College Basketball Picks: Arizona Wildcats vs. Miami Hurricanes

Arizona Wildcats vs. Miami Hurricanes
Sunday, 12/23/12, 11:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Arizona -3
Current Betting Line:  Arizona -4.5
Opening Total:  131
Current Total:  135
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Miami Hurricanes are 11-5 ATS in December the last two-plus seasons

Arizona is set to play in the semifinals of the 2012 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, as it comes off a 73-53 victory over Eastern Tennessee as 25.5-point neutral-site favorites Saturday.  The Wildcats have been turning the ball over at a high rate, including 18 of them in their last affair.  “It’s disappointing,” stated Wildcats head coach Sean Miller.  The program is 18-9 all-time in games played in Hawaii, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks Sunday.

The Wildcats are 23-16 all-time against teams currently residing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including a 5-0 mark since Miller took over in Tucson.  Arizona is off to a perfect 10-0 start this year, winning its games by an average of 18.9 points per game.  Three probable starters are averaging in double figures offensively, with senior guard Mark Lyons leading the way, scoring 13.3 points per game.

Miami extended its win streak to seven games with a 73-58 victory over Hawaii as 9.5-point favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the total for a fourth consecutive time when given the opportunity.  The Hurricanes are now focused on trying to win their second game over a ranked opponent this year, as they captured a 67-59 win over Michigan State on Nov. 28.  It’s important to note that the program is 2-18 versus ranked opponents when playing on a neutral floor.  Miami is 11-5 ATS in December over the last two-plus seasons.

The Hurricanes have outscored their last three opponents by a total of 68 points, while they have five players averaging double-digit points this season.  Senior center Reggie Johnson is becoming a force in the paint, as he has blocked 13 shots in the past five games.  Durant Scott is the player to watch offensively, coming off a season-high 20 points versus the Warriors, as he managed to knock down 4 of 8 shots from beyond the arc.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the UNDER is 15-7 when the Wildcats play with one or less days rest.

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