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Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – January 5, 2017

Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – January 5, 2017

Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats Preview

Where: McKale Center, Tucson

When: Wednesday, January 5, 10:00 PM ET

Line: Utah Utes (TBA) vs. Arizona Wildcats (TBA) – view all NCAAB lines

TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

College Basketball News and Previews

Betting on the Utah Utes (TBA)

Here comes another chance for Utah to beat a ranked opponent. On the heels of a 76-60 win over Colorado on Sunday to kick off Pac-12 play, the Utes will travel to Tucson for a showdown with No. 17 Arizona. The Utes are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.

Having failed to beat then No. 18 Butler and No. 13 Xavier in previous contests, the Utes aim to bag a win over a top 25 team against an Arizona squad that may have troubles containing the Utah’s offense.  The Wildcats are 12th in the nation in defense with 60.3 points allowed per contest but Utah could look to exploit Arizona’s seemingly weak interior defense.

Utah don’t shoot a lot of threes—only 6.5 treys made per game—but is having success getting the ball in the paint. The Utes are taking 45.5 percent of their shots at the rim, knocking down 70.3% of those attempts. Both those numbers are top 15 in the nation per Arizona, on the other hand, is making less than four blocks per game.

David Collette, who scored 14 points against Colorado, leads Utah with 15.4 PPG, but there are five more other Utes averaging in double figures scoring. All told, Utah is producing 81.3 PPG.

Betting on the Arizona Wildcats (TBA)

Still undefeated through two games in conference play, the Wildcats targets yet another victory this Thursday, as they return from a 91-52 road win over Stanford last Sunday.

Arizona, which also defeated California, 67-62, last week to open up its Pac-12 schedule, went beastmode on the glass against the Cardinal. The Wildcats grabbed 38 rebounds against Stanford’s 24. Controlling the boards and limiting the possessions of a high-scoring Utah side is going to be a big factor for Arizona later tonight. To that end, the Wildcats sure will lean on their tall frontline that boasts a couple of seven footers in Lauri Markkanen and Dusan Ristic. Markkanen tops Arizona in rebounding with 7.3 per game, while Ristic hauls down 5.7.

Arizona should be able to take advantage of Utah’s sloppy ball handling. The Utes are averaging 15.1 turnovers per game, one of the most in the nation.

Markkanen is also going to be a man to watch on offense, as he is leads the Wildcats with 15.8 PPG. Against Stanford, the freshman forward scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds. He also went 3-for-3 from deep. His outside shooting should create mismatch for Utah, which has allowed opponents to sink 7.6 threes per game.

Arizona is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five home games against Utah.

Writer’s Prediction

Arizona wins, 78-72.

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Written by Rex

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