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1/3/2013 7:29:00 AM
The Arizona Wildcats land in a favorable spot, opening up their 2012-13 Pac-12 Conference schedule against the Colorado Buffaloes at the McKale Center Thursday night.
Colorado has won three games in a row since suffering a humiliating 90-54 setback to the Kansas Jayhawks on Dec. 8, which includes an 80-52 victory over Hartford Saturday.The Buffaloes
have compiled a 10-2 straight-up record, while going 7-3 against the spread
(ATS) heading into conference action.
Back from the Pacific
Arizona hasn’t played since
capturing the Diamond Head Classic title with an exciting 68-67 win over San
Diego State as 4.5-point favorites Christmas Day, while the UNDER went 2-0-1 in
its three games during the tournament. Forward Solomon Hill is one of
three starters to average in double figures for the squad, as he was named
tournament MVP after scoring 21 points in the championship game.
On the road again
Sports bettors may find the
Buffaloes as an attractive option as a double-digit underdog on the college
basketball odds page, but they haven’t won a conference road opener since the
1968-69 season, which translates to 21-straight losses in that situation.
Colorado has dropped two of its three games when getting points this season,
with the OVER cashing in two of those affairs.
Opening conference play at home
Normally, I’d be a little concerned
about laying this amount of points with a host that returns from a trip to
Hawaii, but Wildcats head coach Sean Miller likely had this game circled on his
calendar. Arizona suffered a 53-51 setback to Colorado as 3.5-point
neutral-site favorites in last year’s Pac-12 championship game, which cost the
program a trip to the NCAA tournament. Let’s just say that Miller’s squad
has a great chance of pushing its record to 13-0 when opening up conference
play in Tucson.
A tall task
Thursday night’s visitor hasn’t
defeated a top-10 opponent on the road since 1973, while they’ve gone 8-13 ATS
as a road underdog over the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 11-7 in
that span. Colorado was handed a 71-57 loss in last year’s trip to
Arizona, as it was outshot at the free throw line by a 35-14 margin.
I’m going to recommend that readers
back the Wildcats as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as they showcased the
ability to play at a high level off a layoff—covering four of their last five
games when playing with seven or more days rest.
College Basketball Picks:
Arizona Wildcats -11 at Pinnacle