Pac-12 Conference Roundup: Oregon Makes Tough Arizona Road Trip
Washington Teams Visit Los Angeles
The Pac-12 Conference roundup has three days of solid basketball action to close out the week, beginning with a decent contest between the Oregon Ducks and Arizona. The Ducks travel to Arizona State on Saturday in what could be another decent one, while Washington State, who many people believe is the best team with a losing record travels to USC and UCLA.
Thursday, Feb. 2
The Pac-12 Conference roundup begins with a good game between Stanford (9-12) and Utah (15-8). The Utes are favored by 7 and the total is 133.5. The Utes have a huge defense edge in this one. Utah is No. 22 in adjusted defensive efficiency and would be higher if they forced some turnovers. The Utes are No. 7 in 3-point defense and No. 12 defending the 2-pointer. But Utah ranks No. 314 in turnovers forced. Utah’s offense is a little better than Washington’s, while the Cardinal are slightly better than average defensively. Utah won 71-66 earlier this season. The Utes offer value up to -8.
Arizona (19-3) is favored by 7 over Oregon (13-9) with a total of 150.5. The Ducks are a good team offensively and defensively. It’s just the Wildcats are better on both ends of the floor. Arizona ranks No. 14 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 31 on defense. The Ducks are No. 42 on offense and No. 70 on defense. Neither defense forces many turnovers, while both teams are guilty are coughing up the ball at times. The Ducks can match Arizona in terms of 2-point defense but Arizona defends the 3-pointer better. Oregon is No. 264 in free throw shooting should the game come down to the wire.
The NCAAB betting predictions show USC (15-6) favored by 5 over Washington State (10-13) with a total of 132.5. Washington State is one of those teams the wise guys love but as a result they’re frequently overvalued. Southern Cal is slightly undervalued, with the Trojans going 12-9 against the college basketball point spreads. You don’t see 15-6 teams laying such a small number at home over 10-13 squads. Washington State shoots a lot of 3-pointers and will need some to fall to stay close in this game. The Trojans are No. 1 in 2-point defense, so the Cougars should look elsewhere to score. WSU already scores 38% of its points from 3-point range. If the line climbs, the Cougars could be worth a look.
Saturday, Feb. 4
The Pac-12 Conference roundup begins Saturday with the Cougars making the short trip to Pauley Pavilion to face the Bruins. UCLA will be favored by about 11.5 points with a total near 130. Washington State will have a whole new set of problems against the Bruins, who force turnovers and defend the 3-pointer extremely well. UCLA is also a more-rounded offensive team that hits the offensive boards well. The Bruins won 67-66 in Pullman, Washington, earlier this season, so UCLA shouldn’t be overlooking the Cougars in this one. The price is a little high but probably justified here.
The Ducks remain in Arizona and now face the Sun Devils in a game that’s going to be close to even with a total near 140. The Sun Devils thumped Oregon on the road earlier this season and the Ducks are capable of returning the favor in this one. The Ducks can score from the inside but it won’t be easy against the Sun Devils, who rank No. 3 in 2-point defense. This one will depend on how much the Ducks have in the tank after playing Arizona on Thursday.
Sunday, Feb. 5
The final day of the Pac-12 Conference roundup begins with the California Golden Bears visiting Utah in a game Utah will be favored by about 17.5 points with a total near 128. The Utes defeated California on the road earlier this season by a 58-43 final score. This one could get ugly, as California doesn’t shoot well or play defense. The Bears shot 40.6% from 2-point range in the loss to Utah earlier in the year and were 2 for 12 on 3-pointers. The Utes hit 52.9% of their 2-point attempts but were just 3 for 19 on 3-pointers. Utah is off for six days before hosting Colorado, so it should be focused for this game. But the number is going to be big.
Colorado should be favored by about 7 points here with a total near 137, as the Buffaloes’ defense should be the story of this one. The Buffs aren’t a very good shooting team and generate a number of points from offensive rebounds but Stanford holds its own on the boards. The Cardinal rank No. 20 in not allowing offensive rebounds. If Stanford can neutralize Colorado on the offensive boards, Stanford can score enough to stick around and keep things close. The Cardinal getting 7 or more is worth a good look in this one.
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