Arizona Having Trouble Covering Huge Point Spreads

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, January 29, 2017 4:56 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 4:56 PM UTC

One of our college basketball handicappers has got his groove back, and now he checks out this nationally televised matchup in the Pac-12 with two teams going in different directions. Is there value on the huge underdog listed in the desert?

2015-16 NCAAB Record: 22-16-2, +4.40 Units 

Great day in totals yesterday and now it is time to look in my backyard for betting value as the woeful Washington Huskies travel to take on the 9th ranked and very hot 19-2 Arizona Wildcats. Arizona has won 13 games in a row SU coming into this nationally televised Pac-12 matchup, and the difference in momentum for each of these teams is reflected in the point spread. The Wildcats have opened as heavy 18.5-point favorites in this game, which is the most that the Huskies have been underdogs this season. The Huskies only got 14.5 points at undefeated Gonzaga – and promptly lost by 27 points on the road in that spot.

The Huskies do score quite a few points, averaging 80.9 points per game, which has the O/U total odds of 155 at BookMaker looking sharp at the moment.

Arizona is led by 7’ 0” freshman forward, Lauri Markkanen, who is coming off of a double-double at home against the Washington State Cougars. In that game, Markkanen put up 16 points and grabbed a season high 13 rebounds over 31 minutes. Markkanen averages over 31 minutes per game on the year with the Wildcats really only rotating another 6 players onto the floor. They have 5 players averaging in double digits on offense so their attack isn’t just one player too. The Wildcats just got back 6’ 5” guard, Allonzo Trier, and he has averaged 14.5 points in his two games since returning to the lineup.

Unlike Arizona, Washington has an offensive star that is basically their entire plan on that side of the ball. Another freshman, 6’ 4” Markelle Fultz has scored 28 or more points in 4 straight games coming into this matchup. On the season, Fultz averages 23.7 points per game and 6.2 assists. The problem is that the drop off after Fultz is quite steep, with 6’ 0” sophomore David Crisp picking up the slack at only 13.8 points per game. The approach (of not having enough good players) hasn’t worked well in Pac-12 conference play, and Washington finds itself with a 2-6 SU record so far this year.

Washington hasn’t found success ATS in their conference matchups this year either, going 2-6 ATS. They’ve lost four straight ATS coming into this game, but all of those point spreads were in single digits. This is a huge number for the Wildcats to cover, and they haven’t been very successful in those same situations this season. Arizona is just 1-4 ATS this season when they are favored by 16 points or more. That one win? They barely covered against Sacred Heart at home. I’m taking the 18.5 points in this game and the Huskies at A+ Rated Sportsbook 5Dimes, as they should have just enough firepower to not lose by 20 here.

Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Huskies +18.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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