The game of the night in college basketball takes place on the west coast.
UCLA-Arizona will be a fantastic game, but I can't get a good read on either side or the total for the Pac-12 clash.
Instead of forcing a pick there, I went back to two west coast teams that I have had success betting on over the last few weeks.
Stanford and Wyoming sit in favorable spots at home to bet them on the money line. Stanford is an underdog, while Wyoming is a very short favorite for its clash with Boise State.
On top of those games, I'm introducing a fun little quirk of betting against some of the worst teams in the sport.
Thursday CBB Picks
Overall Record: 149-177-1 (4-3 Wednesday)
St. John's at Georgetown (Over 158) (6 p.m. ET, FS1)
St. John's-Georgetown is a water finds its level type game.
The Red Storm and Hoyas are in the bottom half of the Big East standings and they get to play an opponent at a similar level as them on Thursday.
Both teams like to push the pace and we should see a lot of points because of that. St. John's ranks fourth in adjusted tempo on KenPom, while Georgetown is 47th.
St. John's and Georgetown both average over 72 points per game and concede above 74 points per contest.
Western Kentucky at Charlotte (Over 140.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Western Kentucky is on a free fall of a five-game losing streak.
The Hilltoppers scored over 80 points in two of their last three losses, but they did not get enough stops to win those contests.
WKU and Charlotte share something in common that will aid the over. Both teams rank inside the Top 100 in three-point offense and in the bottom 50 in three-point defense on KenPom.
The hope here is the below average defenses show up and let the three-point offenses take over.
Bryant (-1.5) at St. Francis (PA) (7 p.m. ET)
This line makes no sense to me.
Bryant is 9-0 in the Northeast Conference and it covered in each of its last five games.
St. Francis (PA) averages seven fewer points per game and close to six fewer rebounds per contest than the Bulldogs.
The NEC leader should control the contest and easily cover the spread.
James Madison (+106) at Northeastern (7 p.m. ET)
Northeastern is a bad basketball team.
The Huskies are 0-10 in the CAA and they average just 64.9 points per game.
James Madison averages 14 more points per contest. That alone should lean you in the direction of the Dukes.
Youngstown State (-12.5) at IUPUI (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Add IUPUI to the list of "Really Bad Teams That I'm Fading" today.
IUPUI has not scored more than 55 points in each of its last five games and it has covered once in its last six instances as a double-digit underdog.
Youngstown State averages over 20 more points per game and shoots seven percent better from the field. I'm willing to run with the Penguins and the high point spread because of that.
UNC Wilmington (-1.5) at Elon (7 p.m. ET)
UNC Wilmington is 9-0 in the CAA, but it has been undervalued by the books over the last few weeks.
The Seahawks have either been an underdog, or a short favorite, for most of their CAA games and that has turned them into a covering machine.
UNCW faces an Elon team that lost three of its last four games and lost to the Seahawks by seven in their first meeting. UNCW is the better team and I'm willing to ride with it until it loses in the CAA.
Western Michigan at Central Michigan (-2.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Central Michigan is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight games. Most of those covers occurred as an underdog.
The Chippewas are in a rare favorite role on Thursday against a Western Michigan team that has not won in MAC play.
The Broncos rank 352nd in defensive adjusted efficiency and they just suffered double-digit defeats to Ball State and Northern Illinois, who reside in the middle of the MAC standings.
Central Michigan just beat a solid Bowling Green team on Tuesday and it should benefit from the confidence gained from that game to beat the worst team in the MAC.
UL Monroe at Arkansas State (-7.5) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
UL Monroe comes into Thursday on a four-game losing streak in which it has not scored more than 65 points in a single game.
Arkansas State reached the 70-point mark in three of its last four wins, including a 90-83 triumph in Monroe on January 8.
ULM ranks beneath 300th in four defensive metrics on KenPom and it allows over six more points per game than Arkansas State.
I'm willing to take the in-form home team over a road side struggling to get anything going on the offensive end.
SE Louisiana at McNeese (Over 151.5) (8:30 p.m. ET)
SE Louisiana and McNeese both rank inside the Top 70 in adjusted tempo on KenPom.
McNeese is 4-1 to the over in the last five game and both teams average over 76 points per game.
Neither defense is great. Both defensive units give up over 73 points per game.
If the two teams do not play a ton of defense and the pace remains the same, the over should hit.
Washington State at Stanford (+125) (9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)
Stanford is one of my favorite teams in the middle of the Pac-12.
The Cardinal have two wins over USC, a nonconference victory over Wyoming and some decent wins over the rest of the Pac-12.
Washington State is on a three-game winning streak, but those victories came against Colorado, Utah and Cal, who are some of the worst teams in the league.
The Cougars lost to Stanford at home on January 13 and they could struggle in a rare road environment. Wazzu played four true road games this season.
Boise State at Wyoming (-104) (9 p.m. ET)
I love what Wyoming is doing and it has a chance to further better its resume at home against Boise State.
The Cowboys just beat Colorado State at home and only lost by three points to Boise State on the road on January 25.
Wyoming should use that loss as motivation to come away with a home win inside what is one of the most underrated environments in college hoops in Laramie.
Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara (-8.5) (9 p.m. ET)
Loyola Marymount does not have the offensive firepower to keep up with Santa Clara.
Loyola Marymount scored 65 points or less in its last three games, all of which were losses.
Santa Clara plays at a much faster tempo. The Broncos are 19th in adjusted tempo on KenPom, while LMU ranks 231st.
Santa Clara averages 10 more points per game and shoots a full four percent from the field better than Loyola. This feels like the perfect spot to take Santa Clara in its home arena.
CSU Bakersfield at Long Beach State (-5.5) (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Long Beach State is 6-0 ATS in its last six games.
On Thursday, LBSU faces a CSU Bakersfield team that lost five of its last six games outright and plays at a much slower pace.
There are 279 places between LBSU and Bakersfield in the adjusted tempo rankings on KenPom. LBSU also won its three Big West home games by six points or more.