(9) Utah Utes (-9.5, 114.5) at Oregon State Beavers
The No. 9 Utah Utes (20-4, 10-2 Pac-12) will try for their fifth straight win tonight as they host the Oregon State Beavers (16-9, 7-6 Pac-12) at the Jon M. Huntsman Center (11:00 p.m. Eastern).
During its current win streak, Utah has downed USC, Colorado, Stanford, and, most recently, Cal. Jakob Poeltl scored a team-high 18 points in the 76-61 win over the Golden Bears.
Utah – which relies on a stout defense that surrenders just 56.4 PPG – gave up an uncharacteristic 34 first-half points against Cal.
“We weren’t doing a very good job of guarding them,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “This was the first time in a long time that they were scoring in the early phase of their offense and then when they did miss a shot; we got outhustled to some 50-50 balls.
“We just didn’t have much energy and they were playing a heck of a lot harder offensively than we were defensively.”
Utah put in a much better second half, though, limiting the Bears to 27 points.
Oregon State, meanwhile, has lost two in a row and four of the last six. Last weekend, things turned from bad to worse for the Beavers, as the team was downed 68-55 by USC, the Pac-12’s last-place team.
“We’ve got what we got,” OSU coach Wayne Tinkle said tersely after the loss. “We’ve just got to rest up, get home and get ready for the next one.”
Looking at the trends, the Utes are 17-6 against the spread this season and 4-2 SU in its last six road games. Oregon State is just 1-6 ATS in its last seven games.
Expect the home Beavers to keep it to single-digits tonight.
(Photo credit: Beaverbasketball (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo may appear cropped.)