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THURSDAY PICKS FOR ORU v ST. THOMAS, TARLETON ST. v S UTAH, AND ST. MARY'S v LOYOLA-MARYMOUNT


Oral Roberts vs. St. Thomas


We start our Thursday in the Summit League, where Oral Roberts University is 12-0. That undefeated mark isn't even the most impressive thing about how this team has performed in conference play, it's the way they've won. Only three of those twelve games have been decided by single digits. They beat South Dakota by 50. 50!!


The St. Thomas Tommies are not a bad team. They're 4th in the conference at 7-6. They had a respectable showing against Oral Roberts the first time out as well, losing by 12 away from home. This is a home game for them, and it's possible they can keep ORU from another double-digit win, but I don't think it's likely.


For me what this comes down to is the number. Any game where ORU is favored by less than 10 in the conference is a game where I'll lay the points. They've won by 9 or more in 10 of 12, so the odds are good of them covering 8.5.


Pick: Oral Roberts -8.5 (-115) BetMGM



Tarleton State vs. Southern Utah


From the Summit League we go to the WAC where Tarleton State will make the 921-mile trek to Cedar City, Utah to take on Thunderbirds. Tarleton State won the first meeting--in Texas--by three, so you might think 7.5 is too big a number to take Southern Utah in this one.


This is a game where the pick is largely based on home/road splits. Southern Utah has won six in a row at home, dating back to the beginning of December. The three most recent home games have all been decided by 12 or more. Away from home, they're just 3-4.


Tarleton State is just 1-4 away from home in conference play. The win was in their last game against UT-Arlington. Two of the four losses have been brutal. They lost 48-77 to Cal Baptist and 47-67 to Seattle. Both of those are long trips as well.


I put this game at Southern Utah -9.5, so there is enough room for me to like the play at -7.5


Pick: Southern Utah -7.5 (-110) DraftKings




St. Mary's vs. Loyola Marymount


We wrap up today's plays with a total. The first time these two played St. Mary's won 76-62 for a total of 138. I did that math in my head. I kind of like Loyola Marymount +8.5 in this one, but I don't like that nearly as much as the total, which is set at 128.5.


The total is likely set so low because St. Mary's plays slow. They are 345th in the nation in possessions per game. But there are good reasons to think this is another game that will get over the 130 mark.


The first game went over this total by almost 10, and if anything, I think this game will be higher scoring, not lower. Both of these teams do dip down into the 50s at times, but they also have 85-point upside.


In the first game, LMU shot 26.7% from 3-point range, but they shoot 36.6% on the year. Similarly, St. Mary's shot 22.2% from 3 while shooting 36.5% on the year. One thing that could keep this game under is free-throw shooting. Both teams shoot under 70% from the line. I like both teams to get into the mid-60s and push this total over.


Pick: Over 128.5 (-110) Barstool



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