Pac-12 Conference Championship Game Betting Preview


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Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks (OFF)

Oregon has an eye on the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region, but first the top-seeded Ducks need to get past No. 2 Utah in Saturday’s Pac-12 tournament title game at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Both teams needed overtime in Friday’s semifinals as Oregon defeated fourth-seeded Arizona 95-89 and Utah edged No. 3 seed California 82-78.

The Ducks won the league’s regular-season title after winning 11 of its last 13 games and opened the tournament with an 83-77 victory over No. 8 seed Washington before playing a dominant first half against Arizona and holding on for the victory. While Oregon is playing in the league’s tournament title game for the third time in four seasons, Utah is making its first appearance behind Pac-12 Player of the Year Jakob Poeltl, who had 29 points and 11 rebounds in the semifinal win over Cal. The Utes have won nine straight games and 14 of their last 16, including an 80-72 victory over No. 7 seed USC on Thursday, but have struggled against the Ducks in recent years. Oregon swept the regular-season series and has won six in a row against Utah.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

BETTING STATS:

Utah – 26-7 SU, 16-14-1 ATS, 17-13-1 O/U
Oregon – 26-7 SU, 18-12 ATS, 13-17 O/U

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Utah Utes (-14) – Oregon Ducks (-15.25) = Oregon -1.25

ABOUT UTAH (26-7): Poeltl, a 7-footer looking to become the league’s first player of the year to win the tournament title since UCLA’s Kevin Love in 2008, was held to seven points and seven boards in the Utes’ 77-59 home loss to Oregon on Jan. 14. The sophomore center was limited to 13 points and eight rebounds in a 10-point loss to the Ducks on Feb. 7 as the Utes struggled to contain forward Dillon Brooks, who recorded career highs of 30 points and nine assists. Forward Kyle Kuzma averaged 13 points in the two losses to Oregon and needs another strong outing to help draw attention away from Poeltl.

ABOUT OREGON (27-6): Coach Dana Altman’s squad lost to Arizona by 28 points in last season’s title game but left an impression on Wildcats coach Sean Miller following Friday night’s battle. “I guess everyone has a different opinion but they’re certainly one of college basketball’s best teams,” Miller told reporters. “To me, why they’re so, so good is because of how together they are. And if you add up their individual talent, though they have some tremendous players, their whole becomes greater.” The Ducks have the talent to matchup against Poeltl in the frontcourt, where Brooks is accompanied by seniors Dwayne Benjamin, Elgin Cook and Chris Boucher.

DANCE TEAM WAR:

TRENDS:

* Utes are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. Pacific-12.

* Ducks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.

* Over is 5-0 in Utes last 5 neutral site games.

* Under is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.


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