Top College Basketball Picks for Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Thursday, January 21st, 2021
Wed 20th January 2021

Indiana vs Iowa 

The #4 Iowa Hawkeyes are 12-2 on the season and 6-1 in the conference play, sitting at the second spot of the Big Ten standings, half a game behind the Michigan Wolverines. They are on a five-game winning streak following a 96-73 victory at Northwestern last Sunday.  

On the other side, the Indiana Hoosiers have dropped two of their last three games, dropping to 8-6 on the season and 3-4 in the Big Ten play. They are coming off an 81-69 defeat to Purdue as 4-point home favorites. 

The Hawkeyes continue to torture their opponents thanks to the highest-scoring offense in the country. Iowa scores a whopping 125.2 points per 100 possessions, and senior center Luka Garza leads the way, averaging 26.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. 

The Hoosiers mostly lean on their defense, allowing 92.1 points per 100 possessions (27th in the country). They score 110.0 points in a return (54th), and sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis leads the way with 20.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest. 

While Iowa loves to play at a fast pace, averaging just above 71.0 possessions per 40 minutes, Indiana prefers a much slower pace, tallying 66.8 possessions per 40 minutes. If they want to win this clash, the Hoosiers have to slow down the Hawkeyes and bring their best defensive game. 

However, the Hawkeyes surpassed an 85-point mark in six of their last seven outings. If you like betting on the totals, we suggest you avoid the spread and take the over. Eight of the last nine encounters between Iowa and Indiana went in the over. Also, the over is 4-1 in Indiana’s last five games, and it is 12-4 in Iowa’s previous 16 showings. 

College basketball pick – Iowa by 10.

UCLA vs California 

The #24 UCLA Bruins and California Golden Bears meet each other for the second time this season. Back on December 6, the Bruins dismantled the Golden Bears 76-56 as 9.5-point home favorites. UCLA shot a ridiculous 60.0% from the field and 57.1% from beyond the arc while handing out 23 assists. 

Chris Smith accounted for 21 points, but the 6-foot-9 senior guard won’t play this Thursday due to a season-ending injury. Still, the Bruins have enough firepower to see off California’s challenge. 

UCLA is 11-2 overall and 7-0 in the Pac-12, riding a six-game win streak. The Bruins have some defensive problems, yielding 97.4 points per 100 possessions (91st), but they score 116.5 points in a return (8th) while shooting 38.6% from beyond the arc. 

On the other side, the Golden Bears rank outside of the top 100 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, scoring 104.0 points per 100 possessions (133rd) and surrendering 102.0 to their opponents (169th). 

California has dropped four of its last six games including double-digit losses at #21 Oregon and Colorado. As well as UCLA, the Golden Bears prefer to play at a slow pace, so they’ll have a mountain to climb on the home court.

UCLA is 6-0 straight up and 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with California. Seven of their previous ten encounters went in the under. 

College basketball pick – UCLA by 9. 

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