Pick Utah to Extend Betting Dominance Over Colorado

Matthew Jordan

Friday, February 2, 2018 12:48 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 12:48 PM UTC

Colorado (12-10) hosts Utah (13-8) tonight at 9 ET in Pac-12 action with even odds at most sportsbooks. Utah has had the Buffaloes' number in recent years. Will that continue?

Utah Utes at Colorado BuffaloesFree NCAAB Pick: UtahBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Utah is nearly coming off two consecutive wins on the road against ranked opponents. The Utes upset Arizona State, but lost at Arizona by a point. Having had almost a week to recover, they'll look to regroup at Colorado.

A major factor in Utah's success is its three-point shooting. Point guard Justin Bibbins leads Utah with 14 points and 5.1 assists per game. He also leads the team in minutes and ranks 76th in three-point shooting percentage and 81st in assist rate. Bibbins recently deserved the honor of being the Pac-12 Player of the Week:

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Power forward David Collette is Utah's leader in percentage of possessions involved in and percentage of shots taken. He complements Bibbins' dangerousness from three with effective inside scoring. Collette ranks 264th in two-point shooting percentage. Power forward/center Tyler Rawson and small forward Gabe Bealer are the two other Utes who rank in the top 500 in three-point shooting percentage. Rawson also leads Utah with 6.2 rebounds per game.

In most of Colorado's SU wins, it has scored about 80 points. The Buffaloes have lost three in a row SU, failing to cover two of those three and failing to eclipse 71 points in all.

Point guard McKinley Wright and power forward George King both lead Colorado with 14.3 points per game but are each coming off terrible offensive performances in their last game. Wright struggles to score consistently. He averages less than 50% in both two-point and three-point field-goal percentage. His strength is as a ball distributor, ranking 36th in assist rate and leading the team with 5.4 per game. King is versatile as a strong rebounding presence and effective shooter from three. He ranks 307th in three-point shooting percentage and leads the team with 8.2 rebounds per game. Guard/forward Namon Wright is the other Buffalo averaging double figures. He has stepped up his game in conference play, completing 56.4% inside the arc.

The Verdict

Under Coach Larry Krystkowiak, Utah has won seven games in a row against Tad Boyle's Buffaloes and covered six of those seven.

Bettors should expect that trend to continue tonight. The matchup decider is behind the arc. Offensively, Utah relies strongly on the three-ball, mounting the 27th-highest proportion of three-pointers attempted. Utah ranks third in the Pac-12 in three-point shooting percentage thanks above all to the likes of Bibbins, Rawson and Bealer. Conversely, Colorado is especially vulnerable to three-pointers. Its perimeter defense ranks 218th based on proportion of three-point attempts allowed. Utah will be able to take advantage of its strength from three.

Colorado's 10-2 SU home record may look scary to bettors. But its advantage at home derives significantly from the altitude in Boulder, which is not a problem for the Utes, who also play at high altitude in Salt Lake City. The Utes are well-tested road warriors, with a 4-2 road ATS in conference play so far and will continue to succeed against Colorado on our NCAAB Picks.

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