Free College Basketball Picks: Oregon at Arizona Odds
by George Monroy - 2/5/2014
The No. 2 Arizona Wildcats took a small step back in the rankings after suffering their first loss of the season last Saturday. Arizona fell short in a nail-bitter against California that came down to the final shot as Justin Cobbs nailed a step-back jumper for the Golden Bears with 0.9 seconds left in regulation. Prior to its loss, Arizona had played another close matchup against Stanford and was probably due to drop a game soon. The Wildcats are still one of the best squads in the nation, but finishing the season undefeated was probably an unrealistic goal to begin with.
The Oregon Ducks are hoping to turn their season around with a few key wins over the next month of basketball. Oregon dropped five straight Pac-12 matchups and dug itself in a hole that might be too deep to climb out of before the NCAA Tournament begins. The team, however, has won two of its last three matchups and played a close game against the UCLA Bruins during its last loss. Let’s take a look at Thursday’s Pac-12 game between Oregon and Arizona with predictions and analysis.
Oregon at Arizona Betting Story Lines
Arizona has slowed down on offense—this was one of the highest-scoring groups in the nation to start the season—in favor of focusing on defense and shutting down its opponents throughout 40 minutes of regulation. The team is currently ranked 133rd in points scored (73.5) but continues to grab rebounds and hand out assists on the offensive end. Arizona is ranked 27th in rebounds (39) and 44th in assists (15.1) and field goal percentage (.473).
The Wildcats played well during their road loss against California but could not overcome the loss of forward Brandon Ashley, who broke his leg during the opening minutes of the matchup. Ashley, who averages 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds, has been an important part of Arizona’s offensive rotation, but many experts are already predicting that the injury may be enough to derail the team’s title chances come March. The oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag have already dropped the squad from +500 co-favorites down to the fifth best odds in the nation with +700.
Oregon continues to be one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation; averaging 84.7 points per game (sixth in the nation) while shooting .472 percent from the field (46th). The team has four double-digit scorers and is being led by the 18.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists from guard Joseph Young. However, those stats haven’t necessarily translated into wins for the Ducks.
The squad is only 3-6 in conference play and is five games behind Arizona in the Pac-12 standings. Oregon’s play has improved over its last three matchups, and the team is coming off a 12-point victory over the USC Trojans on Saturday. Young scored 21 points, and he started a 12-0 run in the second half to put the game away for good. Oregon also held USC to 2-of-10 shooting from behind the 3-point line
Oregon at Arizona NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Arizona opened as an 11.5-point favorite over the underdog Ducks at BetOnline. Arizona is 7-1 ATS over its last eight Thursday games and 15-6 ATS over its last 21 home games. The squad, however, is 0-4 ATS in its last four games against the Pac-12 and in its last four overall matchups. Oregon is 1-8-2 ATS in its last 11 Thursday games and 1-9-1 ATS in its last 11 overall matchups.
Head-to-head, the road team is 5-2 ATS over the last seven meetings between the teams, while Oregon is 5-2 ATS over the last seven games in Arizona. The “under” has come in five times over the last six matchups.
Free College Basketball Picks: Oregon at Arizona Predictions
Thursday’s matchup will be Arizona’s first game without injured-forward Ashley. The team might come into the matchup still feeling the effects of losing one of its best players and could struggle adjusting to playing without him. On the other side of the ball, the Ducks might feel its matchup against the No. 2 team in the nation is a chance to catch the team while it is down and earn a huge win on the national stage. The Wildcats are still good enough to win this game, but doing so by more than 11.5 seems like a stretch. Oregon is showing against value in a Pac-12 rivalry game receiving double-digit points. Take the Ducks to cover the spread.
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