NCAA Basketball Picks: Stanford vs. Arizona

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 3:39 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 3:39 PM UTC

The Wildcats will look to protect their 10-1 SU record at home when they host Stanford tonight. The odds are very much in Arizona's favor, but that doesn't make them the right selection with our sports picks.

Odds Overview

Opening NCAA Basketball odds have the Wildcats favored by 11 points, but that number is starting to go down a little bit as we approach tipoff. Right now they're giving away 10.5 points, with 10 also available if you like Arizona to cover.

A relatively high total of 138 can be locked down at the sportsbooks. The UNDER is 11-4-1 in 16 games involving Arizona this season, but is just 6-7 in those involving Stanford. Meanwhile, the UNDER has cashed in four of the last five meetings between these conference rivals.


Stanford Cardinal

Following a slow start in Pac 12 Conference play which saw them lose three of their first four games, the Cardinal have looked far better over the last couple of weeks. 

It all started on January 27 when they thrashed Utah 87-56 on the road. A few days later they crushed a then-ranked Oregon team 76-52 at home (as three-point favorites) and this past weekend they held on to beat Oregon State 81-73.

Though they couldn't be happy with their defense, Stanford really got hot offensively against the Beavers, hitting 14-of-25 (56.0 percent) from beyond the arc. Chasson Randle had 20 points (6-of-11 FG) and five assists, while Josh Huestis recorded 16 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

Offensive efficiency hasn't been a problem for the Cardinal whatsoever lately. Over their last five games they're averaging 73.4 points, while shooting a staggering 48.3 percent from three. 

If Stanford is to improve on their 1-5 ATS record in their past six road contests, they're again going to have to hit some outside shots. One encouraging sign: the Cardinal are averaging 40.2 percent shooting from deep on the road this season.

Arizona Wildcats 

The Arizona Wildcats are also on a three-game winning streak, having beaten USC at home and both Washington and Washington State on the road.

In the 79-65 win over the Cougars, in which Arizona came in favored by seven points, Mark Lyons and Solomon Hills were the standouts. They combined for 38 points on 12-of-24 shooting and also chipped in with four steals between them.

A strong first half was all the Wildcats needed. They cruised out to a 14-point advantage by halftime, holding Washington State to 26 points in the process. From there it was smooth sailing for Sean Miller's crew.

Despite winning three in a row, the Wildcats haven't had too much success for backers against the spread. They have only covered in one of their last five home tilts and haven't done too well following SU wins either: over their last eight games after a victory, they're just 2-6 ATS. 

That said, Arizona has dominated Stanford in recent years, winning six straight in the series and cashing ATS in five of those W's.

College Basketball Pick

Despite Arizona's obvious talent level and high ranking, we feel as if this number may just be a little too high. The Wildcats have only lost one game at home this season, but they've also struggled to overcome the likes of Utah (60-57), Colorado (92-83 in OT) and Southern Miss (63-55) on their own floor.

What we're getting at is they haven't been as dominant as you might think, leaving the door open for a Stanford cover tonight.

The Cardinal have been relying on their outside shot to get them going, and if they can get some looks to fall, we believe they can easily stay within this number. That trio of Randle, Huestis and Dwight Powell has been excellent all season and could give the Wildcats, who are just 3-7 ATS over their last 10 games, some trouble.

With that said, we'll be backing Stanford with our college basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Stanford Cardinal +10.5

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