Our free College Basketball picks are out for Thursday, January 20th, 2022! Make sure you check our expert College Basketball picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free College Basketball picks for the best games on today’s schedule!
#4 Purdue @ Indiana – 7pm ET
This Big Ten clash is a heated rivalry game that goes back decades. As the 4th ranked Purdue Boilermakers take their 15-2 record on the road to Bloomington to play the 13-4 Indiana Hoosiers. Both teams will be looking for a big win in this one.
The Purdue Boilermakers take on Indiana who has been struggling recently. The Hoosiers opened the season with 6 straight wins, but later on, they lost twice to Syracuse and Wisconsin. After a couple of victories around Christmas, the team made a bad transition to 2022. Their first game was a loss to Penn State, 61-58, and three matches later, Indiana was once again defeated by Iowa, 83-74. Trayce Jackson-Davis is undoubtedly their biggest asset during the current campaign as he averages 19.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. On top of that, he set a career-high 43 points against Marshall on November 27th in a 90-79 win.
The Purdue Boilermakers are still making their way towards the top in the NCAA once again. After failing to defend their first place following a loss to Rutgers, the team is now looking more concentrated, despite being forced into two overtimes against Illinois on Sunday. Purdue currently holds a 15-2 record that puts them in 1st place in the Big Ten Conference, sitting five spots above their upcoming opponent, Indiana. The Boilermakers rely much on its balance and diversity as they almost have two equally good teams. I think that they will come on top in the end which will further motivate them to finish the regular season as a top 3 team. I will go for the higher value with their spread for the game.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: Purdue -3.5 (-110)
The Purdue Boilermakers are coming off of a thrilling double overtime victory over Illinois on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Now they will face off in a rivalry game against the Hoosiers looking to pick up another big win. Purdue comes into this game with a record of 15-2 on the season as both of their losses have come inside of Big Ten conference play. Since picking up their second loss of the year, Purdue has gone on to win their last three games by a combined 42 points over Penn State, Nebraska, and as previously mentioned Illinois. Now they will look to make it a fourth straight in this one.
Ready for the next. pic.twitter.com/BumeBqLYYV
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) January 19, 2022
The Indiana Hoosiers come into this game with a record of 13-4 on the season, however, they are currently unranked and outside of the top 25. They have had a rough month of January as they have gone 3-2 over their first five games. They did pick up a top 25 victory over Ohio State but lost to Iowa in the next game they played. In their last game, they picked up a win over Nebraska so they will be looking to carry over the momentum from that win into this huge rivalry game at home. They will be looking for their second top 25 win this month. However, I don’t see that happening as I have the Purdue Boilermakers picking up the victory in this one.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Purdue -3.5 (-110)
This should be the game of the night in terms of Thursday’s college basketball slate, as we get a Purdue team who has previously been ranked number one this year, currently sitting at number four, traveling to Bloomington to take on an Indiana team that has been hit or miss so far this year. Purdue has been one of the best teams in the country so far, as they showed earlier this week, knocking off a really good Illinois team on the road in double overtime. They do only have two losses on the year, but both have come in conference play, so if you were looking for one warning, that’s what I would give you.
As for Indiana, they’ve been a decent team so far this season, but have certainly been far from great. Their record sits at 13-4, which sounds great until you dive a little deeper into their schedule and realize that they’ve played an extremely favorable state, with their only notable win coming over a good Ohio State team earlier this month. In every other game against quality competition, they’ve come up short, which makes it hard to think that they get over the hurdle in this one, against one of the top five teams in the nation. For that reason, I’m taking the Boilermakers to go on the road and take care of their in-state rivals.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Purdue -3.5 (-110)
#16 USC @ Colorado – 7:30pm ET
The USC Trojans will look to reignite their white hot start as they head to Boulder to play Colorado. Both teams are coming into this game with good seasons thus far and identical conference records. The winner of this one will gain a significant amount of leverage in the Pac-12 title race this season.
After a perfect 13-0 start to this campaign, USC suffered their first loss to Stanford in a tight 75-69 game. Just a couple of days later, the Trojans were again defeated as Oregon shut them down with a 10-point win. The team from Southern Carolina has been struggling in offense in recent games as both Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin seem to be less efficient. However, the latter still averages one of the highest percentages in the NCAA, sitting at 63.6%. Their performance from the 3-point line has also been decent throughout the season and I think that’s definitely a great sign for the Trojans.
