Arizona vs Indiana Odds, Picks | Will Wildcats Topple Hoosiers in Vegas?
Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Oumar Ballo (Arizona)
- Arizona and Indiana square off in Las Vegas in a battle between two top-25 teams.
- The Wildcats and Hoosiers both have major strengths in the frontcourt, so which team will win out?
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Arizona vs. Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Indiana Hoosiers were able to make up for their loss on the road to Rutgers by beating a Sam Griesel-less Nebraska team on Wednesday night.
The Hoosiers only put up 48 at the RAC because Rutgers eliminated any semblance of a look inside or out. In fact, the Scarlet Knights held Trayce Jackson-Davis to only 13 points.
On Saturday, the Hoosiers will take on the Arizona Wildcats, who have one shocking loss to Utah, but own notable wins over Creighton, San Diego State and Cincinnati.
The Wildcats are not necessarily the strongest defensive program, but one thing that Rutgers showed last weekend was tough interior defense deems the Indiana offense essentially useless.
Arizona carries Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis, who are 6-foot-11 and 7-foot, respectively. This is about as tall as a college team can be on the interior, and since Clifford Omoruyi and the Scarlet Knights disrupted Indiana’s game-plan from tip-to-finish, the Wildcats will take a page out of their book.
Look for Arizona to win this game in the Las Vegas Clash. The Wildcats’ loss to Utah looks like an anomaly at the moment, and they will be looking to make a statement.
This lineup runs at the fastest Adjusted Tempo in the NCAA. The Wildcats also have the second-rated Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and their eFG% ranks first, per KenPom.
This is a dominant offense, both inside and out.
The Wildcats produce nearly 57% of their points from inside the arc. Yes, Indiana has held opponents to 42.3% on 2-pointers, but that requires context.
The Hoosiers’ most significant test on the interior came against Pete Nance — who is mainly a stretch-4 shooter — and an injured Armando Bacot in Assembly Hall.
North Carolina has had a litany of issues of late, so the Arizona interior game will bring another level of heat for Jackson-Davis and Co.
Photo by CBB Analytics
Defensively, the Wildcats have one hang-up: their guard defense. Opponents are shooting 35.2% on them this season, and they tend to give up some open looks.
As inferred above, Indiana ranks 312th in point distribution from 3-point land, so it would need to exploit an issue it’s not used to exploiting if it wants to be successful versus this Wildcats defense.
Unless the Hoosiers suddenly pivot to a 3-point offense through Miller Kopp, Tamar Bates and Xavier Johnson, they will need to score on the inside.
Also, Jalen Hood-Schifino has been out with a back injury, so even if he plays, he could be hindered scoring-wise.
Indiana looks to get to the free-throw line, which it has done well by utilizing Johnson’s driving abilities and Jackson-Davis in the post. Arizona ranks around the middle of the pack in fouling, so the Hoosiers can take advantage of these issues.
That said, Tubelis and Ballo have fouled out a combined one time this season, so Indiana will not be able to attack the two players who will probably impact this game the most on Arizona’s side.
OUMAR BALLO SAID NO! ❌
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) December 4, 2022
Lastly, Indiana will force some turnovers. Johnson gets the edge over Kerr Kriisa, who has a tendency to sometimes cough the ball up. Jackson-Davis can do the same with Tubelis, but he may look more reserved with Ballo on the other block.
Tubelis being guarded by Race Thompson could get out of hand quickly. Tommy Lloyd is a good enough coach to recognize this and use it to his advantage.
Arizona vs. Indiana Betting Pick
All in all, Indiana may be facing a weaker defensive team than Rutgers, but the trees still exist to give Jackson-Davis and almost the entire Indiana offense trouble all game long.
Whomever draws Thompson on them out of the Wildcats’ post should have a field day.
If Kriisa can take care of the ball and Arizona can limit Indiana’s open looks on the perimeter, there is no reason the Wildcats do not win this game.
Take Arizona from a PK (-110) to -3 (-110).