Stanford are favored by four points tonight by the NCAA basketball odds makers as they look to begin their PAC-10 conference assault.

Overall record 35-26-5 ATS for 57.4% ATS winners.

NCAA basketball free pick on Oregon State as they take on Stanford in the opening round of the Pac-10 conference tournament set to start at 9:30 PM ET.  

My proprietary sports handicapping database and simulator shows a high probability that Oregon State will lose this game by fewer than four points and they have an excellent shot at upsetting the Cardinal.

Bonus first half play on Oregon State

I also like a five star play on the first half line of this game, taking Oregon State and getting 2 1/2 points. I fully expect them to leading at the half. Further strengthening this play is the fact that Oregon State is 12-4 against the first half line after scoring 30 points or less in the first half in two straight games over the last two seasons. In their last two games Oregon State scored 23 in a 70-59 loss at Arizona and scored 28 points in the first half of their last game losing at Arizona State 80-66.

Background

The Oregon State Beavers failed miserably down the stretch losing 10 of their last 12 games and have posted a 4-8 ATS mark during this span. The Cardinal as well struggled down the stretch losing five of the past seven games and have covered just two of those games. The following research though shows why Oregon State has a significant advantage in this game and why I feel strongly that they will win the game.

Rankings and Stats

Oregon State has a significant advantage against Stanford Cardinal in scoring points and will want to keep the pace fast. Oregon State ranks sixth in the PAC-10 and 144th nationally in scoring offense averaging 69.3 points per game. Stanford ranks ninth in the PAC-10 and 230th nationally in scoring offense averaging 66.4 points per game and are averaging 62.9 points per game in road games.

Oregon State will have a distinct advantage in the power game. They rank fifth in the PAC-10 and 109th nationally in two point scoring averaging 37.2 points per game. By comparison Stanford ranks ninth in the conference and 216th nationally in two points scoring averaging 34.1 points per game.

Stanford likes shooting three point shots and relies more on the perimeter game then the inside power game. With that said Oregon State does not have defend both types of scoring threats and can elect to be more aggressive defending the perimeter in this game. Missed perimeter shots generally lead to deep rebounds which will promote fast break scoring opportunities for Oregon State.

Game Situations

Oregon State is reinforced by several key game situations and matchups working against Stanford. Stanford is in a series of poor roles for this game noting they are 1-9 ATS losing 8.9 units per one unit wagered in a neutral court game where the total is 130 to 134.5 since 1997; 4-13 ATS losing 10.3 units per one unit wagered revenging a road loss facing an opponent over the last two seasons; 1-7 ATS losing 6.7 units per one unit wagered in road games after a game where they failed to cover the spread this season. Oregon State is buffered by the fact that they are a solid 12-4 ATS making 7.6 units per one unit wagered after scoring 30 points or less in the first half in two straight games over the last two seasons.

NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Take Oregon State.