The Colorado Buffaloes are still looking for their maiden victory over a seeded opponent this season. The team has been performing really well against a lower-tier roster, but when they faced UCLA, Tennessee, and Arizona, they just couldn’t withstand the pressure. Their top scorer, Jabari Walker, has been struggling from beyond the arc all season long averaging just 23.4% from deep. He has been their most valuable player so far with 13.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. They don’t have that much depth in order to be competitive enough during this campaign as I think that USC will become yet another team that will easily cruise past Colorado.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: USC -1 (-110)
USC got off to an incredibly hot start to the season but has struggled as of late. They come into this game with a record of 14-2 through their first 16 games this season. As they come into this game ranked 16th in the nation. However, they have lost two out of their last three games. Dropping games to Stanford and Oregon in the span of 4 days has them reeling and looking for a way to get things turned around. They are currently 4-2 in the PAC 12 as well, which is good enough for a third place tie with the Oregon Ducks. As they will look to snap a one game losing streak in this game against Colorado.
The previously mentioned Colorado Buffaloes come into this game with a record of 12-4 on the season. Like their opponents in this one, Colorado also comes into this game with a 4-2 record inside of PAC-12 conference play. The Buffaloes are currently on a one game winning streak after beating the Arizona State Sun Devils in their last game. They are a tough team to beat at home as they are currently 9-1 when playing in front of their own fans, which will likely be a factor in this one. That is why I have the Colorado Buffaloes picking up the victory in this game over the Trojans.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Colorado +1 (-110)
Colorado has been a bit of a surprise so far this season, as they’ve started the year with a 12-4 record, including a 4-2 record in conference play. However, I think it’s foolish to jump on the Colorado train, simply due to the fact that they don’t have a single quality win on the year. They’ve played three teams that would be considered really good opponents (Arizona, UCLA, and Tennessee) and dropped all of them. They also had a game versus Kansas postponed earlier in the year. Without any good wins on the season, I think it’s still too soon to try to view the Buffaloes as a candidate to win the Pac-12.
The problem with trying to predict the outcome of this game is that the USC Trojans are in a similar spot. They enter ranked 16th in the country, with a 14-2 record, but none of those wins are what I would consider to be good wins, as they’re game against Arizona got canceled earlier in the year. It also doesn’t help that they come into this one having lost two of their last three, including a loss to Oregon in their last outing. However, despite all of that, I think this USC team is simply more talented, and I like their chances of traveling over to Boulder and getting a big win as they try to get their season back on track.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: USC (-115)
San Francisco @ #1 Gonzaga – 11pm ET
San Francisco is a respectable 15-3 this season as they prepare for their biggest game of the year. As they look to knock off the number one team in the country. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are still on their quest to capture a long awaited title, which makes this the most interesting game of the evening.
After enjoying an incredible 10-0 journey in the beginning of the season, the San Francisco Dons have been going through a tough period since mid-December. The team holds a 15-3 record that has been achieved with a lot of sweat and even more dedication and consistency. The Dons lost their first match to Grand Canyon on December 18th, scoring just 48 points. Later on, they were unable to hold Loyola Chicago and BYU who handed them their second and third loss respectively. Jamaree Bouyea averages 17.9 points, while Yauhen Massalski has been clinical on both ends with 14.1 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
Gonzaga is undoubtedly one of the best teams in the NCAA. They are once again top-seeded and they will be looking to keep it for as long as possible. After losing the top spot for the first time this season, following losses to Duke and Alabama, the Bulldogs got on a 7-game winning streak. They have managed to cruise past tough opponents like Texas Tech and BYU as Drew Timme is on a 2-game run with at least 30 points scored. He actually leads the team with 18.6 points per game, while Chet Holmgren, who has been considered one of the biggest prospects in the NCAA, comes up huge in the paint with his 8.5 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. I think that the San Francisco Dons will be able to withstand some of Gonzaga’s irresistible force which will help them cover their big spread against the top favorite.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: San Francisco +16 (-110)
San Francisco comes into this game with a record of 15-3 through their first 18 games on the season. They will face their toughest test to date in this game, as they take on the number one team in the country on the road. The Dons are currently on a one game losing streak after falling to BYU in their last game. It was their second loss in the month of January, as they dropped a game to Loyola-Chicago earlier on in the month. They will be looking to bounce back in a huge way with an upset victory in this game, but they will need to play a near perfect game for that to happen.
