College Basketball Betting Picks for Thursday 3/7/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
College Basketball Betting Picks for Thursday 3/7/24

The college basketball season always provides a flurry of twists and turns that few saw coming -- especially when March Madness comes around. This can make college basketball one of the most challenging sports to bet on.

Fortunately, we have plenty of tools available that can aid our chances of taking the most favorable college basketball bets. Bart Torvik and KenPom are excellent sources that give insights into team-level efficiency, and Sports Reference provides a wide range of useful team stats, as well.

Let's check out FanDuel Sportsbook's college basketball odds and select some of the best bets of the day by utilizing the mentioned tools.

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

College Basketball Best Bets

Colorado at Oregon

Colorado +2.5 (-102)

The Colorado Buffaloes blasted the Oregon Ducks by 16 points in mid-January, so I like them to at least keep things within a bucket tonight.

Colorado is firmly on the bubble, though they are -180 to make the NCAA Tournament on FanDuel Sportsbook. Still, the Buffaloes need a win to keep their tournament chances alive.

They're certainly playing like a team that needs to win. Colorado has rattled off four straight wins, averaging 87.5 points per game over that stretch. That's nothing new for the Buffaloes -- they sport the Pac-12's third-best offensive rating and effective field goal percentage. They hung 86 points on Oregon in their earlier matchup, something Oregon has struggled with all year.

Despite sitting in fourth place in the Pac-12, the Ducks rank 10th in defensive rating. They've allowed the third-highest effective field goal percentage in conference play, so this isn't a defense Colorado should struggle with.

Oregon's offense can put up points, too, and they played well on that end in the first matchup with Colorado. The Ducks shot 46% overall and nailed 8-of-22 threes, so it wasn't like Colorado shut them down.

However, the Buffaloes obliterated the Ducks on the glass, outrebounding them 37 to 25. Colorado is second in the conference in rebound rate, whereas Oregon is just fifth.

Both sides do have some notable injuries compared to the first time they faced off. For Oregon, Keeshawn Barthelemy has been out since January 27th, but he notably played 29 minutes and scored 9 points in the first matchup. They've played nine games without him, going just 5-4.

Colorado's injury report is much more impactful, and it's why I'd hesitate to wager on this game until news comes out. Projected lottery pick and third-leading scorer Cody Williams has missed the last two games, and his status for tonight is unknown. Williams scored a season-high 23 points the first time these sides played, so his absence would have a huge impact on this game.

Williams is a game-changer for the Buffaloes. If he's out, I'd be more interested in playing Oregon moneyline (-150) or Oregon's 1H spread, -1.5 (-105). However, if Williams plays, Colorado +2.5 is the side to be on.

California at Stanford

California +3.5 (-102)

The Stanford Cardinal are a team I've enjoyed fading over the last few weeks, and tonight's no different. Having already defeated them once this season, I like the California Golden Bears to cover as road underdogs tonight.

Stanford was hanging around .500 for a good portion of the season, but they've completely fallen apart over the last month. The Cardinal have dropped eight of their last nine games, three of which were at home. Among those are two home Ls to UCLA and Oregon State -- teams ranked sixth and 12th in the Pac-12 standings.

Cal sits in seventh place ahead of Thursday's games. The Golden Bears are coming off a pair of double-digit losses to the Pac-12's No. 3 and 5 seeds, but they've been frisky on the road with road Ws over UCLA, Arizona State, and Washington.

This will be the second meeting between these in-state rivals after Cal defeated Stanford 73-71 in late January. The Golden Bears only shot 24% from beyond the arc and missed nine free throws in that one, but strong second-half defense propelled them to a win.

Stanford's defense has taken a nosedive since the first Cal matchup. They've given up 78.5 points per game over their last 10 and have sunk to 11th in conference defensive rating. An injury to senior forward Spencer Jones hasn't helped on that front. Jones has missed the Cardinal's last two games, and seven games overall. Stanford has given up 79.9 points per game without him, dropping six of seven games.

Cal isn't an incredible defensive team, but they're a solid three-point shooting team. In Pac-12 play, the Golden Bears rank third in threes per game, and 42% of their buckets have come from deep on the year. That ranks 13th among 94 high-major teams. Stanford has given up the second-most threes and the second-highest three-point field goal percentage in conference play.

Stay locked into Jon Rothstein on X for a Spencer Jones update, but I'm buying into Cal +3.5 regardless. Considering they already beat Stanford once this season, we can peak at California moneyline (+146), too.

If you’re betting on college basketball action happening March 7th, you can take advantage of FanDuel Sportsbook’s Boost Builder. See the promotions page for more information.

Looking for more college basketball betting opportunities? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to check out all of the upcoming college basketball odds.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.