- No. 4 Oregon is a 1.5-point road underdog versus Colorado on Thursday (9pm ET, Jan. 2)
- The Ducks have won five straight, including three by 25 points or more
- The Buffaloes have covered in back-to-back games – check our betting prediction below
No. 4 Oregon (11-2. 1-0 away) tips off its Pac-12 schedule Thursday (9pm ET, Jan. 2) in Boulder, versus fellow conference contender Colorado (11-2. 6-1 home).
Both teams enter play riding lengthy winning streaks, but it’s the host Buffaloes that have opened as a small favorite in the Oregon vs Colorado odds.
No. 4 Oregon vs Colorado Odds
|Oregon Ducks||+1.5 (-110)||Over 139.0 (-110)|
|Colorado Buffaloes||-1.5 (-110)||Under 139.0 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 1.
Colorado is off to a slow start against the spread this season, posting a 6-7 record. They’ve managed to cover in back-to-back outings however, and have won four straight overall. They’re 6-1 in the thin Rocky Mountain air, and have outscored their opponents by 64 points in their past two home games.
Oregon meanwhile, is an impressive 10-3 ATS this season, and is a top-10 contender in the NCAA Tournament odds. They’re 4-1 ATS during that span and three of those victories were by 25 points or more. They’ve scored 81 or more points in four of their last five outings, and are a fresh off a 39-point drubbing of Alabama State.
Living Up to the Hype
The Ducks entered this season with lofty expectations and so far they haven’t disappointed. They have wins over three ranked teams and their only two losses are to No. 1 Gonzaga and North Carolina in the Bahamas. They’re absolutely loaded on offense and recently moved inside the AP top-5 for the first time since 2016-17.
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) December 30, 2019
Oregon ranks 17th in points per game and 17th in average point differential. They’re one of only six teams in the nation who shoots at least 49.7% from the floor, and only two programs are more efficient from beyond the arc. Payton Pritchard is responsible for the bulk of the Ducks’ scoring, but he gets plenty of help from upperclassmen Chris Duarte and Anthony Mathis.
.@chrisdu40618717 went OFF.
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) December 29, 2019
If there’s a weakness, it’s at the defensive end where they rank 63rd in defensive efficiency at KenPom. On average they allow 66 points per game, but they’ve done a better job limiting enemy shooters during their winning streak. They’ve held two of their last three opponents below 60 points, and kept Alabama State below 36% shooting from the field. Their defense will be tested Thursday as the Buffaloes have been shooting lights out recently.
It’s Raining Threes in Colorado
Colorado is fresh off tying a school-record with 17 threes in their blowout win over Iona. They shot a season-best 57% from the floor and nine different players splashed a bucket from beyond the arc. Seven Buffaloes reached double figures for the first time in six years and they also recorded a decade-best 26 assists.
.@CUBuffsMBB dropped season-high performance with 99 points in its final non-conference competition.
Next up: Oregon pic.twitter.com/rBnBWAfH3j
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) December 29, 2019
Colorado’s only two blemishes this season came against No. 3 Kansas and a strong Northern Iowa team. They returned every key member of last season’s 23-13 squad, and currently sit on the bubble of the AP top-25. Unlike Oregon, they’re quite strong defensively, ranking 18th in KenPom’s metrics. They limit opponents to below 40% from the field and rank 23rd in points allowed.
Can the Ducks Soar in Thin Air?
This will be the Ducks’ first test at altitude this season and the thin air can wreak havoc on teams not accustomed to dealing with it. Oregon has never won in Boulder, and will immediately head to Utah afterwards for a game on Saturday.
The Colorado-Utah road trip is considered the toughest in the conference and the list of teams that have swept it is incredibly short. I think we can expect the Ducks to struggle on Thursday before rebounding versus the Utes in a game where they’ll be favored.
Pick: Colorado (-1.5)
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