New Year's Day NCAAB Action: Utah Runnin' Utes @ Stanford Cardinal
Utah Runnin' Utes @ Stanford Cardinal o137.5 (-103)
Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California
January 1, 2016, 6:00PM PST
In support of the OVER, the Utes boast the 8th best offense in men's college basketball, as measured by True Shooting Percentage. And while Stanford sits much lower on this list (150th), Cardinal basketball is still more offensively efficient than the average D1 team, albeit ever so slightly.
Further, while both teams are above average guarding the ball (per Opponents' True Shooting Percentage), Utah ranks 118th by this measure, only modestly above par (Stanford sorts 71st).
We are looking for the combination of Utah's elite offense and lackluster defense to translate to points both ways, and to propel the total over the cover threshold. This expectation fits with our simulation work, which anticipates a final score of 74-67 (Utah) versus the implied line of 71.25-66.25.
In addition to stats and our simulation work, betting trends also appear consistent with the notion of the total exceeding expectations tonight. For instance, the Runnin' Utes' OVER record is 9-2 overall, and 3-1 when facing a betting line below 140, while Stanford's O/U record is 4-5 in aggregate, and 2-1 when the total is south of 140. Further, the OVER is 4-2-1 in the seven meetings between these teams since 2012.