California vs Arizona Free College Hoops Pick

Posted by Ryan Knuppel on Wednesday,March 2, 2016 3:47, EST in

The Arizona Wildcats may have the higher national ranking, but it is the Cal Bears that are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time. Now, the struggling Cats will look to handle their red-hot Pac-12 rivals and get back on track before the start of March Madness while the Bears look to improve their chances of getting a favorable seed come tourney time. Let’s find out who’s going to bring home the bacon in this PAC-12 NCAA basketball betting match up.

How to Bet the No. 25 California vs. No. 16 Arizona NCAAB Odds & TV Info

When: Thursday, March 3, 9:00 PM ET
Where: McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona
TV: ESPN3
Radio: SportsRadio1290
TV Stream: WatchESPN
NCAAB Odds: TBA

Why Bet the California Golden Bears

The Bears (21-8 SU, 17-12 ATS) look like a great pick in this contest because they’re playing their best basketball at the perfect time. Cal has won seven straight games including their emphatic 87-65 win over USC as an 8-point home favorite on Monday night.

Freshman forward Ivan Rabb scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Bears to victory while freshman forward Jaylen Brown added 18 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Jordan Mathews contributed 17 points in the win. Brown commented on Thursday’s affair against Arizona. “I cannot wait,” Brown said. “We’re going to play it like it’s a Final Four game.”

Why Bet the Arizona Wildcats

The Wildcats (22-7 SU, 15-14 ATS) look like a solid bet mostly because they’re playing at home. Arizona has lost two straight games including its 70-64 loss against Utah as a 3.5-point road underdog on Sunday. Freshman guard Allonzo Trier had a team-high 23 points for Arizona but missed a potential game-tying 18-footer with 1:35 remaining. “Allonzo had a couple of shots that almost went in for us,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. If they would have, we might have won. But he was an exceptional player today.”

The Wildcats were swept on their two-game road trip, losing to Colorado in its previous game. “They play so well together,” Miller said of Utah. “That’s what you really admire about them, whether it’s offense, defense, guys coming in off the bench knowing their role, they just have a tremendous team. My hat is taken off to these guys.”

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Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction

The Arizona Wildcats may be playing at home in this contest, but they’re not my pick to cover the spread against the streaking Cal Bears. The Golden Bears are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning SU record and an even more impressive 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall.

Conversely, Arizona is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 and an un inspiring 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. The Bears have two players that are projected to be first round picks in Brown and Rabb and both showed why against USC with Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers in attendance.

The Home team in this Pac-12 rivalry is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings, but the Golden Bears are an incendiary 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win, making them the pick to at least cover the spread in this Pac-12 pairing.

My final score prediction: Cal 76 Arizona 73