The Wildcats will look to protect their 10-1 SU record at home when they host Stanford tonight. The odds are very much in Arizona's favor, but that doesn't make them the right selection with our sports picks.
Opening NCAA Basketball odds have the Wildcats favored by 11 points, but
that number is starting to go down a little bit as we approach tipoff. Right
now they're giving away 10.5 points, with 10 also available if you like Arizona
A relatively high total of 138 can be locked down at the
sportsbooks. The UNDER is 11-4-1 in 16 games involving Arizona this season, but
is just 6-7 in those involving Stanford. Meanwhile, the UNDER has cashed in
four of the last five meetings between these conference rivals.
Following a slow start in Pac 12 Conference play which saw them lose
three of their first four games, the Cardinal have looked far better over the
last couple of weeks.
It all started on January 27 when they thrashed Utah 87-56
on the road. A few days later they crushed a then-ranked Oregon team 76-52 at
home (as three-point favorites) and this past weekend they held on to beat
Oregon State 81-73.
Though they couldn't be happy with their defense, Stanford
really got hot offensively against the Beavers, hitting 14-of-25 (56.0 percent)
from beyond the arc. Chasson Randle had 20 points (6-of-11 FG) and five
assists, while Josh Huestis recorded 16 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and
Offensive efficiency hasn't been a problem for the Cardinal
whatsoever lately. Over their last five games they're averaging 73.4 points,
while shooting a staggering 48.3 percent from three.
If Stanford is to improve on their 1-5 ATS record in their
past six road contests, they're again going to have to hit some outside shots.
One encouraging sign: the Cardinal are averaging 40.2 percent shooting from
deep on the road this season.
The Arizona Wildcats are also on a three-game winning streak, having
beaten USC at home and both Washington and Washington State on the road.
In the 79-65 win over the Cougars, in which Arizona came in
favored by seven points, Mark Lyons and Solomon Hills were the standouts. They
combined for 38 points on 12-of-24 shooting and also chipped in with four
steals between them.
A strong first half was all the Wildcats needed. They
cruised out to a 14-point advantage by halftime, holding Washington State to 26
points in the process. From there it was smooth sailing for Sean Miller's crew.
Despite winning three in a row, the Wildcats haven't had too
much success for backers against the spread. They have only covered in one of
their last five home tilts and haven't done too well following SU wins either:
over their last eight games after a victory, they're just 2-6 ATS.
That said, Arizona has dominated Stanford in recent years,
winning six straight in the series and cashing ATS in five of those W's.
College Basketball Pick
Despite Arizona's obvious talent level and high ranking, we
feel as if this number may just be a little too high. The Wildcats have only
lost one game at home this season, but they've also struggled to overcome the
likes of Utah (60-57), Colorado (92-83 in OT) and Southern Miss (63-55) on
their own floor.
What we're getting at is they haven't been as dominant as
you might think, leaving the door open for a Stanford cover tonight.
The Cardinal have been relying on their outside shot to get
them going, and if they can get some looks to fall, we believe they can easily
stay within this number. That trio of Randle, Huestis and Dwight Powell has
been excellent all season and could give the Wildcats, who are just 3-7 ATS
over their last 10 games, some trouble.
With that said, we'll be backing Stanford with our college
NCAA Basketball Pick: Stanford Cardinal +10.5