Oregon vs. Arizona College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Ducks Stop Pac-12 Skid? (Saturday, February 19)
Rebecca Noble/Getty Images. Pictured: Bennedict Mathurin.
- The Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats go to battle in a Pac-12 After Dark special on Saturday night.
- The Wildcats have proven to be a real Final Four threat this season, so the Ducks will have their hands full on the road.
- Check out Alex Hinton's full betting guide with his top pick below.
Oregon vs. Arizona Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Oregon was the No. 13 team in the AP Preseason Poll, and for a while, it did not look the part. It started 5-5, including blowout losses to BYU and Houston. The Ducks went on to win 12 of the next 15 games. However, they ran into a buzzsaw in Tempe and shot 34% from the field in a 81-57 loss to Arizona State. The Ducks were swept by ASU and are now 17-9 and 10-5 in the Pac-12. Now the Ducks head to Tucson to battle Arizona State’s arch rival, Arizona.
Arizona had more of a fight on its hands than expected from Oregon State on Thursday. It did pull away for a 83-69 win, though it did not cover as -23.5-point favorites. The Wildcats improved to 23-2 and in the Pac-12.
Arizona comes in ranked No. 3 in the country and on a seven-game winning streak. However, Oregon will not be intimidated, having won the last seven meetings. Will Oregon continue its dominance over Arizona, or will the Wildcats get some redemption at home?
The Ducks are led by the veteran backcourt of Will Richardson, Jacob Young and De’Vion Harmon. Richardson averages 15 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The senior is also shooting 41.9% from deep on five attempts per game.
Young averages 11 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists, while Harmon averages 10.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Young and Harmon combined for four points on 1-for-13 shooting from the field against ASU.
Against Arizona, Oregon will need strong games from its centers N’Faly Dante and Franck Kepnang. Dante averages 8.1 points and 5.6 rebounds, while Kepnang averages 3.2 blocks per 40 minutes.
Oregon is 63rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 129th in offensive rating. It ranks in the top 100 nationally in effective field goal percentage and two-point percentages. The Ducks are more reliant on points in the paint than the three ball. However, the free throw line can be a struggle. The Ducks get to the line 17.1 times per game, but they only make 66.7% of them, 317th in the nation.
Oregon is 105th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 154th in defensive rating. Defending the paint is not a strong suit for Oregon. It ranks in the 200s nationally in two-point percentage defense, block rate and blocks per game. The Ducks are also 285th in defensive rebounding percentage and allow 10.5 offensive rebounds per game. That will be problematic against Arizona.
In the win over Oregon State, the Wildcats shot 52.5% from the field and were led by their big three. Azuolas Tubelis, Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko scored 58 of the team’s 83 points.
Mathurin is the team’s leading scorer on the season and averages 17.2 points to go along with 5.8 rebounds. Tubelis averages 15.2 points and 6.6 rebounds, while Koloko averages 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds. Tubelis makes 59% of his two-point attempts, while Koloko makes nearly 62% of his. As a team, Arizona makes 57.5% of its two-point attempts, which is sixth nationally.
Arizona is ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency and 10th in offensive rating. The Wildcats lead the nation in assists with 20.3 per game. Kerr Krisa leads the team with 4.8 per game, while Dalen Terry averages four.
Arizona also leads the country in rebounding, is second in defensive rebounds per game and eighth in offensive rebounding percentage. Arizona has a lot of rebound opportunities because of how good it is on the defensive end.
It ranks first nationally in two-point percentage defense, second in field goal percentage defense and second in effective field goal percentage defense. The Wildcats are also fourth in blocks per game and 19th in block rate. Koloko averages three blocks per game and is ninth in the country.
Oregon vs. Arizona Betting Pick
Oregon was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 in the preseason polls, but it has been Arizona that has emerged as the team to beat in the league. In addition to the loss to ASU, Oregon lost to Cal by 14 last Saturday. While I expect a spirited effort from Oregon to avoid a third blowout in four games, it simply does not match well with Arizona.
Oregon gets 54% of its points from inside the arc, but it will be facing the best two-point defense in the country. Arizona also has the length and perimeter defenders in Mathurin and Terry to make life difficult on Richardson and Harmon.
At the other end, Arizona will not face much resistance from Oregon’s interior defense. That could mean big games for Koloko, Zubelis and Oumar Ballo off the bench. If Arizona has a bad shooting night, it should be to control the offensive glass.
Additionally, Arizona wants to run and play as fast as possible. Against a team it has lost seven straight to, including some heartbreaking losses, Arizona may want to run Oregon out of the McKale Center. I’ll back Arizona to end its losing streak to Oregon at home and cruise to a victory.