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College basketball picks: Odds, prediction for Oregon vs. Colorado on Thursday

The Ducks meet the Buffaloes in a Pac-12 matchup on Thursday. We go over the lines and make a best bet.

Syndication: The Register Guard Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Oregon Ducks face the Colorado Buffaloes in a Pac-12 matchup on Thursday, January 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET from Boulder.

Oregon (13-3) ranks 52nd overall at KenPom and 33rd in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Ducks’ latest game ended with an 80-73 victory over Cal, and they have also grabbed conference wins over Washington, Washington State, USC, and UCLA over the past month.

The Ducks average 78.8 points per game (54th in the nation) at a 47.2% clip (50th in the nation). They are in scoring led by guard Jackson Shelstad with 14.6 points per game. Center N’Faly Dante, who was the team’s top scorer and rebounder last season, returned from an injury that had kept him out since opening day in the Ducks’ latest game. His return should give the team a major boost in the paint.

Colorado (12-5) defeated USC, 68-58, in their latest game. The win broke a three-game losing streak that came against Arizona, Arizona State, and Cal. The Buffaloes rank 36th overall at KenPom and 38th in adjusted offensive efficiency. They average 80.2 points per game (40th in the nation) at a 51.6% clip (6th in the nation). They excel from the perimeter, shooting 39% from the three-point line (11th in the nation).

Guard KJ Simpson leads the team in scoring with 19.3 points per game, and is one of five players to average in the double digits. Eddie Lampkin, Jr. adds 7.5 rebounds per game. The Buffs’ best wins this season thus far have come against Miami, Washington, and Washington State.

The Buffaloes have struggled in conference play and are 0-5-1 against the spread in their last six games. Oregon, on the other hand, will be energized from Dante’s return and from their solid start to conference play. I’ll take the Ducks to cover.

Oregon vs. Colorado odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Colorado -5.5
Total: 148
Moneyline: Colorado -250, Oregon +205

Pick: Oregon +5.5