CBB Picks: Bank on Middle Tennessee to keep covering streak rolling

Middle Tennessee State is your favorite gambler's favorite college basketball team.

The Blue Raiders hold the best record against the spread in Division 1 and they can pick up their 20th ATS victory on Thursday night against Marshall.

MTSU comes into Thursday with a five-game covering streak and it should be in a good position to make some more money for everyone.

MTSU is one of a few in-form mid-major teams that have my attention on a loaded slate that is heavy with west coast games.

Let's see if I can keep the hot streak rolling from the last two nights.

Thursday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 226-247-3 (8-1 Wednesday)

Youngstown State at Wright State (Over 145.5) (7 p.m. ET)

Youngstown State and Wright State are both 4-1 to the over in their last five games.

The first meeting between the two Horizon League teams featured 177 points. Wright State won that game by three points.

One of the keys for the over in this game will be free-throw shooting. Youngstown State ranks 26th and Wright State rates 31st in free-throw shooting on KenPom.

Bryant (-3.5) at St. Francis (Brooklyn) (7 p.m. ET)

Bryant is 8-2 against the spread in its last 10 games.

Bryant averages 10 more points per game than St. Francis (Brooklyn) and it has the motivation to get the game over early on Thursday.

The Bulldogs have a huge clash with Wagner on Saturday where the top spot in the NEC will be on the line.

Mount St. Mary's (-2.5) at Sacred Heart (7 p.m. ET)

Sacred Heart has a single win in its last 10 games.

The Pioneers' defense has been gashed throughout that run. They give up 75.5 points per game.

Mount St. Mary's defense concedes close to 10 fewer points per contest and it has not allowed a team to score 70 points in the last five games, even though four of them were losses.

The Mount should be able to bounce back from the losing run against a team that has not played well in the last month plus.

Siena (+2.5) at Quinnipiac (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Siena is 4-1 ATS in its last five games as an underdog.

The Saints have a chance to add to that run against Quinnipiac, who lost five of its last six games.

Quinnipiac has not reached the 70-point mark in each of its last four contests and it lost to Siena by nine points earlier in the season.

Marshall at Middle Tennessee (-6.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

I'm definitely not going away from the MTSU covering machine.

The Blue Raiders are 19-5-1 against the spread this season and they covered in each of their last five contests.

MTSU comes into its matchup with Marshall on a six-game winning streak and all of the wins have been by six points or more.

I'm riding with the hot team against an average Marshall side that is 4-6 straight up in its last 10 games.

South Dakota State (-3.5) at Oral Roberts (8 p.m. ET)

South Dakota State is two wins away from completing a perfect regular season in the Summit League.

The Jackrabbits have the No. 1 three-point offense and they rank first in effective field-goal percentage on KenPom.

Oral Roberts gave up 82 points to SDSU in their first meeting and the Golden Eagles do not have a great defense to slow down the Jackrabbits.

Green Bay at UIC (-7.5) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Green Bay is on a 10-game losing streak and it has covered as an underdog twice in that stretch.

Green Bay has not scored more than 65 points in four of its last five games and it conceded 80 points to UIC in their first meeting back on January 15.

UIC averages over 10 points per game more than Green Bay and that difference should translate to the court on Thursday against one of the worst teams in Division 1 according to the defensive metrics.

Gonzaga at San Francisco (Under 158.5) (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Gonzaga is 5-0 to the under in its last five games.

The Zags face a San Francisco side that held them to 78 points in their first meeting.

San Francisco ranks in the top 25 in a handful of defensive categories and it can slow down the Zags a bit for the under on this high total to hit.

Arizona State at Colorado (-6) (9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)

Colorado has quietly played some solid basketball over the last few weeks.

The Buffaloes are on a five-game winning streak in which they covered in every game.

Colorado held four of its last five opponents under 65 points and it faces an Arizona State offense averages 64.5 points per game.

That could set up the Colorado defense to thrive on its home floor against a weaker side.

New Orleans (+112) at SE Louisiana (9 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

New Orleans gives up six fewer points per game than SE Louisiana.

The Privateers won the first meeting between the two sides and their defensive metrics are much better across the board.

For example, New Orleans ranks 60th in three-point defense, while SELA sits 335th or worse in four defensive metrics.

UC San Diego at Long Beach State (-7.5) (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Long Beach State is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games.

LBSU needs a bounce-back performance after losing to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, and it is in a perfect spot to do against a UC San Diego team that it beat by 18 points earlier in the season.

Portland (+102) at Pacific (10 p.m. ET)

Portland comes into Thursday on a five-game winning streak with its best victory in that stretch coming against San Francisco.

The Pilots average eight more points per game than Pacific, which will be the difference in a game that features two defenses with similar numbers.

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