Conference Betting Value: Pac-12 Semifinal NCAA Basketball Picks

Jason Lake

Friday, March 11, 2016 5:26 PM GMT

The top four seeds are into the semifinals at the Pac-12 tourney. Not much of a surprise there, but which two will beat the NCAA basketball odds this Friday in Las Vegas?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Mar. 10: 15-11 ATS, 1-2 Totals

 

It's like picking cherries off a tree. For the second straight day at the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament, we went 3-1 ATS with our NCAA basketball picks. And it would have been 4-0, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids from Utah and that stupid hawk of theirs. Next up: Saturday's semifinal round from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, featuring each of the top four conference seeds. Find these games the Pac-12 Network if you can; Kevin Calabro's been doing some of the play-by-play. Get up for the downstroke!

 

No. 1 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 4 Arizona Wildcats (9:00 p.m. ET)
Both the Ducks (26-6 SU, 17-12 ATS) and the Wildcats (25-7 SU, 16-16 ATS) allowed their opponents to cover on Thursday. Oregon erased an early deficit to beat the Washington Huskies 83-77 as an 8-point chalk, while Arizona settled for an 82-78 win over the Colorado Buffaloes (+7.5). The better team won in both cases, just not by as much as the market expected.

Now they get to face each other. When they last met on January 28 in Tucson-not-Tempe, it was the Ducks winning 83-75 as 7-point puppies. The folks out West are late with their NCAA basketball odds for Friday's games, so we're working without a net here, but at least we have a kayfabe spread of Arizona –2.9, courtesy of the fine folks at Sports-Reference and their Simple Rating System.

It's a bit strange that Oregon is the top seed in this tournament, while Arizona is ranked No. 8 on the AP poll, seven steps ahead of the Ducks at No. 15. How will recreational bettors view this matchup? We'll just assume for now that they overbet the favorites and make Oregon a value pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon +1.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

No. 2 Utah Runnin' Utes vs. No. 3 California Golden Bears (11:30 p.m. ET)
The Utes (25-7 SU, 15-14-1 ATS) had the USC Trojans in a deep hole during Thursday's suppertime game, then they almost coughed up the matador cover as 6.5-point favorites in an 80-72 victory. And in the nightcap, it was the Bears (23-9 SU, 18-13-1 ATS) pulling away late to defeat the Oregon State Beavers 76-68, cashing in as 8-point favorites.

These two teams have played twice this year, with each team winning SU and ATS on the other's home court. Cal “won” the series by outscoring the Utes 135-131. S-R gives Utah a 3.1-point advantage on the SRS; perhaps you'll see both favorites at –3 once the odds start coming down the pike for Saturday's semis. We'll stay the course with the presumed underdogs in this matchup, and as always, may the sphere be with you.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: California +2.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle