Utah Utes at Cal Bears NCAAM Pick – February 29, 2020

The college basketball slate is packed with action on an exciting Saturday! With March officially starting tomorrow, the college basketball season is about to go into overdrive. There are 137 games on tap for today, including a bunch of the top-25 in action.

We have marquee matchups today featuring Duke at Virginia, Penn State at Iowa, Texas at Texas Tech, Providence at Villanova, Seton Hall at Marquette, Michigan State at Maryland, and St. Mary’s at Gonzaga. For our daily betting pick, we will head to the Pac-12 for the game between the Cal Bears and the Utah Runnin’ Utes.

Today’s Game

  • Utah Runnin Utes (15-13) at Cal Bears (12-16)
  • Hass Pavilion, Berkeley
  • 3:00 PM PST
  • TV: PACN

It is senior night in Berkeley as the Bears play their last home game of the season tonight. The Cal Bears have done a more than admirable job of protecting their home floor this season and will look to keep that up tonight as they host the Runnin’ Utes of Utah in Pac-12 league play. The Bears are coming off of their biggest win on the season, a 76-62 beat down over the Colorado Buffalos, and are looking to win back to back games for the first time since early January. While the Bears are a dismal 12-16 overall, at home, they are 11-5.

For Utah, the Utes had high hopes of competing for the Pac-12 league title this season after starting out the year 9-2 in the non-conference. But they have not been able to compete with the best the league has to offer this season, as they are tied with Cal and Washington State with just six conference wins this year. Utah started the season out with a true road win at Nevada on opening night, but they are still looking for their second road win, and they are a disappointing 0-8 on the road in the Pac-12.

Spread:

  • Utah -1.5 (-110)
  • Cal +1.5 (-110)
Money line:

  • Utah -121
  • Cal +101
Total Points:

  • Over 129 (-110)
  • Under 129 (-110)

Cal Bears

The Cal Bears are not a good basketball team. But if you think you can just go into Haas Pavilion and pick up an easy victory, you are crazy. The Bears have home wins this season over the likes of Washington, Washington State, UNLV, Stanford, Oregon State, and Colorado. And even in the games they don’t win outright, they have done a great job of covering the number as they are 11-7 ATS at home.

The Bears will be celebrating their seniors tonight in their final home game of the year. That includes heavy contributors Kareem South and Paris Austin. In a year where, not a lot has gone right for the Bears, this game will mean a lot to them. They are coming off of their biggest win of the year and have their heads held high as they host the Utes, looking to send their senior class out on top.

Utah Runnin’ Utes

When you look back at the Ute’s strong start to the season, it is perplexing to see them struggling so much in the Pac-12. This team had wins over Kentucky, BYU, Minnesota, and Nevada in the non-conference. They did show their penchant for inconsistency with really bad losses to Coastal Carolina and Tulane, two teams that are currently ranked in the 190s, but this team has talent and showed they could beat legitimate squads.

But after winning their first game of the year in Pac-12 play against Oregon State, the wheels have fallen off for Utah. They have understandable losses to the top of the league. Teams like UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, USC, and Arizona State. But they also have losses to the bottom of the league. Teams like Oregon State and Stanford. The Utes have been particularly bad on the road, as they are 0-8 on the road in Pac-12 play and 2-8 for the season ATS in true road games.

Who Do I Like?

I know the public is awful, and that they are seemingly almost always on the wrong side of the action, but I am honestly a little disappointed in how they could get this one so wrong. This number opened up at Cal-1-point, and that was a fairly sharp number. Kenpom has Cal winning this one by one point, so I can see where the books were coming from on the number. But to be honest, I still saw significant value in backing Cal at that price.

But to see the public absolutely hammer Utah in this one is shocking. All of the action has come in on Utah so far, moving this number two and a half points towards the Utes. The public couldn’t wait to get their bets in on a Utah team that hasn’t won a single road game in league play this season and covers only 20% of the time on the road for the year. Wow.

The Bet

All I can do in this one, is once again thank the public for being so bad and position myself on the other side of the action. Cal has shown that they are no slouch at home, and to be able to back them as home dogs against a Utah team that is downright awful on the road, is very juicy. So, that is just what I will do. I think Cal wins, and to be honest, it might not be all that close.

The Bears have won two out of their last three games, and neither win was all that competitive. Cal beat Colorado by fourteen, and they beat Washington State by nine. I see this game being similar to those ones, with the Bears winning by at least five points.

Getting to snatch up a point and a half insurance policy just in case the ball doesn’t bounce our way late, is just the cherry on top. Give me the Cal Bears as home dogs, getting a point and a half, as they continue their home court dominance in league play!

The Bet: Cal Bears +1.5

My Pick
Cal Bears +1.5

Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL