Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (0-0) vs. Arizona Wildcats (0-0)
November 9, 2021 10:30 pm EDT
The Line: Arizona Wildcats -24.5 / Northern Arizona Lumberjacks +24.5; Over/Under: -139.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and the Arizona Wildcats meet in college basketball action from the McKale Center on Tuesday night.
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks come into the 2020-21 season looking to bounce back from a 5-15 mark in 2020-21, including 4-10 in conference play to finish as the #10 seed in the Big Sky conference tournament. The Lumberjacks upset Portland State in the first round before being eliminated by Eastern Washington in the second round, ending their season. Nik Mains is the top returning scorer from last season after logging 8.8 PPG and 3.6 RPG for the Lumberjacks last season while Carson Towt had 5.6 PPG and 4.6 RPG. Mason Stark comes in from D-II after logging 16.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 3.3 APG last season while Northern Arizona shockingly brought in Virginia Tech transfer guard Jalen Cone, who had 9.2 PPG for the Hokies last season. The interior defense was a massive issue for NAU last year and it’ll be interesting to see how they remedy those issues this season.
The Arizona Wildcats will look to start the Tommy Lloyd era in Tucson strong after finishing last year with a record of 17-9 including 11-9 in Pac-12 conference play, The Wildcats were banned from postseason play after their involvement in an NCAA corruption scandal between 2017 and 2018. The Wildcats return big man Azuolas Tubelis who logged 12.2 PPG and 7.1 RPG while Bennedict Mathurin had 10.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG last season as the other double-digit scorer returning for Arizona this season. Justin Kier transfers in from Georgia after recording 9.5 PPG and 3.7 RPG with 2.4 APG last season and Pelle Larsson comes from conference rival Utah after putting up 8.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.8 APG for the Utes last season. The Wildcats hope to get the taste of last season out of their mouths and the talent is there to do it, led by Tubelis and Mathurin, it’s all about executing at this point.
Northern Arizona is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games while the under is 7-3 in their last 10 games as a road underdog. Arizona is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite while the under is 6-1 in their last 7 home games.
I need to see that Northern Arizona has their interior defensive issues fixed before even giving them a sliver of hope against Arizona. The Wildcats aren’t as loaded as years past, but there’s still some solid pieces there for coach Lloyd to start with and I think he starts things off with a big win and cover in this one.