College Basketball Betting Favorite: Arizona -5
The Arizona Wildcats are the number one team in the country. Arizona is a perfect 20-0 entering this big Pac-12 game. The Wildcats have been tested on the road at San Diego State and UCLA. Sean Miller’s team appears ready to lock in a number one seed in the Big Dance, but they still have lots of work to do in the difficult Pac-12. Stanford will be very fired up for this huge home contest on national television. Can the Cardinal pull off an upset?
The Arizona Wildcats look like a team that will be tough to beat in March and April. This is a team that plays terrific defense both on the ball and away from the ball. There are no easy looks against this unit. On the offensive end, Arizona has a true point guard running the show this year, which makes their offense flow much better. T.J. McConnell doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves, but he has been the steadying force at the point guard spot this team has needed for the past few years.
Nick Johnson leads the team by averaging 16.7 points per game. Johnson does everything well and his versatility is a big asset to the team. Aaron Gordon is a sensational freshman who leads the team in rebounding and is a freakishly good athlete. Kaleb Tarczewski’s game has improved a ton since he stepped on campus. The 7’0 center is now a legitimate scoring threat in the paint. Arizona is number one in the nation in defensive rebounding. They are allowing just 56.6 points per game.
The Stanford Cardinal have been up and down this year. They lost 112-103 at home to BYU in their second game of the season. It looked like defense would be a major problem for this team. In arguably their most impressive win of the season, Stanford allowed just 13 points in the second half against Connecticut. The Cardinal also went to Eugene and knocked off Oregon a couple weeks ago. Stanford is 13-6, and the Cardinal badly want to get back to the NCAA Tournament. They haven’t been there since Johnny Dawkins took over, and this is a team that has been very close each year. Getting a win over the number one team in the country would put a huge feather in their cap.
Dwight Powell is one of the best forwards in the nation. Powell has an inside and outside game. He has an NBA type of game, and he’s a difficult matchup for anyone. Powell is averaging 14.3 points and 7.8 boards per game. Chasson Randle is just a natural scorer who finds ways to put the ball in the basket. He leads the team at 19.1 points per contest. Stanford shoots 40.3% as a team from beyond the arc.
Free Pick: Stanford +5
Arizona is the better team, but this is a difficult spot for them. Stanford needs this game badly, and the Cardinal will have a great home court advantage here. Expect this game to go down to the wire. Take Stanford and the points.
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