BYU Cougars vs. Utah Utes - 12/10/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Utah Utes (6-1) at BYU Cougars (7-2)
College Basketball: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Marriott Center)
The Line: BYU Cougars -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The Utah Utes will travel to the Marriott Center to face the BYU Cougars this Wednesday night.
The 13 th ranked Utah Utes did what the previous 35 regular season opponents couldn’t do before them and knocked off the 8th ranked Wichita State Shockers 69-68 in OT last Wednesday night. The Shockers made a strong comeback in the second to force overtime, however, Utah’s star Delon Wright took over in overtime and hit the game winning jumper with 14 seconds left. Utah can credit its defense for the win as they held a very strong offensive team in the Shockers to just 38.1% from the field and held the dangerous duo of Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet to a combined 28 points on just 11-32 shooting (34.3%). Leading the Utes was Delon Wright who scored 17 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists while playing all 45 minutes of the game. Utah will be without one of their main contributors, Jordan Loveridge (11.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg), as he will be out due to a knee injury until early January. Coach Larry Krystkowiak will be relying on Delon Wright (15.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.1 apg), Jakob Poelti (12.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg), and Brandon Taylor (11.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg) to contribute more in Loveridge’s absence. Utah has been getting it done on both ends of the floor as offensively, they’re averaging 80.6 ppg (ranked 22nd) on an incredible 52.4% shooting (ranked 8th) and defensively, they are holding opponents to just 56.9 ppg (ranked 25th).
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BYU improved to 8-2 on the season as they cruised to a 90-70 victory against the Hawaii Rainbows this past Saturday. BYU shot a 48.3% (29-60) from the field and outrebounded the Rainbows by an absurd 49-30 margin. Leading the way for the Cougars was Kyle Collinsworth who posted a nice triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Also chipping in for BYU were Tyler Haws (30 points, 7 rebounds) and Chase Fischer (20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals). On the season, Tyler Haws ranked 3rd individually in scoring as he is averaging 24.4 ppg. BYU loves to run and score the basketball as currently they are the top-ranked scoring offensive in the college basketball at 94.6 ppg. The Cougars are a talented offensive team on all aspects as they are currently shooting 49.0% from the field (ranked 25th), dishing out 20.0 apg (ranked 1st), and grabbing 42.1 rpg (ranked 19th). Defensively, although we would expect BYU to give up more points based on the style of their play, they will still need to improve on the defensive end as they are currently allowing opponents to score an average of 76.8 ppg (ranked 332nd) on 42.1% shooting (ranked 175th).
The Utes are 20-5-2 ATS in their last 27 games following a S.U. win and are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. the West Coast Conference. The Cougars are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a losing road record however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.
BYU is the highest scoring offense and the land and could easily be ranked as their only two loses both game in overtime against San Diego State and Purdue. Playing on BYU’s home court will be difficult, however, Utah is going to be the best defensive team that BYU has seen and with a week to prepare for this game, there is no way I can go against Utah getting points. I’m going to take Utah to win this one straight up.