College Basketball Picks: Utah Utes vs. California Golden Bears

Utah Utes at California Golden Bears
Thursday, 2/28/13, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  California -11.5
Current Betting Line:  California -10
Opening Total:  125.5
Current Total:  125.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The California Golden Bears are the hottest team in the Pac-12 Conference
The California Golden Bears are the hottest team in the Pac-12 Conference

Utah has dropped four of its last five games, including a 60-50 setback to the Colorado Buffaloes as 12-point road underdogs a week ago, while going UNDER the posted total of 123.5.  The Utes have held their last five opponents to 27.2 percent shooting from the 3-point area, but have been outrebounded by 41 in that span.  Defensively, the team ranks 17th nationally and first in the Pac-12 Conference in holding foes to 39.0 percent shooting from the field.  Utah is 2-0 ATS as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points this season, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks and predictions Thursday night.

The Utes have three players averaging in double figures offensively, with senior guard Jarred DuBois leading the way, scoring 11.8 points per game.  He has scored 20-plus points in four contests during the 2012-13 college basketball season.  Utah dropped a 62-57 decision as a pick’ em in the first meeting with California, while the game went UNDER the posted total of 125.5.

California has won five games in a row, including a 60-59 victory over the Oregon State Beavers as 1.5-point road favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the third time in four contests.  The Golden Bears will play their final three regular-season games at Haas Pavilion, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball betting lines.  Defensively, the team ranks second in the conference in giving up 63.9 points per game, while sitting third in averaging 4.8 blocked shots.  California is 0-3 ATS as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Golden Bears are led by their junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs, as they are the highest scoring pair in the conference in averaging 33.9 points per game.  Crabbe and Cobbs have combined to score 913 of California’s 1,820 points this season, which comes out to 49.9 percent.

Sports bettors will likely back the Utes due to their 8-2-1 ATS mark on the road, while the Golden Bears are 1-7-1 ATS at home versus teams with a losing road record.

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