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) January 19, 2022
After weeks filled with upsets and shocking losses, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the number one team in the country once again. Now Gonzaga comes into this game with a record of 14-2 on the season. The Bulldogs are on a roll as they have won seven games in a row and most of them have been in blowout fashion. They are still one of the favorites to win that long awaited National Championship they have been chasing for so long. I think that quest continues in this one as I have Gonzaga picking up the victory at home over San Francisco in this game and covering the spread.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Gonzaga (-2100)
San Francisco enters this one with a surprising 15-3 record on the year, even though I think it’s a bit misleading, especially when you consider their schedule. They’ve dropped two games already this month, and they aren’t too perennial powerhouses (BYU and Loyola Chicago), which raises doubts about whether they would have the same record if they played a better schedule. The good news about that question is that we will get to find out the answer to that question tonight, as they take on the number one team in the country.
Gonzaga comes into this one having been the preseason number one team in the nation and looked the part for the first month and a half or so of the season, before hitting a bit of a rough stretch, which saw them drop contests to Alabama and Duke. Apart from those two, they’ve been extremely consistent, and with first round picks in Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren leading the way, they have to be one of the favorites to win the title come early April. As for this matchup though, I just don’t see the Dons from San Francisco having anywhere close to enough talent to hang around with what they’re about to see from Gonzaga. Look for the Zags to roll in a big way in this one.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Gonzaga (-2100)
#3 Arizona @ Stanford – 11pm ET
The second featured PAC-12 game of the Thursday slate has the #3 team in the nation going up against Stanford. As the Arizona Wildcats travel to California to look for another win while the Cardinal look to add another top 25 upset to their resume that already consists of USC.
Arizona will travel to Stanford on Thursday in what promises to be a really exciting match despite the Cardinal’s bad performance this season. They are off to a 10-5 start which is not something impressive as they also faced just three seeded teams. However, their performance at home has been extraordinary as they defeated USC, 75-69, in their last game at Maples Pavilion on January 11, 2022. The team has been playing on a high level against Texas as well, but they were eventually defeated, 60-53. I think that they have got what it takes to surprise even more rosters in the remaining matches for the season.
Arizona has been one of the pleasant surprises during this campaign. The Wildcats are riding on a 14-1 run since the beginning of the season as they have a decent chance to end up with three or less losses which would be something incredible. Arizona has only lost to Tennessee, 79-73, in a game where Bennedict Mathurin was putting on a “one-man show performance”. Despite his 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, he came up just short in the end, but a large number of turnovers took its toll on the Wildcats. In my opinion, Stanford has a chance to shut down yet another team from the top 5, but I will play it safer now and choose their spread for the match.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: Stanford +9 (-110)
The Arizona Wildcats come into this game ranked inside the top 3 of the nation at third in the country. They are currently 14-1 on the year and already have a few resume worthy victories attached to their name this season. They have wins over Illinois and Michigan and a first place finish in the Roman Main Event Classic where they defeated Michigan and Wichita State in the span of three days. Now they will be looking to pick up their fourth straight victory with a win in this conference game against the Stanford Cardinal to improve to a perfect 5-0 in PAC-12 play.
The previously mentioned Stanford Cardinal are having a decent season thus far. As they come into this game seeking another top 25 upset with a record of 10-5 on the year. They have already knocked off the USC Trojans and Oregon Ducks, and now they will be looking to add Arizona to that list. They will also be looking to break a one game losing streak after falling to the Washington State Cougars in their last game. As for the result of this game, however, I don’t think Stanford can get past the Wildcats which is why I have Arizona winning this one on the road in Palo Alto.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Arizona -9 (-110)
Despite getting a big win over USC in their last outing, this isn’t the kind of Stanford team that is going to make a habit of that, as they just don’t have the talent to get many of those kinds of wins. They enter the year at 10-5, but the bigger issue is that they haven’t faced all that much in terms of solid competition, as they’ve only played three prior ranked opponents, and while they managed to hang around with Texas for a while before eventually falling, they got absolutely destroyed by Baylor, in a game that they lost by nearly 40. Furthermore, the best win on the schedule so far for the Cardinal is a win over Oregon, while they have losses to Santa Clara and Washington State, which quite frankly just shouldn’t happen.
