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Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats Betting Preview

Thursday night will feature a battle of Pac-12 rivals as the Utah Utes (17-9, 10-5) take on the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats (22-4, 11-4). The Wildcats will host this one at the McKale Memorial Center, with tipoff scheduled for 10:00 pm ET.

The Wildcats are heavy favorites in this one playing at home. They are -550 to win, while the Utes’ moneyline sits at +390. The spread features Utah as 9.5-point underdogs (-102), and the over/under for total points is 147.5.

Utah Tries To Double Up Arizona

At 17-9, it has been a solid season for the Utah Utes. One of their highlights of the year was beating Arizona back at the beginning of December 81-66 at home. Now having to travel to Arizona, the Utes are hoping to double up their conference foe.

In that December win, Branden Carlson had a huge game with 22 points and five rebounds, while Rollie Worster added 12 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.

On the year, Carlson has been their go-to, averaging 16.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. Other major contributors include Gabe Madsen (11.7 points, 2.8 rebounds), Lazar Stefanovic (10.5 points, 3.1 rebounds), and Marco Anthony (9.8 points, 6.7 rebounds). Unfortunately, Madsen is currently out with a leg injury.

Offensively, the Utes rank 183rd, averaging 70.5 points per game (60.3 on the road). On the defensive side, they are much better. They rank 15th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 61.8 points per game.

Arizona Looks To Bounce Back, Use Home Court Advantage

Arizona has not only been one of the best teams in the Pac-12 this season, but they have been one of the best in the nation, too. Still, there are a few losses that have haunted them, but none more so than the Utah game.

In the earlier loss to Utah, Azuolas Tubelis (20 points, six rebounds) and Oumar Ballo (22 points, seven rebounds) had huge games, but it still wasn’t enough to pick up the win. Now playing at home, where they are 13-1 this season, the Wildcats will look for redemption.

Offensively, Arizona is one of the best teams in the nation as they rank fifth in scoring, averaging 83.2 points per game. Tubelis (20.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists) has led the way, but players like Ballo (14.7 points, 8.8 rebounds), Courtney Ramey (10.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists), Kerr Kriisa (10.6 points, 5.6 assists) and Pelle Larsson (10.1 points, 4.5 rebounds) also have the potential to have huge nights.

On defense, the Wildcats are not quite as strong as they rank just 198th, allowing opponents 71 points per game (67.7 at home).

Take Utah And The Points

The Wildcats have undoubtedly had this date circled on their calendars since the beginning of December, but a blowout will be tough in this one. First, Arizona has had some struggles as of late as they are coming off of a 88-79 loss to unranked Stanford in their last contest.

Furthermore, for as good as Arizona’s defense is, Utah has an equally solid defense. They were able to limit the damage to just Tubelis and Ballo in their first matchup, and if they can do that again, they could have a shot at taking this one as well.

At the bare minimum, expect Utah’s defense to keep this one respectably close. For that reason, take Utah at +9.5 (-102).

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