Arizona Wildcats vs BYU Cougars
Saturday, 12/11/10, 6:00 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread: BYU -2
Current Betting Line: BYU -2
Arizona heads to Salt Lake City, Utah and faced 18th-ranked BYU Saturday in Energy Solutions Arena. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 20-18 and have not lost consecutive games against the Cougars since a four-game losing streak from 1971-73 when the teams were in the Western Athletic Conference. Last year, the squad suffered an embarrassing 99-69 home loss to the Cougars. Saturday’s game will be the program’s fourth game away from Tucson and its third neutral-site game. Offensively, the team is averaging 81.7 points and posting a +5.0 rebound margin in its three games away from home in 2010-11 thus far. Arizona is a sensational 7-1 ATS on the year and currently a two-point underdog on the college basketball lines page.
The Wildcats have posted a 185-136 record against schools that currently make up the Mountain West Conference and come in on a three-game losing streak in such meetings. Head coach Sean Miller is in his second year in Tucson and has led the program to a 1-3 record against ranked teams. An important part of possibly pulling off a slight upset in this contest is bench play, as the Wildcats’ reserves have outscored the opposition’s bench by a wide 277-129 margin on the season. Arizona has outscored eight of its nine opponents in the category, only being outdone by the Kansas Jayhawks.
BYU will play its third-straight neutral site game and look to improve to 10-0 on the season. The Cougars are coming off an impressive 86-58 victory over Vermont, led by preseason All-American Jimmer Fredette, who scored 26 points in his hometown of Glens Falls, New York. “Jimmer was terrific,” said coach Dave Rose. “I’ve been through quite a few homecomings as a coach and this is the most unique.” He was also unstoppable in last year’s meeting with the Wildcats, finishing with a school-record 49 points. It also helped that BYU shot 19-of-32 from the field, including 10-of-17 from beyond the arc in the first half last year in Tucson. The team is 11-5 ATS versus the Pac-10.
The Cougars will be playing at the home of the Utah Jazz for the second consecutive Saturday, defeating Hawaii 78-57 last week. Fredette isn’t the only offensive weapon on the club, with Jackson Emery and Noah Hartsock both averaging double-figures this season. Emery is averaging 11.9 points and 2.8 steals, while Hartsock is adding 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. BYU will be seeking its second 10-0 start in three seasons.
Bettors will be interested in the Wildcats 13-4 ATS mark on Saturday, while the Cougars are 1-7 ATS following a SU win.
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