NCAA Basketball Picks: Back Arizona To Win At Home Over Oregon

Doug Upstone

Thursday, January 28, 2016 3:16 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 3:16 PM UTC

The college basketball slate offers a matchup between the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona Wildcats. Join us as we preview this game and get the top NCAA basketball picks for the night.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona -7.5
Best Line Offered: at The Greek


Tonight the war of attrition continues in Tucson, as preseason favorite Arizona attempts to take down Oregon, who is tied for first place at the moment with Washington.

It has been really hard to win on the road in Pac-12 and that is where both of the Ducks losses have come from and all three of the Wildcats. Arizona will attempt to stay unbeaten at the McKale Center in this 9:00 Eastern encounter on ESPN2.


Oregon Has To Play Their Game & Do One Thing Really Well
The Ducks (16-4, 9-7-1 ATS) like to fly around, (pun intended) getting up and down the floor trying to create offensive mismatches before the opposing teams set up their defense. This is especially true off a rebound and this is where the majority of layups and three-point attempts come from in coach Dan Altman's offense. At the head of the class is Dillion Brooks at 16.2 points a game, followed by Elgin Cook (13.5), Tyler Dorsey (13.4) and big man Chris Boucher (12.3), who is the team's leading rebounder at 7.9.

This the kind of offense Altman has used at every stop in successful coaching career. One difference for him is at a Power 5 program, he can recruit a better athlete and can instill his defensive principles and see them really play out. Oregon has incredible defensive length all over the floor, explaining why opposing teams only connect on 40.7 percent of shot attempts.

For Oregon to upset Arizona or beat the NCAA basketball odds of 7.5, they will have to do a great job on the boards, having been outrebounded by 44 in last three meetings.


Coach Miller Know What Arizona Needs To Win
Arizona (16-4, 11-9 ATS) has lost three conference contests by six total points (one in 3OT's) and it four losses have been by 10 total points. But coach Sean Miller is not happy with any of them for one reason, his team's - effort. In particular, sustainable effort. In each defeat, Miller has stated, it was not shooting droughts or dull periods that every team goes through, it was a lack of effort, particularly early in games that placed the Wildcats in a bad position.

Arizona has not had many of those at home, riding a 49-game home winning streak and this season they are 11-0 and 7-4 ATS, winning by 22.4 PPG at the McKale Center. Miller will be expecting leading scorer and rebounder Ryan Miller (14.9, 10) to have his game face on and the same with center Kaleb Tarczewski (10.7), who needs to take a more assertive role, both offensively and defensively.

The Wildcats average 85.4 PPG at home, playing at a quickened pace and like Oregon can be explosive off defensive rebounds. But where Arizona takes control of this contest is on the glass.


What Bettors Need To Know
Oregon is 1-3 and 1-2-1 ATS on the road this season, losing by only 0.3 PPG. This will be their third assignment as a road underdog and they are 1-0-1 against the number. Having last played on Saturday, the Ducks are 7-3 (3-3-1 ATS) with three or more days off and 13-4 ATS off a home win against a conference rival.

Arizona is off a 74-73 loss at Cal as 2.5-point road favorites and they are 2-1 SU and ATS after a SU loss, winning by 15.1 PPG and 6-2 (4-4 ATS) off a non-cover. Rest and practice have served the Wildcats well with a 8-1 and 6-3 ATS record with three or more days between games.


What To Expect & Spread Winner
With Arizona a favorite at -7.5 with total of 152, they will take on an extremely motivated Oregon crew, whom they swept 3-0 (all covers) last season, winning by 26.6 PPG. In the Ducks three previous trips to the "Old Pueblo", they had covered all them, winning once.

If Arizona had won at Berkeley, I could take Oregon, but with the 'Cats off a loss and 10-2 ATS at home after playing a road game the last three seasons, winning by 26.8 PPG, but with NCAA basketball picks, have to support the home team on tonight's game.

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