Belmont vs Arizona Odds, Pick | College Basketball Betting Guide
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Love (Arizona)
Belmont vs Arizona Odds, Pick
The Arizona Wildcats play host to the Belmont Bruins Friday evening. Neither team is participating in a multi-team tournament until next week, so it's the final tune-up for Feast Week.
Read more for college basketball odds and a pick for Belmont vs Arizona on Friday, Nov. 17.
Belmont is one of the most well-respected programs in mid-major basketball. It's a program that's consistently won 20+ games dating back to the 90s in the prime of the Rick Byrd era.
It's Casey Alexander, a former understudy of Byrd, whose taking Belmont to new heights.
The style is the same, too. Alexander deploys the fourth-fastest tempo in college hoops, and he wants his guys to shoot it from deep.
The Bruins' offense relies on Cade Tyson shooting the ball. A sophomore, Tyson has averaged 19 points in two games and is shooting 41.7% from downtown. He's the biggest name Bruin to monitor here. He's capable of stringing together 20+ points, which he did against Georgia State in the season-opener.
The Bruins' other star sophomore — JaKobi Gillespie — looks the part of a dominate four-year Missouri Valley lead guard. Gillespie's strength and ability to get into the lane and make plays makes him unique. It's a significant opportunity for Gillespie against one of the sport's most giant dogs.
Belmont struggles on defense, to put it lightly. The Bruins allowed Furman — albeit an outstanding Furman team — to score 99 points. Sometimes Belmont's pace can hurt it negatively, too. When the shots aren't falling, the tempo remains high.
In Wildcat land, Arizona has quickly jumped from No. 12 to No. 3 in the AP Poll after defeating Duke in Durham last week.
Arizona's formula under Tommy Lloyd is playing with pace, running in transition and trying to tire out the opposing team.
While that's all true, Arizona's defense is the best in Lloyd's three seasons in Tucson. Replacing Azuolas Tubelis and Kerr Kriisa with Keshad Johnson and Kylan Boswell is a major plus for Arizona's defense and rebounding — both of which struggled in March's NCAA tournament.
Boswell is averaging five rebounds and Johnson leads the team with seven boards a night.
Johnson also currently leads Arizona in points. That's pretty telling about the depth of Arizona's talent, as Oumar Ballo, Caleb Love and Boswell could all lead the team in scoring on any given night.
Love has yet to get his shooting around — just 33% from the floor and 25% from deep. I can't ignore the guy who willed North Carolina to the national title game two seasons ago. That guys still exists.
Another big feather in Arizona's cap is its ability to play 12 guys. Some of these players — like Motiejus Krivas, Filip Borovicanin and KJ Lewis — could easily start at other high-major programs.
Plus, Jaden Bradley, who started for the No. 1 overall seed Alabama Crimson Tide last season, is averaging just 3.7 points in limited minutes with the Cats.
Belmont vs. Arizona
Betting Pick & Prediction
The number is massive, as two of the highest-tempo teams in the sport hope to have a track meet on Friday evening. That's how both teams want to play, though, so I have no reason to think otherwise.
Additionally, Belmont's defense leaves plenty of room for improvement. If the Bruins allowed 99 points to Furman, Arizona could surpass 100 points.
Pick: Over 169.5
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