Creighton vs. Arizona odds and prediction: Will the Wildcats overpower the Bluejays?

Defense in the spotlight as big-time offenses collide

Creighton vs. Arizona predictions
Cincinnati guard David DeJulius (5) chases Arizona guard Pelle Larsson (3) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The Associated Press

The Maui Invitational has given us some of the best matchups of Feast Week. However, there is one more left to determine the champion.

The No. 10 ranked Creighton Bluejays will take on the No. 14 Arizona Wildcats. Both of these teams have looked impressive as they’ve dispatched quality teams on their way to this matchup.

This game could be decided on the low block, as Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner and Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis look to shine. Whoever wins this individual matchup will likely lead their team to victory.

Creighton vs. Arizona odds

Spread: Creighton +1.5 (-110) vs. Arizona -1.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Creighton (+115) vs. Arizona (-135)

Total: Over 164 (-110) | Under 164 (-110)

Creighton vs. Arizona predictions

Arizona -2 (-110)

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Arizona has gotten off to a red-hot start this season, and while Tubelis is a big part of that, he’s got a great supporting cast. Tubelis has been the most dominant big man in the country early on as he enters this game averaging 20.8 points and eight rebounds and is shooting 74 percent from the field.

However, the contributions of three other men have made the Wildcats one of the most formidable offensive teams in the nation. In the backcourt, Courtney Ramey and Kerr Kriisa have been lighting it up from downtown and propelling Arizona to the second-highest 3-point percentage in all of college basketball.

Tubelis may get all the love in the paint, but he is not alone down there, as seven-footer Oumar Ballo has been an imposing presence on both ends. Ballo is averaging 16.8 points, nine rebounds and 1.6 blocks thus far.

The Wildcats have the clear size advantage, which will give them the edge on the inside, but the 3-ball has burned Creighton. The Bluejays are 300th in the 3-point percentage allowed.

With so many offensive weapons, it’s hard to see Creighton slowing down the Wildcats in this one.

If the Bluejays are going to hang with the Wildcats, they must slow the game down and get their big man involved. Their 7-foot-1 center Kalkbrenner has been the X-factor for Creighton.

Kalkbrenner is averaging 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. That is all while battling an ankle injury, which he aggravated two days ago against Texas Tech.

However, it didn’t seem to hinder him against Arkansas, as he played 38 minutes and scored 21 points.

Kalkbrenner does have some support; Creighton’s entire starting five averages double-figures. Part of that, however, is because the BlueJays are not a team who will utilize their bench.

Their lack of depth and subbing will hurt them against a high-powered Arizona team that plays at the sixth-fastest tempo. This matchup is a contrast in styles, and it favors Arizona. Back them up to -3.

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