Free College Basketball Picks: Northern Arizona at Arizona
by George Monroy - 12/23/2013
The No. 1 Arizona Wildcats have one more game to play before they can wrap up the first part of the season and end the year with a perfect 13-0 record. However, once Arizona returns from its holiday break things will be considerably tougher as the team will play its first Pac-12 game against Washington State on Jan. 2 and immediately see matchups against UCLA, USC and Arizona State. The Wildcats will be given a chance to really earn their No.1 ranking once the New Year begins.
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks have won just three games this season and already have a three- and four-game losing streak on their record. The Lumberjacks are coming off an 11-21 season last year and have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2000. The squad is probably headed for another disappointing year and at this point has covered only three of its eight posted lines. Northern Arizona will play its biggest game of the year against the Wildcats tonight, so let’s take a closer look at the matchup and give some predictions with analysis.
Northern Arizona at Arizona Betting Story Lines
Not only is Arizona good, but the team also covers spreads. The squad is 8-3 ATS through 11 posted lines this season and has played more than a few huge matchups. The Wildcats already have an impressive list of victories that include Long Beach State, San Diego State, Duke, UNLV, New Mexico State and Michigan. Arizona is being led by the 15.7 points and 3.9 rebounds of guard Nick Johnson, but the team’s real star is another freshman from this season’s highly-touted high-school recruits, Aaron Gordon. The forward is averaging 12.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 30.3 minutes of action per night.
The Wildcats are coming off a 26-point victory over Southern University that could have been a letdown game. Arizona had just earned another huge win over the Michigan Wolverines and was playing without its 7-foot center Kaleb Tarczewski, who had twisted his ankle the previous game. And on top of all that, the team was in the middle of finals. Gordon and Johnson led Arizona with 21 and 17 points, respectively, while the Wildcats opened their second week as the No. 1 team in the nation.
Northern Arizona has not played since a two-point win on Saturday, Dec. 14, over Grand Canyon. The team used the victory to snap a four-game losing streak, but it has dropped four of its last six games. After tonight’s matchup against the Wildcats, the team will not play again until Jan. 2 in a road matchup against Montana. The Lumberjacks average only 67 points per game and are being led by the 14.8 points and 5.1 rebounds of forward Max Jacobsen. The team grabs 35 rebounds per game, which is ranked 223rd in the nation, but shoots poorly from three-point range with a .291 shooting percentage.
Northern Arizona at Arizona NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Arizona opened as a 27.5-point favorite over the underdog Lumberjacks at BetOnline. Northern Arizona is 9-2-1 ATS over its last 12 games against the Pac-12 but only 1-4 ATS over its last five nonconference games. The team is 2-10 ATS following a SU win and 1-7 ATS against squads with a winning SU record. Arizona is 8-0 ATS against teams with a losing road record and 10-2 ATS over its last 12 games following a SU win. The Wildcats are also 12-3 ATS over their last 15 home games and 8-2 ATS over their last 10 overall games. Head-to-head, Northern Arizona has covered four of the last six meetings on the road, while the underdog has gone 4-1-1 ATS over the last six matchups.
Free College Basketball Picks: Northern Arizona at Arizona Predictions
It’s difficult to imagine the No.1 Wildcats actually losing tonight’s game against Northern Arizona, but that does not mean they will cover the 27.5-point spread. The team is about to end a perfect 13-0 run to the beginning of the season and has already beaten two squads expected to be in the title hunt come March. Arizona simply does not need to win this game by more than 27 points. Northern Arizona, on the other hand, will come into Monday’s game viewing its matchup against the Wildcats as its biggest game of the year. However, that determination does not mean that the Lumberjacks will pull off an upset, or even keep the game close. It simply means that Northern Arizona will probably “only’ lose by 20 or so points. Take the Lumberjacks plus the points.
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