Oregon SU & ATS Record Against Utah Makes Ducks The Pac-12 Championship Pick

Jason Lake

Saturday, March 12, 2016 3:25 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 12, 2016 3:25 PM UTC

They both needed overtime, but the No. 1 Oregon Ducks and No. 2 Utah Utes made it into Saturday's Pac-12 final. Will the Utes have enough gas left in their tank? Let's review the NCAA basketball odds.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Mar. 11: 16-12 ATS, 1-2 Totals

My goodness, that was some fine, fine basketball. Both of Friday's Pac-12 semifinal games were off the hook. The No. 1 Oregon Ducks (–1 on the closing line) blew a 7-point lead to the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats with 27 seconds left, only to win 95-89 in overtime. Then the No. 2 Utah Runnin' Utes and the No. 3 California Golden Bears went to overtime. In the end, those meddling kids from Utah did it again, winning 82-78 as 2-point faves.

So it'll be the Ducks and the Utes in Saturday's final (10:00 p.m. ET, FS1), live and in color from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We're already burning the midnight oil here at the West Coast home office; there should be some lines up on the NCAA basketball odds board by the time you read this, but nothing's been published yet as we go to press.


Shucky Ducky Quack Quack
We were a bit surprised to find Oregon (27-6 SU, 18-12 ATS) favored Friday's opener – although several books had it either as a pick 'em or at Arizona –1. Our consensus reports showed early action on the Wildcats at –2, then the pendulum swung enough to split the marketplace 50/50 just before tip-off. The Ducks never had majority support. Was some of that late Oregon money in large denominations? Enquiring minds want to know.

The Utes (26-7 SU, 16-14-1 ATS), on the other hand, started off with 50 percent consensus as 1.5-point favorites before their supporters started laying wood. The market was 55/45 in favor of Utah by game time, again with some late money on the underdogs from Cal, but only enough to shave a few cents off the vigorish. That's a bit closer to the standard betting pattern for “sharps” and “squares” making their NCAA basketball picks.


Musical Ute
We were also a bit surprised Arizona and Utah weren't favored by the three points we projected using the Simple Rating System at Sports-Reference, although to be fair, there were some books that had Utah –3 on the board, with most of the others at Utah –2.5. For Saturday's game, the Utes (+17.5 SRS) and Ducks (+17.1 SRS) are pretty much a coin toss on neutral ground – if you can call Las Vegas neutral. There were quite a few Utah fans at the MGM Grand.

Oregon swept both its regular-season games against Utah, SU and ATS, winning by double-digits home and away. That's a pretty good sign we should take the Ducks. They should also be the fresher team after the Utes had to play late into the evening. Are they even allowed to be up that late? Good thing there's nothing to do in Las Vegas after midnight on a Friday.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon -123
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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