Thursday college basketball four-team mega parlay (+1469 odds)
With March Madness drawing closer and closer, a modest slate of Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 action is on offer for Thursday as the college basketball regular season comes down the stretch. A smorgasbord of Top 25 teams are in action, including Baylor, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, and West Virginia.
Here’s our five-team parlay for Thursday:
Texas ML (+116)
Oklahoma State +13 (-110)
West Virginia -13.5
Parlay odds: +1469
For this parlay we mix in two favorites against the spread, one underdog and the points, and one underdog money line winner. Let’s break down each of the four legs one by one.
Texas ML over Oklahoma (+116)
Some would think this is a good situational spot in which buy low on Oklahoma (the Sooners are giving only two points), but the matchup is too strong in Texas’ favor to fade the Longhorns here. Starting with UT’s offense, it ranks first in Big 12 play in three-point attempt rate. This is a big advantage against Oklahoma’s defense that packs the paint and also ranks 205th in three-point attempt rate allowed. The Sooners to have a good interior defense, but Texas will be largely unaffected by that with their barrage of three-point attempts. In the first game between these two rivals, Texas shot 25 threes (but only made six of them). That is partly due to the fact that Courtney Ramey did not play. Ramey leads Texas in three-point shooting at 42.7 percent, so with him back in the lineup you can expect to see a higher percentage of threes go down for Texas. Oklahoma is coming off two straight losses to Oklahoma State and the Sooners’ woes might continue.
Oklahoma State +13 over Baylor (-110)
Much unlike the Sooners, the Cowboys have a ton of momentum heading into Thursday. Cade Cunningham and company took down Oklahoma this past weekend and then did the same again on Monday. That makes it five consecutive wins and four straight covers for the Cowboys. Cunningham delivered 40 points in the opening leg against Oklahoma and OSU prevailed on Monday even though its star freshman was mortal, which is an encouraging sign for the team as a whole. Baylor suffered its first loss of the season to Kansas last weekend and then needed overtime against West Virginia earlier this week. The Bears just aren’t quite in peak form after returning from a coronavirus hiatus.
Michigan -12 over Michigan State (-110)
Michigan’s recent loss to Illinois was a shocker because it came by 23 points at home and the Fighting Illini were without Ayo Dosunmu. It was the Wolverines’ worst game of the season by a country mile, so the question is: what is the response? Do they roar back, or is Michigan State in a good spot to beat a team that is down? UM laid an egg on Monday; there is no other way to say it. If you want to take a pass on the Wolverines as a result, it’s fair; but if you still believe in them as one of the top teams in the country, then this is a nice value spot. The gap between these teams is such that the Wolverines do not even need a special performance to win this one well into double-digits. Michigan State did beat Ohio State and Illinois in back-to-back outings last month, but the Spartans promptly fell at Maryland and weren’t even close in the process.
West Virginia -13.5 over TCU (-110)
Look for West Virginia to take some frustration out on the lowly Horned Frogs. The Mountaineers basically had the game won against Baylor earlier this week but couldn’t get a stop late and eventually lost in overtime. TCU did compete well at home against West Virginia earlier this season, but there are some aspects of that result that might not factor into the rematch. West Virginia went into that game after mounting a 19-point second-half comeback to shock Texas on the road. They then played three days later against TCU, a team that the Mountaineers knew they could beat without much focus. The story is much different this time around, as West Virginia will be extra-focused following the aforementioned loss to Baylor. The other aspect of that first meeting that is unlikely to repeat comes from the box score, which shows that WVU shot 5-for-21 from three-point range. West Virginia ranks second in Big 12 play in three-point shooting at 40.1 percent, so the 5-for-21 is definitely an anomaly. Lastly, West Virginia should have a big edge at the free-throw line—which is important in covering a large spread.