The No. 9 Arizona Wildcats visit Oregon State on Thursday in what is basically a tune-up for Saturday’s game with Oregon. The Wildcats are far superior to the Beavers in every way. Oregon State can only hope the Wildcats are looking ahead to that game, but it won’t make much of a difference. Arizona is that good and the Beavers are that bad. Oregon State is last in the Pac-12 Conference with a 1-6 record. The Arizona vs Oregon State odds have the Wildcats favored by 19 and the total on the game is at 149 points.
Arizona on 3-Game ATS Losing Streak
The Wildcats enter this one, having won its last two games, but the Wildcats are on an 0-3 ATS slide. Arizona is still 12-6 against the college basketball lines on the season but has dropped its last two road games.
The Wildcats were upset at Stanford as 12-point favorites and then fell to Washington State as 9-point favorites. Arizona is 9-9 in totals this season.
The Wildcats should be better than 5-2 in conference play. Arizona has the No. 8 offense, according to KenPom, and the defense is ranked No. 5. The Wildcats are No. 1 in the Pac-12 offensively and defensively. Arizona is scoring 89.9 points per game against teams, allowing 71.5 points.
The ‘Cats can grab some offensive rebounds and are decent at not making turnovers. Arizona shoots equally well from the inside or outside but doesn’t take a lot of 3-point shots.
The Wildcats allow teams to make some baskets. But they’re No. 5 defensively in Ken Pomeroy’s NCAAB rankings because they don’t allow offensive rebounds, don’t send teams to the foul line, and can force turnovers. Arizona is No. 2 in the nation, preventing offensive rebounds.
When you don’t give up second chances or allow teams to score easy points at the foul line, you can allow some shots to fall. The Wildcats allow 33.4% on 3-point attempts and 48.1% on 2-pointers.
Oregon State Much Better at Home
The Beavers are 9-9 overall and 9-2 at home, although those home victories came against the likes of Division III Linfield, Cal Poly SLO, and Idaho State. Still, Oregon State’s only conference victory was at home against USC, and the Beavers took Stanford to overtime in their other home conference game. The Beavers are 12-5 in totals on the season, including 8-2 at home.
Offensively, Oregon State is averaging 69.6 points per game and 66.6 in Pac-12 play. The Beavers don’t shoot the ball particularly well, make too many turnovers, and don’t grab offensive rebounds.
That’s not an ideal combination. The only positive for Oregon State is the team is shooting 36.3% on 3-pointers in conference play. That’s an improvement over its season average of 32.5%.
Oregon State is pretty average defensively regarding shots allowed and forcing turnovers. The Beavers have seen the opposition’s shooting percentages go up a fair amount since conference play began. Oregon State needs to better prevent offensive rebounds, which is another weakness.
What to Expect
Arizona is going to come out and try to force the tempo. But the Beavers should have none of it. Oregon State doesn’t have the athletes to try and run with Arizona. Its best chance is to try and get the Wildcats out of their rhythm.
That won’t be enough to win the game, but it could allow the Beavers to make the final score respectable, which isn’t bad for a team coming off 27- and 33-point losses.
Who to Bet On?
Arizona’s last two road games don’t give you a lot of confidence to lay the points here, especially with first place potentially being on the line Saturday when the Wildcats face the Ducks. But Stanford and Washington State are both better than Oregon State, although that doesn’t forgive Arizona. Those are games the Wildcats should win.
The Arizona vs Oregon State odds of Wildcats -19 is about where it should be. The Beavers are outmatched at every position and lost by 32 points the last time the teams played. The big question is how much the Wildcats play their starters with a big game coming up in two days.
The Arizona vs Oregon State odds on the total makes the over/under a tough call. The Beavers can completely stink it up offensively and keep the game under. But Oregon State also scores a bit more at home and is a much better team in front of the home fans.
From a betting value perspective, the Beavers are an easier case to make than Arizona, so take Oregon State +19 for one of your NCAAB picks for Thursday.
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