BANKER (Arizona vs. Tennessee)
Let me preface this by saying I think Arizona is firmly a top 3 team in the country and the only teams I think are better than them right now are Baylor and Purdue. Arizona has looked insanely impressive to start this season and it’s mostly because of their highly efficient offense. Arizona is 9th in 2-point FG%, 13th in effective FG%, and 14th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Their defense has also stepped up as late as well.
Arizona plays at a very fast pace on offense which leads to more possessions within a game that they then have to play on defense as well so while their defensive points per game allowed may not look as good as others, the metrics back up their defensive performances to this point. They are 8th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, 8th in effective FG% on defense, 4th in block percentage, and number 1 in the nation in 2-point percentage defense.
This does not bode well for a Tennessee team with an anemic offense who can sometimes go cold for minutes at a time. Tennessee struggles to shoot the ball from the outside as they only shoot 34% from the outside, a edicts number that lands them 135th in the nation. I believe Arizona will be able to match their toughness and athleticism in the paint and force Tennessee to knock down outside shots to win.
Arizona has also played a tougher schedule IMO to this point as they come into this game undefeated with impressive wins over Michigan and Illinois. Tennessee’s best wins to this point are against a defensively challenged UNC team and… Colorado, I guess? And even they aren’t that good. Tennessee got blasted by Villanova and lost a drag out battle to Texas Tech. Arizona has a much better offense than Villanova and has the same, if not better, defense and toughness compared to Texas Tech so I believe this will give Tennessee a lot of trouble on both sides of the ball. Score Prediction: 81-74 Arizona.
Charleston is a team I’ve written about multiple times, and I think this is very solid matchup for them. Charleston is a team who wants to play a fast pace and out score you while hoping their defense can hold on for as long as possible. They face an old dominion team who is very offensively challenged as they’ve only topped 70 points twice in 11 games against D1 opponents and one of those games came against William and Mary who is in the discussion for bottom 10 teams in the country.
Charleston should speed this game up with their tempo and if old dominion tries fo get into a track meet I think this greatly favors Charleston here. I’m a bit surprised at the line here as I expected Charleston to be a small 1–2-point favorite so I really like the value here at getting Charleston ML at +150. For the sake of this parlay, I’m playing the ML but make sure to also take the points as well in a separate bet, but I think Charleston will win this game outright. Score Prediction: 72-67 Charleston.
Wofford is a team who has lost a lot of firepower over the past few years. They lost Storm Murphy, Fletcher Magee, Nathan Hoover, and Chevez Goodwin. Arguably the 4 best players they’ve had in the past 2-3 years, yet they still churn out wins year after year and this year they’re winning with defense and timely shooting.
They’re off to an 8-4 start this year with their losses coming at Clemson, at South Carolina, at CCU, and home vs Richmond. They face a Duquesne team who has really struggled when they played stiffer competition. Duquesne is only 1-4 as an underdog this year and I think this line tells part of the story as oddsmakers have Wofford 2–3-point favorite even on the road here. One might expect Duquesne to be a small favorite being at home, but I still think Wofford gets a win here behind their stifling defense. Score Prediction: 69-64 Wofford.