Can the Ducks break out of their recent funk with a victory? Can the Utes pull an upset? And which way might this game break along the pointspread? What to choose for your Basketball Picks?
The Oregon Ducks, once one of the hottest teams in the
country, will try to stop a three-game losing streak when they host the Utah
Utes for a Pac-12 bout Saturday night in Eugene (8 pm ET, Pac-12 Network).
This Week's Basketball Betting Record: 1-0
LinesMost online sportsbooks we sampled opened this game with
Oregon favored by 12.5 points on the NCAAB odds boards, and that spread had held steady in the early
Oregon only returned two starters this season from a team
that went 24-10 last year, and was expected to finish somewhere in the middle
of the pack in the Pac-12. But the Ducks got off to an 11-2 non-conference
start to the season, then won their first seven conference games, reaching No.
10 in the polls. They were living somewhat dangerously, though, with four of
those conference victories coming by five points or less.
But the Ducks took a hit two weeks ago when PG Dominic
Artis, who's averaging 10 points and four assists per game, suffered a foot
injury. He's missed the Ducks' last four games, and Oregon has missed him,
going 1-3 over that span. Oregon first fell at Stanford, then at Cal, and
Thursday night they blew a late seven-point lead and lost at home to Colorado
Through their first 20 games this season the Ducks averaged
76 PPG; over their last three games they've averaged 51 PPG.
Artis is also expected to miss Saturday's game.
Utah returned just two starters this season after going 6-25
last year, and consequently was expected to bring up the rear in the Pac-12.
And basically that's how things have played out so far. The Utes went 7-4
through their non-conference schedule, their best win probably coming vs. Boise
State. But Utah then lost its first five conference games, although three of
those came by a total of seven points.
The Utes have won two of their last five games, beating
decent teams in Washington and Colorado. But
Wednesday night Utah shot just 36 percent from the floor in
losing at Oregon State 82-64.
So at 7-3 in conference play Oregon sits in tie for second
place in the Pac-12, just a game out of first, while 2-8 Utah is tied for last
For the season Oregon is shooting 46 percent from the floor,
33 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the FT line. Defensively the
Ducks are holding opponents to 40 percent FG shooting, and out-rebounding foes
by a healthy eight boards per game.
Utah is shooting 44 percent from the field, 35 percent from
beyond the arc and 75 percent from the line. The Utes are also limiting foes to
40 percent shooting, and playing opponents to almost a dead-even battle on the
Oregon swept two games from Utah last year, beating the Utes
79-68 in Salt Lake City, then jumping out to a 34-2 lead on its way to a 94-48
victory in Eugene.
Utah is 12-7 ATS this season, and 3-0 ATS when dogged by
Oregon, somewhat surprisingly, is only 9-12 ATS this season,
4-4 ATS when favored by 10 points or more.
Utes games are averaging 127 total points this season.
Ducks games are averaging 136 points, but only 112 PPG over
their last three games.
Oregon is a clear-cut favorite for this game, but without
Artis the Ducks are a question mark. They won their first game without him, but
have looked terrible since. Utah, meanwhile, has won a couple games recently
over quality opponents, and has also lost several close games. The Utes seem
capable of keeping this one close, too.
Basketball Picks: Take Utah at the +12.5 points offered at Pinbetfor your college basketbal picks.