The Arizona Wildcats are enjoying a 7-1 against-the-spread run over their last eight NCAA tournament games, including a surprisingly easy cover over Gonzaga their last time out.
They'll try to keep that run going when they battle a recently familiar foe, the San Diego State Aztecs, in a West Regional Sweet 16 bout Thursday night in Anaheim.
The Aztecs enjoy some ATS success against the Wildcats from preseason tournament action in recent years. They also enjoy the knowledge that No. 4 seeds won two of three meetings against No. 1 seeds in 2013.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Wildcats opened as 6.5-point favorites; the total was low at 122 as of Tuesday. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick San Diego State to cover the spread
The Aztecs are in the tournament for the fifth straight season, this time as an at-large selection after winning the Mountain West regular-season title and making it to the conference tournament championship game.
A four seed, San Diego State opened with a tough 73-69 overtime victory over New Mexico State, then dispatched upstart North Dakota State 63-44. So the Aztecs have reached the second weekend of the tournament for the second time in the last four seasons, after never getting this far before.
San Diego State has won eight of its last nine games, going 6-3 ATS.
Why pick Arizona to cover the spread
The Wildcats are in the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last four seasons under coach Sean Miller, having reached the regional semis last year before losing to Ohio State. Arizona won the Pac-12 regular-season title this year, then lost to UCLA in the conference tournament championship game, but earned a No. 1 seed nonetheless.
The 'Cats opened this tournament with a 68-59 win over Weber State, then bombed Gonzaga 84-61, shooting 49 percent from the floor and holding the Zags to 41 percent, easily covering the spread as seven-point chalk.
On the season Arizona is shooting 47 percent from the field, while limiting foes to just 38 percent shooting. They bring a 7-1 spread streak in tournament games to this battle.
Smart betting pick
These teams have met each of the last three seasons, with Arizona winning twice and all three games being tough grinders. The Wildcats beat the Aztecs back in November 69-60, as the teams combined to shoot just 40 percent. If Thursday's game turns into another tough, possession-by-possession battle, six points might come in handy.
Take San Diego State, plus the points.
San Diego State Aztecs: No. 9
Arizona Wildcats: No. 6 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Arizona is 7-1 ATS in its past eight tournament games.
- Last year, No. 4 seeds went 2-1 straight up against top seeds.
- UNDER is 6-0-1 in seven meetings of these teams since 2005.
- San Diego State 3-1 ATS vs. Arizona since 2009 in preseason tournaments.
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