Washington Huskies at #12 Utah Utes
Jon M. Huntsman Center – Salt Lake City, Utah
Sunday, January 25, 2015, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Utah -12
Current Line: Utah -12 1/2
Opening Total: 124 1/2
Current Total: 127 1/2
Opening Money Line: Utah -1000 / Washington +700
Current Money Line: Utah -900 / Washington +600
The 15-3 Utah Utes are 5-1 in the Pac 12 and a half game behind Arizona for the conference lead. Utah hosts the 14-4 Washington Huskies Sunday. Washington is 3-3 in Pac 12 play and is in sixth place in the conference.
The series is tied 8-8 between Utah and Washington, but the Utes are 4-2 in Salt Lake City. Utah won two of the three meetings last year, and has won 2 straight games against Washington. Each team won at home last year and Utah won the rubber match 67-61 in the Pac 12 tournament in Las Vegas. All three meetings were decided by 8 points or less. Utah will make the return trip to Seattle March 7 in the last game of the regular season.
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Washington is coached Lorenzo Romar. The Huskies have home losses to Stony Brook and Washington State, plus road losses at California and Stanford. The Huskies started off the season 11-0, but then lost 4 straight games. Washington has won 3 straight games since the losing streak. The Huskies have home wins over Pacific, San Diego State, Eastern Washington, Tulane, Oregon State and Oregon. Washington has neutral site wins over San Jose State, Long Beach State, and UTEP all in a tournament in Fullerton and Anaheim, plus Oklahoma in Las Vegas, along with a road win at Colorado Thursday 52-50. Washington is 9-8 ATS and the total is 7-10 this season. The Huskies were 1.5 point underdogs at Colorado and the total was 130.5.
Utah is coached by Larry Krystkowiak. The Utes have road losses at San Diego State and Arizona, plus a neutral site loss to Kansas in Kansas City. Utah has won 8 of their last 9 games. The Utes have home wins over Ball State, UC-Riverside, Wichita State, South Dakota State, USC, UCLA, Colorado and Washington State 86-64 Wednesday night. Utah has road wins over BYU and Arizona State, and a technically neutral site win over UNLV in Las Vegas. The Utes are 12-4-1 ATS and the total is 9-7 this season. Utah was a 19 point favorite against Washington State and the total was 135.5.
Washington is outscoring teams 70-61 this season. The Huskies are shooting 44.3% from the field and 31.5% from 3 point range. Washington makes 66% of his free throws. Opponents are shooting 35.6% from the field and 30.7% from 3 point range. The Huskies are #5 nationally in field goal defense. Washington averages 39.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.7 per game. The Huskies are #26 nationally in rebounding. Washington averages 14.3 assists, 12.3 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 6.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.8 assists, 11.2 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.
Guard Nigel Williams-Goss averages 14.7 points, 5 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Andrew Andrews averages 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Robert Upshaw averages 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game. Shawn Kemp, Jr. averages 10.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Mike Anderson averages 7.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Darin Johnson is probable with a quad injury. Forward Jernard Jarreau is out until late February with a leg injury.
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Utah is outscoring teams 75-57 this season. The Utes are #38 in scoring and #11 in points allowed nationally. Utah is shooting 49.7% from the field and 40.7% from 3 point range. The Utes are in the top ten nationally in both categories. Utah makes 68.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 37.7% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. The Utes are #13 nationally in field goal defense. Utah averages 36.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.8 per game. Utah is #20 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Utes average 14.9 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.5 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.
Guard Delon Wright averages 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Jordan Loveridge averages 11.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Brandon Taylor averages 10.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jakob Poeltl averages 9.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He is questionable with an undisclosed injury. Dakarai Tucker averages 7.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Brekkott Chapman averages 7.3 points and 2.7 rebounds. Kenneth Ogbe averages 6.4 points but is out indefinitely with a groin injury.
Utah is 23-7-3 ATS after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 41-14-1 at home, 39-15-2 overall, 38-15-1 after a cover, 34-14-3 after a straight up win, 38-16-1 against Pac 12 teams, 7-3-1 against teams with winning road records, and 44-19-3 against teams with winning records.
Washington has righted the ship after a 4 game losing streak. Still, Utah is very talented and tough at home. I like the Utes to win at home by a fairly comfortable margin.