Arizona vs. Utah NCAA Basketball Picks & Predictions

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:54 PM GMT

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for the Pac-12 Conference matchup between the Arizona Wildcats and the Utah Utes at the Huntsman Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

The underdog has enjoyed some recent point spread success in the series between the Arizona Wildcats and Utah Utes, as the two teams prepare to face off Wednesday night.

Updated NCAA Tournament Odds & Predictions

Still a top team

The Arizona Wildcats have dropped two of their last four games, but it’s still one of the top-five teams in the country, as it attempts to bounce back from a 69-66 double-overtime loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils as 5.5-point road underdogs last Friday.

The Wildcats have won the rebounding battle in 20 of 25 games this season—posting a +9.5 margin in that statistical category. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 4-2 SU and 2-4 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points. 

Glad to return home 

Utah had its three-game winning streak snapped last Saturday, as it dropped a 80-66 decision to the UCLA Bruins as 8.5-point road underdogs, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in five contests. 

The Utes are 19-2 SU in their last 21 home games dating back to last season, while they’ve compiled a 20-5 ATS record when revenging a road loss since the 2011-12 campaign. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the Utes suffered a 65-56 defeat to the Wildcats as 13.5-point road underdogs on Jan. 26. 

All about defense

The Wildcats are still a threat to win the 2014 NCAA Tournament, considering they rank fourth nationally in scoring defense and fifth in field goal percentage defense. 

Arizona leads major college basketball in effective defensive efficiency, with opponents scoring just 86.5 points per 100 possessions.   

The Wright stuff 

Utes junior guard Delon Wright will need to continue his strong play offensively for the team to pull off a victory in this matchup, as he ranks among the top 15 players in the country in shooting 59.7 percent from the field.   

Wright played all 40 minutes in the first meeting against the Wildcats—scoring 19 points on 5 of 12 shooting from the field and knocking down nine of 10 attempts at the charity stripe.

[gameodds]14/258520/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Utes as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the underdog has covered the number in the last four meetings in this series.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Utah Utes +4.5