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NCAAB Handicapping: Arizona vs. Texas A&M

NCAA Basketball Betting – Arizona Wildcats at Texas A&M Aggies

The Arizona Wildcats (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS) go after their fifth straight win on Friday night when they take on the Aggies of Texas A&M (5-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) in NCAA college basketball sports betting action that is set to tip off at 9:30 PM ET at Reed Arena in College Station, TX.

BetUS NCAA Basketball Sports Betting Odds: TEXAS A&M -4.5

Here are some of the NCAA basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* ARIZ has covered two of its last eight games
* ARIZ has won five of its last six games SU
* ARIZ has covered two of its last seven road games
* ARIZ has lost five of its last seven road games SU
* ARIZ has played six of its last nine road games OVER the total
* A&M has won five of its last six games SU
* A&M has won six of its last seven home games SU

Arizona was in a difficult situation from the outset, as the Wildcats lost coach Lute Olson, who sat out most of last season and retired before this one after suffering a stroke. It was pleasant news that Brandon Jennings, who was their #1 recruit, decided to play pro ball in Europe instead of going to school for a year.

Russ Pennell took over the coaching duties, and the cupboard was hardly bare. Yes, Arizona lost Jerryd Bayless to the NBA, but Nic Wise, the point guard whose leadership was sorely missed during the time he was absent with injury, came back, not to mention Chase Budinger, who may yet develop into the consensus All-America many people projected him as when he came out of high school amid much fanfare.

In the second game of the season, Robert Vaden burned this team for 20 points as double-tough UAB beat Arizona in the NIT Tip-Off. Other than that, there hasn’t been a major test for the new interim coach. But he likes the way the offense is unfolding. “Our ball movement has been really good,: says Pennell. “I’ve been really pleased offensively except against UAB, and even the last five minutes was pretty good.”

Budinger is averaging 21 points and shooting 65% from the field. In fact, the whole Arizona team has been shooting lights-out in the early going, and in fact hit 62.5%, 65.2% and 56.5% in its three games (against Mississippi Valley State, Santa Clara and Northern Arizona) before “dropping” to 47% against Loyola-Marymount last time out, a game in which the Wildcats sank 12 threes. At 53%, they are second-best in the nation right now. A key performer has been junior Jordan Hill, a 60% shooter who has pulled down 13 rebounds a game, five of them on the offensive end.

Josh Carter, who hit 50% of his three-point shots as a sophomore, has not reached those levels again for the Aggies, and has erupted for more than 13 points against only Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Jackson State. Bryan Davis, the 250-pound junior forward (6.7 rpg), will be counted on to neutralize Hill on the inside.

Arizona won last year’s game by a 78-67 score, as Bayless scored 26 points on 7-for-12 shooting. The ‘Cats had a monster second-half, out-scoring the Aggies by a 50-27 margin. They may not be deadly again from the outside, but when all is said and done, there may be more team chemistry without Bayless, who dominated the ball on offense. And they are playing at a faster pace than they were under defensive-minded Kevin O’Neill, who had taken over from Olson last season.

Let’s go ahead and take the points with Arizona, the 4.5-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA college basketball sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: ARIZONA +4.5 **


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