Top NCAA Basketball Picks & Predictions Jan 5 2023

Top NCAA Basketball Picks & Predictions Jan 5 2023

Written by on January 4, 2023

There probably will be a new No. 1 team in the next Associated Press Top 25 next week with No. 1 Purdue losing earlier this week – could the Boilermakers actually lose again Thursday at Ohio State? That’s one of two marquee matchups on the slate. Let’s take a look at the following analysis for your NCAA Basketball Betting Tips.

Could No. 1 Purdue Lose Again?

No. 1 Purdue at No. 24 Ohio State (-1.5)

Big Ten matchup at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Two of the nation’s five-best offenses will go at it on Thursday. The Buckeyes are No. 2 in KenPom’s offensive efficiency rankings, while the Boilermakers rank No. 5 in offensive efficiency.

The Boilers (13-1) were stunned 65-64 on Monday at home by unranked Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights defeated a No. 1 ranked Boilermakers team for the second straight season, claiming their highest ranked road win in program history. Junior guard Cam Spencer hit the game-winning three-pointer late for RU in the team’s final possession. The Scarlet Knights led for nearly 28 minutes in the contest, with the Boilermakers in front for just 6:53.

The loss ended Purdue’s 15-game homecourt winning streak. It also ended Purdue’s 29-game homecourt winning streak against unranked teams. Purdue entered the game 90-11 under Matt Painter against unranked Big Ten teams. It marked the first time all season that Purdue trailed by double-digits. Purdue has now lost the first game of the calendar year at home in four of the last eight seasons — 2016 (Iowa), 2017 (Minnesota), 2022 (Wisconsin) and 2023 (Rutgers).

National Player of the Year favorite Zach Edey recorded his sixth straight double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He played just nine minutes in the first half due to foul problems. It was his 23rd career double-double and dropped Purdue to 20-3 in his career when he records a double-double.

Eight of Purdue’s last 12 losses have come by three points or less. One more was by five points and two more came in overtime. Only one of the 12 losses was by more than nine points. Against nationally-ranked teams this year, Purdue is averaging 79.5 points and shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from 3-point range. The Boilermakers also own a 2.00 assist-to-turnover ratio (38 / 19), and are outrebounding its foes by 13.0 rebounds per game. Purdue has won three of its last four road games against nationally-ranked teams (wins over Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State; loss to Wis.).

Ohio State enters the game at 10-3 overall and one of three unbeaten teams in the Big Ten at 2-0. OLSU is shooting 49.2 percent as a team, which is second in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are scoring 81.0 ppg which is also second in the conference. The Buckeyes have five players averaging 9.9 points per game or more, led by freshman Brice Sensabaugh at 15.9 ppg. Sensabaugh has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week each of the last three weeks.

This will be Ohio State’s 22nd game all-time against an AP No. 1 ranked team. The Buckeyes are 10-11 all-time and have won eight of the last 11 games against No. 1. Purdue leads the series 91-86 but the Buckeyes lead 55-31 in Columbus and 11-4 in Value City Arena.

USC at No. 10 UCLA (-13.5)

Pac-12 matchup at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Southern Cal’s seven-game winning streak ended Sunday, 81-71 at Washington State. The Trojans allowed Washington State to make a 2022-23 opponent high 49.1 percent of its shots but have held 9 of its 15 opponents this season to under 40 percent shooting.  USC is holding its opponents to a 38.2 shooting percentage this season, 21st in the country.  Over the last four seasons, USC’s defense has held the opposition to 38.7 FG percentage, 3rd in the country. USC has 85 blocks this season, led by Joshua Morgan’s 42 blocks. USC is averaging 5.7 blocks per game, tied for 13th in the country.  Morgan’s 42 blocks this season rank tied for third in the country.  Morgan had 7 blocks vs. FGCU on Nov. 7 which tied him for fifth. Guard Drew Peterson leads USC and is third among Pac-12 players with 79 assists, which ranks tied for 20th nationally.  Peterson is one of two players nationally (Jalen Pickett of Penn State) averaging at least 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game this season.

UCLA won its 10th straight game on Sunday, 74-49 at Washington. After several early back-and-forth sequences, UCLA reeled off 12 consecutive points to secure a 17-6 advantage, just eight minutes into the contest. The Bruins never trailed the rest of the way.

UCLA limited its opposition to fewer than 50 points for the first time all season. That marked the Bruins’ first game, holding the opponent to as few as 49 points, since a 66-43 win at home last season against Stanford (Jan. 29, 2022). UCLA recorded its largest margin of victory in a conference game since a 39-point win last season at Oregon State (Feb. 26, 2022).

During the winning streak, Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, shooting 57.8 percent from the field (25-for-28 on free throws). Tyger Campbell has averaged 12.7 points and 4.6 assists during the streak, totaling 46 assists and 18 turnovers (an assist-turnover ratio of 2.6-to-1 in that span).

Last season, UCLA won the final two of three games against the Trojans, including a 69-59 victory in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. Jaquez Jr. averaged 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in the three while Campbell averaged 16.7 points and 3.0 assists, shooting 50 percent from 3-point distance (6-for-12).

Expert Picks

  • Purdue and USC against the spread
 
 

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