NCAA Basketball Picks: Arizona vs. Washington

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:37 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 3:37 PM UTC

The Arizona Wildcats have won four of five true road games this year, but will face a major test in the Pacific Northwest against the Washington Huskies Thursday night.

 Let’s take a closer look at the betting line for this Pac-12 Conference affair.

Getting back to defense

Arizona earned a convincing 74-50 victory over the USC Trojans as 14-point home favorites last time out, as the program got back to its defensive ways—after allowing 84 points to the UCLA Bruins in a home loss a week ago.  The Wildcats limited the Trojans to 28.1 percent shooting from the field, which dropped their season-long number to 39.9 in that particular category.  It’s still important to note that the team is just 2-5 against the spread (ATS) versus conference foes this year.

Key point in the season

Washington certainly needs to get on a run if it hopes to land a potential at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, as it has dropped three games in a row, including an 81-76 setback to the Oregon Ducks as 7.5-point road underdogs Saturday.  The Huskies are capable of beating anyone at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, but they’ve played just two of their last eight games at home.

Dog has gotten the cash

Sports bettors will find the Huskies as an attractive option when looking over the NCAA basketball odds page, considering the underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings in this series.  Washington has also managed to cover the number in 11 of its last 17 games when getting points, but is a disappointing 4-9-1 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points since 1997.  

Success when opening up a new calendar year

The Wildcats have compiled a solid 21-10 straight-up record in the month of January under Sean Miller over the last three-plus seasons, which is impressive when you consider that most of those games have come against Pac-12 foes.  From a betting perspective—it’s still hard to ignore that the squad is 10-13 ATS over the last two-plus seasons in that situation.

Trouble against ranked competition

When you look over the Pac-12 standings—there’s certainly a divide in mind mind between Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and everyone else.  Washington is a middle-of-the-road squad this season under longtime head coach Lorenzo Romar, which could spell trouble in this spot.  The Huskies have won just once in their last 10 games versus ranked opponents.



I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wildcats as one of their college basketball picks Thursday night, but there’s not much value to be found in this game, considering I established them as 4.5-point road favorites.  Arizona has put up some solid ATS numbers in this type of spot over the last three years, while its free-throw shooting should be the difference late.

NCAA Basketball Picks:  Arizona Wildcats -5 at Pinnacle

Be sure to check out PJ Laferla's free pick on this very same game, right here~

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