College Basketball Betting Preview: A Look at Utah-Michigan

Utah Utes at Michigan Wolverines, Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
Friday, December 10, 2010, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Michigan -9
Current Line: Michigan -8
Opening Total: 128 1/2
Current Total: 126 1/2
Money Line: Michigan -365 / Utah +295

Zack Novak and the Michigan Wolverines are 8 point favorites at home versus the Utah Utes.

The 6-2 Utah Utes travel to Ann Arbor to take on the 6-2 Michigan Wolverines. The Utes have two losses on the season to in-state rival Utah St and at home against Oral Roberts. Those two losses came back to back and since then the Utes have won 3 in a row. On Tuesday night, Utah beat Pepperdine in Salt Lake City 67-60. This is Utah’s second trip to the Midwest in a week. They traveled to Bradley last Saturday and won 68-60. Michigan is also on a three game winning streak after losing two in a row at home to Syracuse and UTEP. The Wolverines last played on Monday against Concordia, winning 86-65. Utah is 17-4 ATS versus teams that allow 64 or fewer points a game over the last 3 seasons. Michigan is 5-14 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons.

Utah is outscoring their opponents 73-67 on the season. Utah is shooting 43% from the field, but only 28% from three point range. Opponents are shooting 39% from the field, and 32% of three pointers. Utah shoots 73% from the free throw line and opponents are shooting 70% from the line. Utah only averages 10.1 assists per game but they average more than 14 turnovers a game. Utah averages 38.6 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +2.6. Utah averages 6.9 steals and 5.3 blocks per game. The Utes are led by guard-forward hybrid Will hybrid. He leads the Utes in points, rebounds, and steals. He is scoring 20.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 2.4 steals a game. Point guard Josh Watkins 16 points per game, and 3.8 assists per game. Other key players in the rotation include center Jason Washburn (8.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG), forward Jay Watkins (7.5 PPG, 4.4 rebounds), guard-forward J.J. O’Brien (6.0 points, 8 rebounds), and center David Foster (2.9 blocks a game.)

Michigan is outscoring opponents 68-56 on the year. The Wolverines are shooting 43.6% percent from the field and 30.9% of three pointers. They are holding opponents to 38% from the field and 26.5% from three point range. Michigan shoots 66.1% from the free throw line, and Wolverine opponents are shooting 64% from the line. Michigan averages 39.8 rebounds per game and they have a rebounding margin of +6.5. Michigan averages 13.6 assists per game, and 12 turnovers a game. They average 5.1 steals a game and 1.5 blocks a game. Michigan doesn’t have a player over 6’10” but have three players averaging double digits in scoring. Guard Darius Morris leads the Wolverines in points, assists and steals with 14.4 points, 7.5 assists, and 1.8 steals. Forward Jordan Morgan is scoring 11.4 points a game, along with 6.9 rebounds. Freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr. averages 10.4 points a game. Other key players in the rotation are Stu Douglass 9.3 points a game and Zack Novak who leads the team in rebounds with 7.6 a game.

Utah would rather pay this game in the high 60’s or 70’s while Michigan would rather play it in the 50’s. Michigan might struggle with Utah’s size. Utah doesn’t have a signature win on the season, and this would go a long way toward solidifying their resume for March. Both of these teams are expected to be middle of the road teams in very tough conferences and this would be a very good quality win for either team.

Our College basketball handicappers are red hot to start the season and have lots of winners on tap every day.

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