Senior Handicapper Matt Rivers of OffshoreInsiders.com has a free pick on Saturday is on the Utah Utes (+17.5) Oregon.
I backed the Utes on Thursday night in the first leg of this Oregon tour against the Beavers, cashed the ticket and expect to do the same here against the Ducks. As I said just the other night Utah isn’t good and in fact probably are the least talented team in the entire Pac-12 conference. But give those Mormons some credit as they have been playing far more competitive ball of late and right now can hold their own against teams that aren’t very good. I’ll even go as far as saying they are a recent covering machine.
The Ducks had a promising start to the season and aren’t terrible but they also aren’t anything great and all in all are probably about dead even with Oregon State, even if they have the clear better record at 21-8. Those teams split the season series with the visitor prevailing in both games in tight fashion and after seeing the Utes cover the contest the other day in Corvallis fairly easily I’ll grab pretty much the same number here.
Joseph, Singler and the Ducks will win this game as they are too good and playing in Eugene is never easy for anybody, no less an inferior opponent like Utah. But Tony Woods did leave that last game a bit injured and after seeing the Utes fight hard in that second half the other night makes me all right with once again grabbing such a hefty number with an improving Utah squad.
Top expert pick on this game: Utah
Now to the Duke, Vic Duke.
UTEP (+1) for 2 Units **
UTEP/SMU 3:00: The Miners have gone 8-0 SU in this series, including January 14 OT win at the Don Haskins Center. Today, I see no competitive advantage with SMU on their home floor in Dallas.
SMU, which is 3-10-1 ATS at home, will have a sparse crowd of fans (under 2000) at the Moody Coliseum. UTEP’s players, alumni will counter with nearly that many to create a limited home court advantage other than the comfort of the shooting atmosphere. UTEP is much more prolific offensively than their counterpart, yet stuck in a rut over the last few games. We’ll look for Miners’ HC Tim Floyd to get Bohannon and company rolling in their final regular season game. There is no incentive to move up in seeding for the conference tournament for either team but the teams want to end the regular season on a winning note for momentum carrying into the tourney.
The edge falls with UTEP, which has a comfort on this floor at 6-1-1 ATS against SMU. SMU’s plodding Princeton style offense and variety of zone and many defenses UTEP has seen this season and Floyd should have them ready to deal with accordingly. UTEP is 8-3-1 ATS off a SU loss and should bounce back strong here. The road team is 12-3-2 ATS in this series. UTEP the call.
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