Arizona and Oregon will engage in a up-tempo basketball game in Eugene Thursday night, which makes the ‘Over’ a valuable pick at Matthew Knight Arena.
Arizona returned to the court after a 12-day absence and picked up a convincing 73-49 victory over in-state rival Arizona State as 14-point home favorites Sunday, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it directly followed its first setback of the season.
The Wildcats are playing great defense once again under head coach Sean Miller, as they forced a season-high 22 turnovers last time out, while they enter this Pac-12 Conference matchup ranked eighth in the country in defensive efficiency.
It’s also important to point out that the squad is third in the conference with a +6.9 rebounding margin—posting a perfect 10-0 SU record when winning the battle on the glass this year.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points, with the UNDER going 8-1-1 in that situation.
A Big Opportunity
Oregon has won six games in a row since suffering a 79-73 defeat to Ole Miss as 7.5-point home favorites on Dec. 7, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as that loss doesn’t look as bad after that opponent forced top-ranked Kentucky into overtime earlier this week.
The Ducks sit among the top 30 nationally in averaging 78.8 points, 42.4 rebounds, 17.4 assists and 6.0 blocks—demonstrating how balanced Dana Altman’s club is on the floor at all times.
Offensively, the team has numerous options to go to down the stretch, as nine players are averaging five-plus points a contest.
Sports bettors will find that the program is 10-7 SU and 5-12 ATS in January since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, with the UNDER going 9-5 in 14 opportunities.
Arizona is in the midst of a stretch of playing four of five games away from Tucson, but Miller’s “A Player’s Program” has demonstrated the ability to flourish in this role, as it has posted 25 conference road wins since he arrived in Tucson.
Arizona has a great opportunity of covering this number as a favorite if it gets to the charity stripe, as it ranks 12th in the country with 378 free throw attempts, with star freshman Stanley Johnson leading the way with 85 trips.
Ducks guard Joe Young is one of just three players averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game—making him the most important player to handicap in this high-profile affair.
Young finished with just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting in last season’s 64-57 win over Arizona as 3.5-point home underdogs, as the defense carried the day in holding one of the top teams in the country to 42.3 percent shooting from the floor.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their top NCAA basketball picks, as the OVER is 5-2 in the Ducks last seven opportunities in the marketplace.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 135.5 at Bookmaker