College basketball Thursday three-team mega parlay (+1139): Sun Devils will shine
It’s a big week (and eventually even bigger weekend) in college basketball, although things have cooled off a bit in advance of upcoming huge slates on Saturday and Sunday. Still, there is more than enough to work with on the betting market for Thursday. Among the teams in action tonight are Gonzaga, Texas, Seton Hall, Iowa, Iowa State, Arizona State, Rutgers, and top-ranked Purdue.
We cashed a +1022 parlay this past Sunday behind Arizona, Xavier, and North Carolina before Kansas, Georgia, and Missouri all covered the spread to hit a +596 parlay on Tuesday. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Gonzaga -31 (-110)
Iowa State ML (+195)
Arizona State -6 alternate spread (+120)
For this parlay we are going with two favorites against the spread (one on an alternate spread) and one underdog on the money line. Let’s break down each of the legs one by one.
Gonzaga -31 over Merrimack (-110)
The number is big, but Gonzaga should still cover. In a matchup of strength (Merrimack’s defense is at least decent) versus strength (Gonzaga ranks No. 2 in the land in offensive efficiency), you have to think that the Zags’ strength will win that matchup. Even if Merrimack holds Gonzaga under its season scoring average of 86.2 ppg, the problem is the Warriors’ offense is too inept to do enough to cover this spread. They rank 324th per KenPom in adjusted offensive efficiency. For underdogs of this magnitude to cover, typically they need above average 3-point shooting or to get a handful of second-chance points. Merrimack isn’t very good at either. The Warriors rank just 248th in 3-point percentage and 351st in offensive rebounding percentage. Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme should dominate from start to finish.
Check out our Merrimack vs Gonzaga preview
Iowa State ML over Iowa (+195)
Iowa State is off to an impressive start in 2021-22, riding an 8-game winning streak going into this year’s installment of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series in Ames. Head coach TJ Otzelberger has the Cyclones playing very well defensively, as they are holding opponents to 60.1 ppg on 39.3% shooting. In their last 5 games, a span that includes games against Xaiver, Memphis, and Creighton, they allowed just 59.6 ppg on 38.7% shooting. Overall, they are the 42nd-most efficient defense per KenPom and rank 32nd in opposing effective field-goal percentage. Iowa heads into this contest having lost to Purdue and Illinois in back-to-back games. The Hawkeyes did not cover this number against their 3 previous opponents that rank in the top 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Don’t be surprised if a minor upset takes place on Thursday.
Check out our Iowa vs Iowa State preview
Arizona State -6 alternate spread over Grand Canyon (+120)
Grand Canyon is off to a strong 8-1 start and its lone loss is to Wyoming at home. The Antelopes do not have a ton of great wins, although Loyola Marymount out of the West Coast Conference is a solid team. Still, this is a much tougher test against an Arizona State squad that just scored a road win over Oregon in OT this past Sunday. Transfer DJ Horne is leading the Sun Devils in scoring at 13 ppg. Fellow transfers Jay Heath and Marreon Jackson are also key pieces and the new faces should be starting to gel a month into the season. In reality the Sun Devils should be favored by a lot more than 4 points against programs of the profile of Grand Canyon. If they play up to their potential, they can cover this slightly adjusted number.
Check out all our college basketball previews and picks for Thursday