Tonight's Top Value NCAA Basketball Pick Against the Spread

Steven Suarez

Friday, December 19, 2014 6:59 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 6:59 PM UTC

Is there a spread value that stands out among the pack? We've run over the available NCAA basketball odds for Friday night and believe we've got a winner on our hands.

Odds Overview
After quite a bit of early movement, it appears as if the odds have settled, and they show the Wildcats favored by six points here on the roud in a tough environment against UTEP. The moneyline shows Arizona as a -260 favorite, with the Miners available at +225.

The tempo should be relatively high tonight, so we can see why we see a total of 133 on the NCAA basketball odds board. The Wildcats have been one of the most efficient teams in the country on the offensive end this season.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":359696, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

UTEP Miners
The Miners are 6-3 on the season, but they have gone a perfect 4-0 on their home court, which is a big reason why they've been given a puncher's chance by oddsmakers.

UTEP has yet to play a ranked team this season, yet they've certainly been tested against some pretty good programs. Though the Miners lost to Washington, Colorado State and New Mexico State, they've managed to pull off a great win over Xavier already this season, so we know this team is more than capable overall.

Of course, it never hurts to have a dominant big, and UTEP has one in Vince Hunter. He's averaging 16.2 PPG and 10.1 RPG so far and he just dropped 26 points in the team's most recent win over SE Louisiana. The Miners will also lean on the production of Julian Washburn (10.9 PPG and 4.3 RPG) and Cedrick Lang, who's putting up 10.7 PPG and 6.2 RPG on the year.

It's going to be interesting to see how Hunter and company fare against what will easily be their toughest opponent of the season so far. They'll have the crowd behind them in the big way, and that always helps.

1st Half NCAA Basketball Picks for Arizona vs. UTEP

Arizona Wildcats
We've already analyzed the Wildcats on a few occasions this season, and they've still yet to show signs of weakness. They remain undefeated with a perfect 11-0 record overall.

It's not just that Arizona has yet to lose. The manner in which they've been winning has been the most impressive aspect. The Wildcats just wrapped up a 101-64 win over Oakland the other day, with eight different players scoring at least eight points and the team shooting 55.0 percent overall.

We can't say Arizona has been getting by through an easy schedule either, as they've already beaten the likes of Gonzaga, San Diego State and Michigan among others. The Wildcats have been tested and have dealt with the challenges with terrific play. 

Arizona gives heavy minutes to six players: freshman Stanley Johnson, who leads the team in scoring, and then Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley, Gabe York, Kaleb Tarczewski and T.J. McConnell. That kind of rotation has helped the Wildcats create some excellent chemistry on the court, and that bond figures to only grow stronger. The efficiency should only get better and better from here on out.


NCAA Basketball Pick
We're not going to pretend like this is going to be a walk in the park for the Wildcats. There's a reason this isn't a bigger number, yet we still can't shake the feeling that their balance will prove too much for the at-home Miners.

Arizona simply has so many different guys who can contribute, that we imagine it'll be hard for UTEP to keep the visitors down for long. With a seemingly perfect blend of experience and great underclassmen talent (especially Johnson), we look for the Wildcats to not only win straight up but to also cover the number. They've yet to give us a reason to fade.

Back Arizona with your NCAA basketball picks on Friday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona Wildcats -6 at 5Dimes

comment here