NCAA Basketball Picks: Revenge Will Drive Utah To A Home Win Over California

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 3:38 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 3:38 PM UTC

The Cal Golden Bears visit the Utah Utes in the 8th game of the PAC 12 season for each of these teams. Don't miss our betting preview and get the best NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Utah -260
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


California vs. Utah (-6) 11:00 ET ESPN
With Cal entering on a 2-game win streak, while the Utes are on a 3-game win streak. That is where the similarities end in this matchup, as there is a huge home/road dichotomy at work in this game, along with a viable revenge motive. I believe those 2 factors translate into a Utah victory tonight at Huntsman Arena on Wednesday night.

Under 2nd year HC Cuonzo Martin (formerly Purdue, Tennessee), the Cal Bears have arguably as much pure talent as any team in the PAC 12. But, this team is very young. They are also a great example of why young teams first emerge at home. Six times this season, Cal has left their Haas Pavilion home. In November, there were neutral court losses to San Diego St. and Richmond. Though they did win in Wyoming in early December (failed to cover), they have taken to the road 3 times in PAC 12 play in the month of January. In those games, they were 0-3 SU ATS, dropping the Bears’ record to 1-5 SU, 0-6 ATS away from Berkley. Now, they must travel to the altitude of Salt Lake City to face a Utah team, whom they defeated (71-58) as 3 point favorite at Haas on January 3rd.

That leaves the Utes with payback on their mind on a floor where they are 31-3 SU L2+Y. In 4+ years, under HC Krystkowiak, the Utes are a remarkable 57-28 ATS on this court. But, the best numbers for Krystkowiak are when playing with revenge, a role in which he stands 20-5 ATS. The Utes enter with great momentum coming off a pair of road victories vs. the Washington schools by scores of (92-71) and (80-75).


Betting Analysis
Based on their athletic ability, Cal has solid defensive numbers of 67/38. But, their fatal flaw on defense is forcing less than 10 TOs per game. That means Utah will have a solid chance to score, nearly every trip down the court. Shooting 48% from the field, certainly aids their chances! And the Utes’ defense is stingy in its own right, allowing just 41% from the field. Though those may be minor edges, they work nicely with the stronger, home/road dichotomy and revenge factor to make the Utah Utes a solid play tonight at Huntsman Arena.

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick with the Utah Utes.

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