Arizona's Dominance over Stanford to Continue Saturday

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Mark Lathrop

Saturday, January 20, 2018 12:56 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 12:56 PM UTC

A dominant trend in the Pac-12 is in danger of being broken on Saturday night as the Arizona Wildcats visit the Stanford Cardinal. Read on as our NCAA handicapper, Mark Lathrop, breaks down this nationally televised matchup.

Free College Basketball Picks: Wildcats -5.5
Best Line is (-105) at BetOnline

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Wildcats vs. Cardinal

The Stanford Cardinal are the surprise team at the moment sitting on top of the Pac-12 standings after being voted 5th in the preseason media polls. The Arizona Wildcats, however, are right where they are supposed to be. Both teams are 5-1 in conference play to start the season, with Arizona sitting at 15-4 SU and Stanford coming in at 11-8 coming into this matchup. Oddsmakers don’t see this as an even matchup though and for good reason. Arizona currently owns a 15-game winning streak over Stanford at this point, with an average winning margin of 13.3 points per game. The Wildcats last visit to Stanford was historic in terms of the ass-whooping – as Arizona beat Stanford 91-52. The line for this game has been set with Arizona as 5.5-point favorites here, with the total set at 150 at BookMaker,

Arizona is led by freshman 7’ 1” forward Deandre Ayton, who averages 20.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He was dominant in his last game across from Stanford at Berkeley, putting up 20 points and 11 rebounds on 81.8% shooting, in a very efficient 31 minutes. Close behind Ayton is one of last year’s stars for Arizona, 6’ 5” guard Allonzo Trier who averaged 19.7 points and 3.2 assists per game. Tying everything together is a senior point guard, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who is averaging 5.0 assists per game and is on the floor for 76.5% of available minutes. There is also another 7’ 0” senior in Dusan Ristic who is second on the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.

It is no surprise with Arizona’s height then that they are leading the Pac-12 in offensive and defensive rebounding this year. They are also a well-rounded offensive team ranking 42nd in 3pt percentage, 19th in 2pt percentage, and 18th in free throw percentage in the NCAA. Once the freshman star of Deandre Ayton gets fully integrated into the scheme this will be a hard team to beat.

Stanford’s efficiency rankings are a far cry from Arizona on the season, yet they do have a star in 6’ 8” forward Reid Travis. Travis averages 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game on the season, although he was more efficient last year. My issue with him is that he has put in great performances against Arizona and it still wasn’t enough to put them over the top – the 26-point performance in a 74-67 loss last year is a good example.

Unless there is a coaching or scheme change that suggests that Arizona is facing something different with Stanford I find it difficult to step in front of their dominant trend against them over the last few years. Arizona has been terrible against the spread this year, going 7-11 ATS this season, but I believe this is a spot where that starts regressing to the mean. I will be backing the Wildcats at the best number I can find for my Saturday NCAA Pick.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 25-15, +9.05 Units (1 Pending)

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