Lay The Points With Your NCAA Basketball Picks & Grab Arizona To Cover vs. Stanford

Willie Bee

Thursday, January 21, 2016 2:47 PM GMT

Among the final games on Thursday that we'll add to our NCAA basketball picks is a key Pac-12 battle at Stanford where the Cardinal host the offensive-minded Arizona Wildcats.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona -5½
Best Line Offered: at The Greek

 

The last time Arizona left Tucson for a weekend Pac-12 trip, it didn't turn out well for the Wildcats. Head coach Sean Miller is hoping for better results this time when his team heads to the Bay Area for a pair of league matchups.

First stop for the Wildcats is Stanford where the Cardinal await in one of the last games on Thursday's college basketball betting card. The 11 PM (ET) tip will be televised from Maples Pavilion by the Pac-12 Network, The Greek currently showing the Wildcats as 5½ point favorites with 142½ for the scoreboard hurdle.

This series belongs to Arizona historically with a 59-29 record, the Wildcats building on that advantage by winning the last 11 meetings. Miller's squad has also covered the last three in the series, each of those contests going 'over' the NCAA basketball odds.

Over the course of the last five played at Maples Pavilion, Stanford backers have dropped the cash four times while five of the last seven on this floor never stayed 'under' the totals. Just as they did a year ago, the Cardinal will end the regular season with a roadie in Tucson against the 'Cats.

 

'Cats Bounce Back From LA Trip With 2 Dominant Performances
One tough weekend in Tinseltown is still weighing heavy on Arizona (15-3 straight up, 10-8 against the spread) in both the polls and the conference standings. The setbacks at USC and UCLA, both as 3 point favorites, leave the Wildcats 2-2 in true road games this season, and they'll need to sweep this quick trip to Northern California, Thursday's stop at Stanford followed by a Saturday tilt at California.

Miller was able to reignite a fire under his team following the losses, the Wildcats making it look easy in victories over Washington and Washington State. Arizona was favored by 14 and 18, respectively, against the Huskies and Cougars, and really had it going on the offensive end of the floor, scoring 189 points combined and connecting on 18-of-31 from beyond the arc in the contests.

The best news from those wins is the Wildcats were able to do it without guard Allonzo Trier. The freshman broke his right hand near the end of regulation in the loss at USC, yet still managed to play all four overtime periods. He is expected to miss another four weeks or so, and Miller has gone a little bigger in his lineup without Trier, starting 6-9 forward Mark Tollefsen instead.

 

Date With Wildcats Breaks 7 Days Of Rest For Cardinal
The fact that Stanford (10-6 SU, 7-7 ATS) has five players averaging double digits in the scoring column might actually mean something if Johnny Dawkins could put all five on the floor at the same time. But he can't, largely because Reid Travis remains out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg. The sophomore forward was averaging almost 13 PPG and pulling down more than seven boards when he reinjured his leg, but has been forced to sit the last eight games.

The entire team has been sitting for seven days after beating California at home last Thursday, 77-71. The Cardinal were getting 4 points at the closing bell but their backers never needed them in the mild upset. It may have been a case of 8-on-5 against the Golden Bears with Stanford outscoring Cal 30-9 at the free throw line.

Dawkins has been getting a little more out of a few players, one of them freshman guard Marcus Sheffield, to make up for Travis' absence, but I'm not sure they're enough to back the Cardinal with my free NCAA basketball pick. Let's lay the points on the Wildcats for Thursday's college basketball plays.

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