Utah Utes (6-13) vs Oregon Ducks (21-8) Handicapping / Spread
Saturday will mark the conclusion to a forgettable first hoops season in the PAC 12 for Utah. The only saving grace was that the USC Trojans were worse than they were saving them from finishing in the basement.
Saturday March 3
Matthew Knight Arena – Eugene, OR
Moneyline: No money line currently listed
Spread: Oregon -18
The Utes take on the Oregon Ducks on Saturday. This program has had some success before this year so there is hope for the future, but if the PAC 12 rebounds than being in the middle of the pack might be as good as they can hope for.
Utah has not won a road game all season long and has one of the worst offenses in the nation.
Things might not have been so bleak if they still had the services of guard Josh Watkins who was leading the team with 15 points per game but hasn’t played since mid January. Center Jason Washburn has good size and is the new leading scorer but he averages just 10 points and 6 rebounds per game.
He is on a run of 5 straight 10+ point performances but is still not a player to be feared – just the best Ute.
The Oregon Ducks are making a nice push for NCAA tournament consideration.
Their win on Thursday over Colorado might have been an elimination game and they have the chance to finish the regular season with a nice easy victory over Utah which would put them at 13-5 in league play and no worse than third place.
I am not saying I think they should be in but I could see how a computer might see it that way.
Where would the Ducks be without transfer guard Devoe Joseph?
Oregon rang up 90 points against Colorado and Joseph scored 24 of them. Since gaining eligibility after the Ducks first 6 games he has become their leading scorer and one of the more underrated players in the conference.
In fact this whole team might be underrated and I think new coach Dana Altman might get some consideration for Coach of the Year.
If this team want to punch their ticket for the big dance they have to win on Saturday and play to form in the conference tournament.
Spread Pick: Utah +18
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Oregon 85 – Utah 70