The Morgan State take on the Arizona Wildcats. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Morgan State Arizona prediction and pick.
The Arizona Wildcats lost to the Utah Utes a few weeks ago, but they bounced back to beat Indiana and then Tennessee. All is well in Tucson, where head coach Tommy Lloyd continues to show how good he is as a creator of rosters and a developer of talent. Arizona can get up and down the floor but can also pound teams inside with low-post entries and lots of paint touches for its big men. The Cats can win from the perimeter, but they can also control games near the basket. What Christian Koloko, Azuolas Tubelis, and Bennedict Mathurin did last season, Tubelis, Oumar Ballo, Pelle Larsson, and others are doing this season.
Arizona has wins over San Diego State and Creighton in addition to the recent wins over Indiana and Tennessee. The Wildcats have several wins over likely NCAA Tournament teams, putting them alongside UCLA as the class of the Pac-12, as expected. Arizona is getting in one final warm-up game before the heart of the Pac-12 season and a huge game against Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State Sun Devils, which is just around the corner and will get a lot of national attention, given the surprising start by ASU this season.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Morgan State-Arizona College Basketball odds.
College Basketball Odds: Morgan State-Arizona Odds
Morgan State Bears: +29.5 (-115)
Arizona Wildcats: -29.5 (-105)
Over: 161.5 (-110)
Under: 161.5 (-110)
Why Morgan State Could Cover the Spread
The argument to make for Morgan State is simply that Christmas is almost here. Players are dealing with off-court matters and holiday preparations in addition to playing college basketball. It would be very natural for Arizona players to jog through this game at 75-percent speed instead of going full tilt. That’s not a direct or implied criticism of any player or coach, just a part of reality in mid-December college basketball. If you have been paying attention to this sport over the past three weeks, you have seen tons of crazy upsets. It happens every year. Heavy favorites just aren’t fully focused or locked in. They play lazy and distracted basketball. It doesn’t carry through the whole season; it’s specifically part of the pre-holiday weeks when people have a lot of different things going on in their lives. Arizona just has to be less than fully focused, and Morgan State could lose by 25, which means the Bears would cover the spread.
The other point to make is that Arizona just did play Tennessee, a draining game which took a lot out of the Wildcats. This is an obvious hangover or letdown situation, whatever label you want to apply to this game. Arizona could stroll to a 20-point win, but that would be a Morgan cover.
Why Arizona Could Cover the Spread
The Wildcats are playing well. They’re on the right track after the bad game against Utah. Morgan State is a 4-7 team from a small conference which is playing a paycheck game to provide necessary funds for its athletic program. The Bears do not represent significant or serious competition for the Wildcats. You might think that Arizona’s starters won’t play maximum minutes in this game, and you would probably be right, but the players who need more reps and are hungry to succeed can still dominate Morgan State’s players and carry Arizona’s margin of victory to 30 points or more. The probability that Arizona is likely to have a large lead with seven or eight minutes left in regulation doesn’t automatically mean that Morgan State will reduce the margin of victory in those final seven minutes.
Final Morgan State-Arizona Prediction & Pick
The gulf between these teams is enormous — and more relevant to the discussion, enormous enough that Arizona will still cover the huge number.
Final Morgan State-Arizona Prediction & Pick: Arizona -29.5