The road hasn’t been kind to the Buffaloes heading into the NCAAB Colorado at Utah pick for Monday’s college hoops slate. Tad Boyle’s team is just 2-3 in true away games this season, but are still -3 favorites when they visit Utah for this meeting.
The Utes are a hard team to back right now, as they come into this game having lost three in a row. All four of Utah’s wins have come as at least -7.5 favorites, with three of them with a line of -18.5 or higher. Can Larry Krystkowiak lead his squad to their first statement win of the season – and how?
Colorado Gets an Edge with Scheduling
This game was originally scheduled for early March, but is being played after Colorado’s game with Oregon State was postponed due to COVID testing. The schedule flexibility actually helps CU a bit, as Utah has a somewhat quick turnaround after Saturday’s 79-73 loss to Oregon. Colorado played the #22 Ducks in their last game too, but that was a 79-72 win last Thursday.
The NCAAB Colorado at Utah pick is expected to be low scoring. The Utes could easily come out flat with having just Sunday off, but it’s also a meeting of Colorado’s #2 and Utah’s #4 scoring defense in the Pac 12. The betting total is 138, but three of the last four meetings between the two have gone ‘over’ that number.
Then again, the Buffaloes offense looked great the last time out against Oregon, fueled by a 21 point, 10 rebound performance from McKinley Wright IV. It was the 7th time in the last 8 games in double figures for Wright, who is also 3rd in the Pac 12 in assists. Evan Battey also grabbed 10 rebounds, and Jeriah Horne had a season high 17 points showing the Buffs have some very solid depth.
Utah Tough to Game Plan Against
The Utes lost to #22 Oregon on Saturday, but they were up 43-33 at the half. Oregon turned things on to outscore Utah by 16 points in the second half however, sending the Utes to their third straight loss. All three of those defeats came as underdogs though, and Utah also fought hard in a 72-70 loss at UCLA on New Year’s Eve as +6.5 underdogs.
Krystkowiak switched up his rotation vs. the Ducks over the weekend, bringing Alfonso Plummer and big man Branden Carlson off the bench, and moving better defensive presences in Riley Battin and Pelle Larsson into the starting lineup. The move kept Oregon’s #3 scoring offense in check for most of the game except for a four minute stretch to open the 2nd half. Colorado is 7th in the conference in points/game.
Timmy Allen had his best scoring output of the season with 23 points on Saturday, and moved over 1,000 for his career.
Free NCAAB Colorado at Utah Pick
The home team has won six straight in this series, and Utah getting points looks appealing in this play. The quick turnaround does raise some concerns for the Utes, but they also scored the OT win last year as underdogs in Salt Lake City.
Utah 69 – Colorado 63
Free Pick: Utah +3