CBB Picks: Eastern Illinois' Under Streak Comes To An End vs. Murray State

There is one trend that stands out among the rest in college basketball.

Eastern Illinois is 14-0 to the under.

That trend ends on Thursday night,

Eastern Illinois and Murray State just played each other on Monday and the game went well under, but there is a different set of circumstances surrounding Thursday's game inside Murray State's home arena.

Murray State's offense has been much better at home and it is not facing a quick turnaround from a draining game against Belmont.

I know the risk I'm taking with one of the biggest under machines in the sport, but I like the spot for the over as well as a few other picks on Thursday's slate.

CBB Thursday Picks

Overall Record: 102-131-1

Winthrop (-3.5) at Presbyterian (6 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Winthrop is sitting in its normal position atop the Big South standings.

The Eagles are starting to cruise in conference play and their Thursday opponent is trending in the wrong direction.

Presbyterian enters on a three-game losing streak and its offense averages 10 fewer points per game than Winthrop.

Winthrop ranks 15th in effective field-goal percentage and 40th in three-point percentage on KenPom. Presbyterian is 346th and 358th in those categories.

The disparity in offense production should show over 40 minutes.

SMU (+6) at Memphis (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

No one should trust Memphis right now.

The Tigers are an absolute mess. They just blew a double-digit advantage and lost on a buzzer beater against East Carolina on Saturday.

Everything that could go wrong has gone south for the Tigers and it does not help that they face a tough opponent in SMU on Thursday.

SMU is 13-4 and it ranks in the Top 25 in defensive effective field-goal and two-point percentage. A win would be massive for SMU's chase of Houston in the AAC title race, but at minimum, the Mustangs should cover against a Memphis team that can't be trusted in any shape right now.

Saint Louis (-2.5) at UMass (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

UMass is in a tailspin at the moment.

The Minutemen are on a four-game losing streak with three losses by eight points or more.

Saint Louis won three of its last four contests and its defense should frustrate UMass for the entirety of the contest. The Billikens give up 66.6 points per game, which 12 fewer than UMass.

Akron at Bowling Green (Over 149.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Bowling Green is 7-0 to the over in its last seven games.

The Falcons average 83.9 points per game and they concede 77.5 points per contest.

Akron ranks 329th in three-point defense on KenPom and that could hurt the Zips against a team that loves to push the tempo.

Bowling Green ranks 12th in adjusted tempo and 18th in average possession length and it should push the pace of Thursday's MAC contest, which will force Akron to play faster than it wants.

Eastern Illinois at Murray State (Over 128.5) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Eastern Illinois' under streak is aided by one of the worst offenses in Division 1.

Eastern Illinois ranks 350th or worse in seven offensive metrics on KenPom. The Panthers average 55.8 points per game, so I'm relying on Murray State to cash this over.

Murray State averaged 86.2 points per game in its five home contests against Division 1 foes. The Racers had over 75 points in four of those games.

The Ohio Valley Conference leader is in a better position to score at a high rate on Thursday because it is at home and has rested legs.

Murray State came into Monday's game with EIU off an emotional win over Belmont on Saturday in which it scored 82 points.

The Racers can easily produce 80-90 points inside their home arena, which would require only 50-60 points out of the visitors.

I'm willing to take the risk on the over because of how prolific Murray State's offense can be at home.

Oakland (-7.5) at Milwaukee (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Oakland has proven itself to be the class of the Horizon League.

The Golden Grizzlies are undefeated in conference play and they covered in each of their last five games.

Milwaukee has been a mess all season long and it just lost by 21 to Oakland two weeks ago. I expect to see a similar result play out on Thursday.

Tennessee State at SE Missouri State (Over 156.5) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

This game falls under the category of two bad teams hopefully playing a high-scoring game.

Tennessee State and SE Missouri State already did that once back on January 8. SEMO won that contest by a 95-84 score.

SEMO ranks 10th in adjusted tempo and 28th in average possession length on KenPom, so at least it is good to put up a ton of shots.

The over is 7-2-1 in the last 10 SEMO games and I expect to see a higher tempo like the first meeting between these Ohio Valley Conference teams.

Montana (-3.5) at Portland State (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Montana's defense should be the difference-maker against Portland State.

The Grizzlies give up 63.2 points per game and Portland State shoots 39.9 percent from the field.

That is a deadly combination for any hopes of Portland State covering, or winning outright.

Montana holds the edge at the free-throw line if it needs to close out a close game. The Grizzlies rank second on KenPom in free-throw percentage.

UC Davis (-4) at Cal State Northridge (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

This is another case where the road favorite has a significant offensive edge.

UC Davis shoots over six percent better from the field than Cal State Northridge and the Aggies score over nine more points per game.

Cal State Northridge ranks 340th or worse in three key offensive metrics on KenPom, so it is hard to trust in many situations.

Arizona at Stanford (+12) (11 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Stanford is 5-1 ATS in its last six games.

The Cardinal impressed at home against USC last week and they should remain competitive with Arizona in a similar situation against one of the top dogs in the Pac-12.

Harrison Ingram has developed well in his freshman year and he will be vital to Stanford's success on both sides of the court.

Stanford likely will not pull off another upset, but it can certainly stick with the Wildcats.

San Francisco at Gonzaga (Over 160) (11 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

Gonzaga scored 110 or more points in each of its last three games.

That alone should draw you to the Over in the Zags' clash with San Francisco.

The Bulldogs and Dons both rank in the Top 10 in two-point percentage on KenPom. San Francisco averages 77.4 points per game, so it can keep up with Gonzaga's pace for at least a half.

Plus, who wants to stay up to watch an 11 p.m. game and bet an under?

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