NCAA Basketball Picks: Utah vs. Oregon

Darin Zank

Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:51 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 2:51 PM UTC

Can the Ducks break out of their recent funk with a victory? Can the Utes pull an upset? And which way might this game break along the pointspread? What to choose for your Basketball Picks?

The Oregon Ducks, once one of the hottest teams in the country, will try to stop a three-game losing streak when they host the Utah Utes for a Pac-12 bout Saturday night in Eugene (8 pm ET, Pac-12 Network). 

This Week's Basketball Betting Record: 1-0

Utes-Ducks Betting LinesMost online sportsbooks we sampled opened this game with Oregon favored by 12.5 points on the NCAAB odds boards, and that spread had held steady in the early betting action. 

Utes-Ducks Game Set-Up

Oregon only returned two starters this season from a team that went 24-10 last year, and was expected to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack in the Pac-12. But the Ducks got off to an 11-2 non-conference start to the season, then won their first seven conference games, reaching No. 10 in the polls. They were living somewhat dangerously, though, with four of those conference victories coming by five points or less.

But the Ducks took a hit two weeks ago when PG Dominic Artis, who's averaging 10 points and four assists per game, suffered a foot injury. He's missed the Ducks' last four games, and Oregon has missed him, going 1-3 over that span. Oregon first fell at Stanford, then at Cal, and Thursday night they blew a late seven-point lead and lost at home to Colorado 48-47.

Through their first 20 games this season the Ducks averaged 76 PPG; over their last three games they've averaged 51 PPG.

Artis is also expected to miss Saturday's game.

Utah returned just two starters this season after going 6-25 last year, and consequently was expected to bring up the rear in the Pac-12. And basically that's how things have played out so far. The Utes went 7-4 through their non-conference schedule, their best win probably coming vs. Boise State. But Utah then lost its first five conference games, although three of those came by a total of seven points.

The Utes have won two of their last five games, beating decent teams in Washington and Colorado. But

Wednesday night Utah shot just 36 percent from the floor in losing at Oregon State 82-64.

So at 7-3 in conference play Oregon sits in tie for second place in the Pac-12, just a game out of first, while 2-8 Utah is tied for last place. 

Utes-Ducks, Statistically Speaking

For the season Oregon is shooting 46 percent from the floor, 33 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the FT line. Defensively the Ducks are holding opponents to 40 percent FG shooting, and out-rebounding foes by a healthy eight boards per game.

Utah is shooting 44 percent from the field, 35 percent from beyond the arc and 75 percent from the line. The Utes are also limiting foes to 40 percent shooting, and playing opponents to almost a dead-even battle on the boards.

Utes-Ducks Recent History

Oregon swept two games from Utah last year, beating the Utes 79-68 in Salt Lake City, then jumping out to a 34-2 lead on its way to a 94-48 victory in Eugene.


Utes-Ducks Betting Trends

Utah is 12-7 ATS this season, and 3-0 ATS when dogged by double-digit points.

Oregon, somewhat surprisingly, is only 9-12 ATS this season, 4-4 ATS when favored by 10 points or more.

Utes games are averaging 127 total points this season.

Ducks games are averaging 136 points, but only 112 PPG over their last three games.


Oregon is a clear-cut favorite for this game, but without Artis the Ducks are a question mark. They won their first game without him, but have looked terrible since. Utah, meanwhile, has won a couple games recently over quality opponents, and has also lost several close games. The Utes seem capable of keeping this one close, too.

Free College Basketball Picks: Take Utah at the +12.5 points offered at Pinbetfor your college basketbal picks.

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