season. The Golden Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall.