Take Arizona Wildcats at +3.5 spread against Ohio
State Buckeyes risking 3 Units. (7:45 PM)
It may be easy to dismiss Arizona in this game against Ohio State
and I am sure a majority of people already are. The Wildcats lost to
California, Colorado, USC and UCLA (twice) in the second half of the
season while Ohio State has won its last 10 games including victories
over Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State (twice)!
However, looking deeper into this individual game, I think Arizona
has a real shot of winning it! I wouldn't write them off just yet; let's not forget
that Arizona was ranked in the Top 10 earlier this season and did manage
to beat some quality opponents along the way. This game is also being
played in Los Angeles which will surely be packed with Arizona fans
The Wildcats may have ranked 84th in the nation when it comes to field
goal percentage during the regular season but they ranked 25th in offensive
efficiency. Their offensive efficiency over their last three games in
the tournament would have ranked them 8th in the nation over the course
of the season! Another reason the Wildcats rank well in offensive efficiency
is because they can knock down the 3 point shots; they rank 40th in
the nation in three-point percentage. Iowa State was able to go 12 of 25 from behind the arc against the
Buckeyes; that was not a coincidence. The Buckeyes rank 83rd in the
nation when it comes to opponents 3-point percentage this season. They
simply do not guard the 3 point line well.
The Wildcats also have a dynamic scoring weapon in senior guard Mark
Lyons who averaged just over 15 points during the regular season and
has racked up a combined 50 points against Belmont and Iona in the NCAA
tournament. Then there is who I believe is an X- factor in Solomon Hall.
Hall will have the task of guarding DeShaun Thomas. If Hall can slow
down or shut down Thomas in this game, the Buckeyes have very little
chance to win. Arizona will also have an edge when it comes to rebounding. The Wildcats
rank 14th in the nation in rebounding percentage this season. The Buckeyes
rank 69th. Iowa State (ranked 46th in rebounding percentage) cleaned up on the
glass against the Buckeyes in their game 35-20. That included grabbing
12 offensive rebounds. Arizona should be able to bully Ohio State down
low and gain the rebounding advantage.
Ohio State is thought to have the advantage on defense with Aaron
Craft managing the game but personally I am not so sure about that.
After all, Iowa State (a highly offensive team) didn't shoot as well
in their game with Ohio State, nor did they win the turnover battle
(16 turnovers), yet Ohio State needed a last-second three-pointer by
Craft to advance. Also, coming into that game, the Cyclones ranked 168th
in free-throw attempts per game this season but they were able to shoot
23 free throws against Ohio State! If Arizona can get to the line like Iowa State did, they stand an
even better chance to upset the Buckeyes.
I believe that this Ohio State team is just a bit over-rated while
I feel Arizona's success this season has been minimized. The Wildcats
actually pose somewhat of a matchup nightmare for Ohio State and I believe
this game will be closer than people are expecting with Arizona having
a shot to win it at the end. Look for this game to possibly come down
to the final possession. Take the points.
One more key trend to consider:
Arizona is 15-6 ATS when slated as an underdog over the last 3 seasons
Please refer to the all-important SPS Bankroll System instructions received upon joining.