Houston Baptist Huskies (6-25) at Arizona Wildcats (27-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday November 7, 2018, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Arizona Wildcats -28.5 -- Over/Under:
The Houston Baptist Huskies and the Arizona Wildcats meet in non-conference college basketball action on Wednesday night.
The Houston Baptist Huskies will look to improve on what ended up being a frustrating and disappointing 2017-18 campaign that saw the Huskies finish 6-25 overall, including 2-16 in Southland Conference play to finish in a tie for 11th place, failing to qualify for the conference tournament. The Huskies played quite the out of conference schedule, with games against Providence, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Michigan State and Vanderbilt. The Huskies will have to move forward without leading scorer and Southland rookie of the year David Caraher, who took 16.2 PPG to St. John’s for the 2019-2020 season. The good news for HBU is that they return their next 3 leading scorers in Ian Dubs, Jalon Gates and Braxton Bonds who combined for 34.3 points, 12.1 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game last season.
The Arizona Wildcats will look to improve on a solid 2017-18 season that saw the Wildcats finish at 27-8 overall, including 14-4 in Pac-12 play to win the regular season Pac-12 title before defeating Colorado, UCLA and USC to lock up their second straight conference tournament title. Arizona’s stay in the NCAA tournament was short lived however, as the Wildcats were upset by #13 seed Buffalo in the opening round by a final score of 69-68. The issue for the Wildcats is replacing their entire starting lineup, as Deandre Ayton went 1st overall in the NBA draft, Allonzo Trier and Rawle Atkins both went pro and Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dusan Ristic both graduated from the program. Justin Coleman and Brandon Williams will be expected to battle for the starting PG spot, with Coleman being one of the few experienced players on the team after averaging 13.5 points and 6.6 assists per game for Samford last season.
Houston Baptist is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall. Arizona is 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 home games and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 Wednesday games while the under is 8-2-1 in their last 11 games overall.
Common logic would say Arizona in blowout fashion. However, there's absolutely no way that I'm laying this many points with an Arizona team that has a completely new starting 5, and who knows what we are going to see from the Wildcats. The Huskies weren't good last season, but they bring back some of their key pieces and have more starting experience than Arizona, so while I'm not touching this game personally, I'd say take a shot with Houston Baptist and the points here.