Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona Wildcats Predictions 2/19/22
When: Saturday, February 19, 10 p.m.
Where: McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.
Point Spread: ORE +13.5/ARIZ -13.5 (Bovada – Incredible live wagering platform!)
Moneyline: ORE +700/ARIZ -1100
Last Time Out:
Oregon got blown out 81-57 by Arizona State; Arizona handled Oregon State 83-69.
About the Matchup:
Most people probably would have expected a split from Oregon’s trip to the Arizona schools, but that was before the Ducks went to Tempe and got hammered by an improving but still very weak Arizona State squad. Oregon’s chances for an NCAA bid are now on life support, as the Ducks have offset their wins over UCLA and USC with two losses to the Sun Devils. Beating Arizona has now gone from being a nice boost to the resume to an absolute necessity.
And that’s a problem because the Wildcats come in undefeated at home and have beaten everyone they’ve played in Tucson by double digits except for USC (which lost by nine). Arizona has its sights firmly set on playing two games in San Diego before the regional semifinals (the Wildcats have no shot at the No. 1 seed in the West unless Gonzaga stumbles, but a No. 1 seed in the South isn’t too terrible). The Wildcats basically have to keep stockpiling wins to do it. Arizona has just two defeats all season, and both have come on hostile floors against certain NCAA teams. This is going to take a lot for the Ducks to get done.
Scouting the Ducks:
Five straight ATS losses and a record of just 3-2 SU in their past five games mean that the Ducks have been a team to avoid at the betting window. The big problem for Oregon is that the Ducks aren’t playing much defense right now, allowing 81 to Arizona State, 78 to California, and 77 to Utah. They did hold Washington State to 59 points, but that seems to be smoke and mirrors with the Cougars having their own problems right now.
The big problem here is that Oregon doesn’t score the ball well enough to win games when it’s not also stopping the other team from scoring. Only two of the Ducks’ losses saw a team beat Oregon without topping 70 points, and both of those came from the Ducks shooting 25% or less from behind the arc. Oregon’s not a great shooting team beyond Will Richardson anyway, but the Ducks have to either provide the defense or shoot their way to a win. Trying to do neither one isn’t working.
Scouting the Wildcats:
When the Wildcats have their inside and outside combination working as well as it did against Oregon State, they’re pretty tough to beat. The Wildcats didn’t even shoot that well from deep against the Beavers, yet they still got 20 points from Bennedict Mathurin, 22 from Auolas Tubelis, and 16 from Christian Koloko.
That does represent a slight potential weakness if anyone can stop two of the Wildcats’ big three, but that’s much easier to plan on paper than it is to actually execute. Arizona still gets decent minutes from its bench performers, but when its starters are combining to score 72 points, the Wildcats don’t really need their backups to score to win games.
The reserve contributions are more notable for what they’ve done on the glass. Arizona leads the nation in rebounding, and against Oregon State, the Wildcats bludgeoned the Beavers with a team effort on the boards. Given Oregon’s weakness on the glass, this could have a significant effect on this one.
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Oregon will Cover If: The Ducks can slow down the Wildcats and force them to play at a steady pace. Oregon is going to win this with defense, not its attack, and that means limiting the number of possessions. The more shots go up, the better Arizona’s chances are.
Arizona will Cover If: The Wildcats can create plenty of second chances. Arizona doesn’t need a lot of second chances because it shoots 48.9% from the floor, but when they do miss, they need to extend their possessions and keep Oregon from getting second chances. The Wildcats have a huge edge here and must exploit it.
Dan’s Best Prop Bets
The total looks like it’s attainable here. Oregon isn’t playing great defense as of late, and Arizona likes to run, so getting into the mid-70s for both teams should be fairly doable.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
There’s not a lot to like about the Ducks right now. They have to be better than what they’ve shown against Arizona State, but Oregon seems to be fading fast, and Arizona needs to keep the wins coming to hold on to its No. 1 seed. If the Ducks couldn’t handle the Sun Devils, it’s hard to see them handling the Wildcats. Give me Arizona. Bet your college basketball picks for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook!