Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Colorado vs. Arizona Predictions, Odds

  • December 28, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningham

Pac-12 basketball sees the Colorado Buffaloes going into Tucson, Arizona to face the Arizona Wildcats in an early, but crucial conference game. Opening tip is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (ET) and will air on the Pac-12 Network.



Colorado-Arizona Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Arizona -1
  • Money-Line: Arizona -143 Colorado +120
  • Total: 138.5

Odds Subject to Change

Arizona enters this critical home game as the slight favorite, given a -1-point spread against one of the country's best defenses. This is evident by the opening point total, which is 138.5.

Arizona has a solid defense as well, so the point total opening under 140 seems logical. The two schools allow less than 63 points per game, so expect a defensive battle on Monday night.


Betting Analysis – Colorado Buffaloes

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-1
  • ATS: 5-2
  • SU - Home: 4-0
  • SU - Away: 2-1
  • O/U: 2-5

As already stated, Colorado enters this road game with one of the nation's top defenses. The Buffaloes are allowing just 57.4 points per game, which ranks 13th nationally. The most points they've allowed was 69 against Washington in the T-Mobile Arena.

Colorado has only allowed three opponents to eclipse the 60-point mark (Washington, South Dakota and Grand Canyon), while the remaining four opponents have scored anywhere between 42-58 points. This team held a very athletic Tennessee roster to just 56 total points, eventually losing to the Vols by nine points (an overall impressive road loss).

The Buffaloes are led by one of the best guards in the nation, McKinley Wright IV. He is talented enough to win the Wooden Award, averaging about 16 points, five boards and six assists per game.

Wright IV also averages a steal per game, which leads the Buffs. Jeriah Horne and Dallas Walton round out the senior-led trio, both players averaging a double-digit point total and Horne leading the team in rebounds.

The experience and defensive play from this Colorado team makes them a sleeper for March Madness, presenting one of the best offensive-defensive efficiency ratios in the entire country (114 offensive rating is 36th-best, 84.1 defensive rating is 25th-best). What stands out the most, besides three seniors leading the charge, is that Colorado shoots 86% from the charity stripe.

That total is the best in the nation (out of 335 schools). Between the veteran experience, superstar in Wright IV, offensive-defensive efficiency and free throw percentage - there should be a lot of conviction in Colorado this season.

There are some statistical downfalls to be weary of though, such as three-point attempts, steals and personal fouls. Despite that, this seems to be a team you can trust to make right decisions in key situations of big games.

Betting Analysis – Arizona Wildcats

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-1
  • ATS: 2-5
  • SU - Home: 6-0
  • SU - Away: 0-1
  • O/U: 4-3

Arizona is 2-5 ATS and going up against a team with experience, and a 5-2 ATS record this season. As a one-point favorite though, Arizona simply has to win the game in order for Wildcat bettors to at the very least break even. Is there a reason to take Arizona here?

The Wildcats are young, but led by two junior players in Jemarl Baker and James Akinjo. So although Colorado has the overall age edge, Arizona has experience to lean on as well. Baker averages about 15 points per game, while Akinjo averages about 14 to go along with roughly five assists.

Jordan Brown may be the big difference maker for Arizona if they want to take down the Buffs. Brown averages 10 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with about seven per game too. Bennedict Mathurin and Azuolas Tubelis are two freshman that will need to produce consistently if Arizona wishes to win, as the young duo will be facing the toughest defense they've faced thus far.

This game might actually come down to the bench play of both teams, which actually favors Colorado. There are three strengths to Arizona's game which includes passing, getting to the free throw line and rebounding. If Arizona can do those three things well and consistently, they can knock off the deep and experienced defensive Buffaloes.

Inside the Stats – Colorado Buffaloes

  • PS/G: 77.9 (94th)
  • PA/G: 57.4 (13th)
  • Off Rtg: 114 (36th)
  • Def Rtg: 84.1 (25th)

Inside the Stats – Arizona Wildcats

  • PS/G: 77 (110th)
  • PA/G: 62.6 (54th)
  • Off Rtg: 109.8 (71st)
  • Def Rtg: 89.2 (62nd)

Key Players to Watch

  • CU - McKinley Wright IV (16.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.9 APG)
  • CU - Jeriah Horne (11.4 PPG, 6 RPG)
  • ZONA - Jemarl Baker (15.4 PPG)
  • ZONA - James Akinjo (13.4 PPG, 4.7 APG)

Colorado-Arizona Predictions

Arizona should win this game since they're playing at home (have won six straight at home), but Colorado is the slightly better team. This is truly a toss up, so let's revisit the point total. The Wildcats are 4-3 O/U, which is basically a split. Colorado is 2-5 O/U, so playing the odds it seems going UNDER 138.5 is reasonable.

That total may rise too, in which case the UNDER would be an even better wager to consider. The thought here is that the point total to even touch 135 would probably have to see one of the two teams touch 70 points. Arizona is barely touching 70 against teams such as Grambling, Eastern Washington, Montana and UTEP (only scored 69 against the Miners).

Using that as a measuring stick, and now facing the best defense they will have faced thus far, it seems fair to assume Arizona might not touch 70 in this game. With that thought process, going UNDER seems logical here - and again, playing the Colorado 2-5 O/U odds correctly.

  • Score Prediction: Colorado 69 Arizona 66
  • Best Bets: UNDER

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