Now they take on an Arizona team that has looked like one of the best teams in the country all year long, and I just don’t think it goes well for the Cardinal. The Wildcats come in at 14-1 on the year, with the sole loss coming in tight fashion to a good Tennessee team, and more importantly, they have a good win over Illinois and what at the time was a win over the fourth-ranked Michigan Wolverines, before Michigan decided to collapse. The talent on this Arizona team is endless, led by Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko, which is why I think they go on the road to Palo Alto and get a relatively easy win over a Stanford team that just doesn’t have enough to match up with what they’re going to see in this game.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Arizona -9 (-110)
#9 UCLA @ Utah – 11pm ET
The ninth ranked UCLA Bruins will look to follow up a huge win over Oregon State as they travel to Utah for this one. Meanwhile, the Utah Utes will be searching for a miracle upset as they have been used as a punching bag so far inside of conference play. This game is likely to be the least competitive game of the evening.
UCLA has been forced to miss a great deal of December due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 cases in their team. As a result, the Bruins haven’t played a match for nearly a month and this affected their post-Christmas performance. The team suffered an upset against Oregon on Thursday, losing 84-81 after overtime. The Bruins will surely clear their way towards the Playoffs, but it will be crucial for them to enter the bracket in their best condition. Johnny Juzang is once again their biggest driving force averaging 17.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
The Utah Utes took off this season with five straight wins. However, after facing the first of many strong teams, BYU, they started losing their momentum. In the end, they lost 10 out of 13 matches which is far away from something acceptable. The team came into this fixture on a 6-game losing streak that started in 2021 and continued to grow throughout the new year. Branden Carlson has been playing well from the field, but the rest of the Utes will need to level up their game if the team wants to finish above 0.500. I think that UCLA won’t face any troubles in overcoming this challenge on Thursday, so I will go with the Bruins’ spread here.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: UCLA -9.5 (-110)
The UCLA Bruins have looked great this season when they are actually able to get on the court that is. The Bruins have gone weeks without games so far this year and it makes it hard to keep any type of momentum going. They come into this game with a record of 11-2 on the season. They followed up an overtime loss to the Oregon Ducks by dismantling the Oregon State Beavers. Now they will look to make it two straight victories in this game as they come into one ranked 9th in the country and in second place of the PAC-12 with a record of 3-1 on the season inside the conference.
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) January 19, 2022
The Utah Utes have had a disappointing year up until this point. As they enter this game with a record of 8-10 and an abysmal 1-7 inside of the Pac-12 conference. They are currently on a six game losing streak that doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon as they face a tough UCLA team in this game. As for the result of this game, it’s going to be about what you would expect as I have the UCLA Bruins picking up a blowout win over Utah. This will be just another huge loss in a season that will consist of many for the Utes.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: UCLA -9.5 (-110)
This game gets ugly in a hurry. Utah started the year pretty well in non-conference play, going 7-3 before conference play got started. That’s where everything went wrong, as they’re currently sitting at 1-7 in the Pac-12, and in all honesty, most of these contests haven’t even been all that close. Now they host the UCLA Bruins, who are coming off of a run to the Final Four last year, and look as if they have a legitimate chance to potentially get there again this year.
That UCLA team enters this one ranked at number nine, with an 11-2 record. They haven’t played as many games as the majority of teams have, due to the fact that they had nearly a month of their schedule wiped out due to their own Covid issues, and Covid issues within other programs. Their only slips of the season came in an early season loss to Gonzaga, and a recent loss to Oregon, but with Johnny Juzang in the lineup, and getting help from virtually everyone on the roster, this Bruins team is dangerous to everyone they play, and a Utah team that just can’t get things done in conference simply doesn’t stand a chance. Take UCLA in a major way in this one.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: UCLA -9.5 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.