Arizona sports betting enthusiasts are in for a treat as the Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, and Northern Arizona Lumberjacks are all in action Thursday night.
Arizona State welcomes Colorado to Desert Financial Arena, and this is a rematch of their one-point away victory over the Buffaloes.
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks travel to Cheney Washington, for a matchup with Big Sky Conference leader Eastern Washington.
Arizona plays host to the Utah Utes and has the opportunity to avenge a 15-point away loss to the Utes.
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Colorado Buffaloes vs. Arizona State Sun Devils – 8:00 pm
This is a critical Pac-12 matchup and one the Sun Devils should win by at least two points.
Colorado enters this matchup coming off an away upset over Utah. The Buffaloes have dropped three of their last five and have lost two of their previous three away matchups. Colorado is 1-8 as the away side on the moneyline (ML) and 1-7-1 ATS. The Buffaloes are one of the country’s more robust offensive rebounding units, and they need to be, as they are awful shooters from inside and outside the arc.
Arizona State must win this game to keep pace with the other Pac-12 leaders. The Sun Devils are 5th in the conference standings and 3.5 games behind Pac-12 leader UCLA. ASU is 18-8 overall and 8-4 at Desert Financial Arena but just 4-9 ATS at home. The Sun Devils enjoy an above-average turnover percentage but are below-average shooters from everywhere on the floor.
Phil’s Betting Tip: Neither of these teams can be trusted to cover the spread, so the best advice for this game would be to look at the moneyline and take Arizona State to win the game at -143.
The secret to stopping Colorado is keeping the ball out of KJ Simpson’s hands–Simpson has one of the highest individual usage rates in the country, but he’s struggled. He has fallen below his 16.3 scoring average in four of his last five games. The Buffaloes have a distinct size advantage, but the Sun Devils are 9-4 at home and should win this game SU.
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks vs. Eastern Washington Eagles – 9:00 pm
We have a Big Sky Conference matchup to consider when the last-place Northern Arizona Lumberjacks meet the first-place Eastern Washington Eagles.
The Lumberjacks have been underwhelming this season and are 1-11 SU but 9-3 ATS as the away team. Northern Arizona has a low turnover percentage and shoots well from downtown and the charity stripe but has one of the lowest FG% in the country. Jalen Cone has one of the highest usage rates in the league and, along with Xavier Fuller, packs a one-two scoring punch for the Lumberjacks.
Eastern Washington is undefeated in Big Sky Conference action and 6-2 ATS at Reese Court. The Eagles are 14th in the nation in effective FG% and top-60 in blocks, two-point shooting, and free-throw shooting percentages. Eastern Washington has one of the worst turnover percentages in the country but guard Steele Venters and forward Angelo Allegri are a two-pronged offensive attack that will be difficult to stop at home.
Phil’s Betting Tip: Eastern Washington should win this game by at least eight points. The Eagles are tough to beat at home and have a perfect 13-0 record in conference play.
Northern Arizona plays horrible defense, and the Ventors-Allegri combo will be too much for the Lumberjacks to deal with. The best bet for this game is probably the total–neither side plays quality defense, and both schools are 15-10 to the Over this season. Look to play Over 150.5 points Thursday.
Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats – 10:00 pm
Arizona bettors close the night with a terrific Pac-12 matchup when the Utah Utes meet the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats.
Utah enters this matchup riding a two-game winning streak and 2.5 games behind UCLA and a game behind the Wildcats. The Utes are a solid shooting side from inside and beyond the arc–Utah is a top-100 offensive rebounding team and ranks in the top-35 in defensive efficiency. Senior center Branden Carlson can dominate the game on both ends of the floor, and Gabe Madsen is a top-scoring threat from downtown and the team’s second-leading scorer.
Arizona is 2nd in the Pac-12, has won four straight at home, and is 13-1 this season at McKale Center. The Wildcats are 1.5 games behind UCLA but shot themselves in the foot last weekend in an away loss to Stanford. Arizona is a top-50 shooting side from inside and outside the arc but is one of the fastest-playing sides with a below-average turnover percentage. Junior forward Azuolas Tubelis averages nearly a double-double, and Courtney Ramey knocks down 41% of his triple attempts.
Phil’s Betting Tip: This is a big one for Arizona, and they should beat Utah. Thursday should be a physical matchup between two of the best frontcourts in the nation.
Carlson and Tubelis going toe to toe should be a fun matchup, but that will leave Carlson away from the basket, and that sets things up for center Omer Ballo to make an impact on the glass and to score in the paint. The best bet for this game is to take Arizona to cover -9.5 points or less against the Utes.