Jan 3 NCAAB Action: Utah Runnin' Utes @ California Bears
Utah Runnin' Utes +4 (-105) @ California Bears
Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California
January 3, 2016, 4:30PM PST
We expect the Bears' stellar defense to have its hands full with the Runnin' Utes similarly elite offense when Cal hosts Utah this afternoon. California ranks 41st in Opponents' Points per Game, 37th in Defensive Efficiency and 9th in Opponents' True Shooting Percentage. However, these indicators of the Bears strong play against the ball are offset by Utah's offensive proficiency. The Runnin' Utes are 35th in Points Per Game, 22nd in Field Goal Percentage and 14th in True Shooting Percentage on the season.
Our simulation and power rankings work favors Utah. On average, this framework calls for Cal to pull out the win by about a point, but there is a good amount of dispersion among individual factor signals: most measures call for a 1-3(ish) point margin of victory for the Bears, however, one measure expects a California loss by 5.
Given the uniform indications from our numbers work, we are looking for Cal's four game cover streak to end today, on the back-end of a three-game home stand. A perusal of the team-level stats suggest that, given the highly productive character of the Utes offensive machine, this expectation is not unreasonable.
Take the points and side with Utah to cover.