NCAA Basketball Picks: Lock Arizona & Stanford To Go 'Over' 140.5

Jay Pryce

Saturday, March 5, 2016 1:16 AM GMT

No. 18 Arizona sends off five seniors in its final game of the regular season against Stanford in Tuscon on Saturday (4 p.m. ET). Get your free NCAAA Basketball pick with betting analysis here.

Longtime Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins, on the hot seat after yet another pedestrian season, kicked off his Cardinal leadership winning two in a row over Arizona nearly ten years ago. But its been downhill since. Arizona has won the last 12 meetings in a row, going 9-3 ATS.

 

Stanford Cardinal (15-13 SU, 10-15-1 ATS)
Stanford showed a little life late in the season, winning four of five before its 74-64 defeat to Arizona State on Thursday. It will need to dig deep to pull off a seemingly improbable upset in Tucson to reach .500 in conference for the season. In the first meeting, in which Arizona won 71-57, Dawkins' squad was severely outclassed, held to its second lowest shooting night of the year at 30.6 percent from the floor. Only then-No.8 Villanova has stymied the Cardinal for less with a dismal 26.0 percent performance from the field in a 59-45 defeat back in November.

Scoring 69.9 points per game, the Cardinal own one of the lowest effective field-goal rates among Power-5 schools at 48.0 percent. Away from home, these figures dip to 64.5 and 44.5 respectively.

PF Rosco Allen is the Cardinal's best player. The versatile 6-foot-9 Hungarian, who shoots 37 percent from downtown, is the team's leading scorer with 15.7 points per game. He heads a group of five players averaging double digits in points, but none are stand-out points-getters. The production is rather a consequence of Dawkins routinely shuffling his lineup.

Coach typically runs a 7-man rotation. The team's lack of depth, coupled with a lineup of poor shooters, keeps Stanford from beating the number against faster-paced teams like Arizona. The Cardinal, in fact, are just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 against conference foes averaging 57.2 field goal attempts or more a night. For what it's worth, this has been a chronic problem for Stanford under the former Duke player and coach where short rotations are the norm. Since taking over in 2008, Dawkins' Cardinal are 22-28 SU, 20-29-1 versus Pac-12 foes under these conditions, covering just one spread in their last 10 on the road.

 

Arizona Wildcats (23-7 SU, 15-14 ATS)
The Cats have shown little mercy to conference opponents at McKale Center, going 7-1 SU (4-4 ATS) and winning by an average of 15 points. They beat Cal 64-61 in Tucson on Thursday, but struggled to put the Golden Bears away, needing three treys by guard Gabe York in the final two minutes to cap off a come-from-behind victory.

Something is amiss with the offense over the last 10 days. In three games during this span, including two on the road against Utah and Colorado, the No.19 scoring offense in the land with 80.5 points has averaged 66.7, nearly 8 points below market projections. One key area that sticks out in the box scores is its lack of success from behind the arc, where they're averaging just 3.67 threes per game. The Cats rarely fire away from downtown, putting up just 16.2 per game (323rd in the nation), but still bury 6.0 on average. They're shooting 28.2 percent from the area, dipping its overall shooting percentage to 43.6 percent, well below its above-average 48.6 percent on the year. Maybe York, who has more than double the three-point attempts than any other player on the team, found his groove at the end of the Cal game.

Arizona is 16-0 SU and 10-6 ATS on the season when laying double digits. The offense has overwhelmed inferior opponents, averaging 84.6 points per game. The Cats have gone OVER their team total in 11 of the contests.

 

Final Analysis
Although the Cardinal play at a deliberate pace under Dawkins, they've found it a challenge to slow down the Cats in the desert over the years. Arizona averages 81.2 points per game against Stanford at home since 2008. It could surpass that mark in this one. With the Cardinal offense showing signs of life over their last three games (75.7 ppg), the OVER 140.5 looks vulnerable for our NCAA Basketball picks. We'll make it our play at -110 NCAA Basketball odds.  

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 140.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker