Cash This Pair of Pac-12 Total Picks for a Profitable Thursday

Jay Pryce

Thursday, February 22, 2018 1:46 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 1:46 PM UTC

Picks against the spread and on the game total ooze value in a pair of potential bubble-bursters Thursday night when Washington visits Stanford (-4) and UCLA travels to Utah (-3.5).

Washington vs Stanford (-4)

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 149.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Washington (18-9 SU, 13-11 ATS) moved back into Selection Sunday chatter with an 82-59 rout over Colorado last time out. It lost three straight prior. The Huskies are aiming for their first NCAA Tournament invite in seven years, doing it with strong defense. They rank 58th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings, topping the Pac-12 overall.

Washington surrenders 69.5 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting against conference foes. It has allowed just two opponents (Stanford, Oregon State) to score more than projected in the betting market all season. The ‘under’ is 10-4, a 139.1 final scoring staying a whopping 8.7 points south of a 147.8 average total.

Stanford (14-13 SU, 13-14 ATS) has covered six straight at Maples Pavilion, the offense coming out consistently strong in each. It averages 81.3 points per game in regulation time hosting Pac-12 foes. Since Jerod Haase took over coaching duties last season, in fact, the Cardinal have failed to reach the 70-point mark once against visiting conference foes. Overall, the team is draining 49.5 percent of its shots in this span.

Putting up big numbers is the key to winning Pac-12 games for Haase. When Stanford scores 75 points or less in a conference clash, it is 3-17 SU and 8-11-1 ATS during his tenure. Putting up more, it is 11-2 SU and 9-4 ATS.

The Cardinal is more talented in the frontcourt with forwards Reid Travis (18.8 ppg) and Michael Humphrey (10.4 ppg) each averaging double digits in points. Haase's squad takes 42.6 percent of its shots at the rim, the 31st highest rate in Division I hoops. It spreads the floor and gives the big men room to operate. The Huskies, meanwhile, struggle to defend the area, yielding a 66.4 percent field goal percentage at the iron (21st highest nationally). Washington is best at guarding the perimeter and forcing bad shots. Stanford will avoid both. Cardinal win 82-73 and cover a 4-point spread. The final tally easily surpasses a 143 over/under. Pick accordingly. In case you need evidence of Travis' authority down low:

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Throw it DOWN, @2ReidTravis2.#GoStanford

— Stanford Men's Basketball (@StanfordMBB) February 20, 2018

UCLA vs Utah (-3.5)

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 150Best Line Offered: at Heritage

UCLA (19-8 SU, 14-13 ATS) needs to buckle down if it wants an invite to the Big Dance, owning a RPI of 47 respectively. It’s last three games are considered Quadrant 1 quality, which the trip to Utah (17-9 SU, 13-9 ATS) qualifies as a road test against a team with an RPI rating between 1-75; the UTES rank 49 entering. The Bruins are just 2-4 SU and ATS in prior Quad 1 games this season.

The ‘under’ is 5-1-1 between UCLA head coach Steve Alford and Utah leader Larry Krystkowiak all-time, the one blemish an 83-82 Bruins win last January fueled by Lonzo Ball’s 8 assists. The Ball-led bunch was easily Alford’s best offense in his five-year Bruins tenure. No other meeting has finished with greater than 149 combined points. Krystkowiak Utes tends to hold UCLA’s usually explosive offense at bay. Toss out the one ‘over’ and the Bruins average 68.8 points per game in the series.

Utah will flood the paint defensively and force UCLA into bad shots. The Utes allow opponents just a 54.5 percent success rate of shots down low. To put this in perspective, the D-I average is right around 60 percent. Utah wins 74-68. Lay the points and pick ‘under’ 150 points for the best value.

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