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Pick on the Spread for Florida Atlantic-Arizona on December 23

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Saturday’s college basketball matchup between the Florida Atlantic Owls and Arizona Wildcats

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NCAA Basketball: Hall of Fame Series-Phoenix-Alabama at Arizona Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats and Florida Atlantic Owls will deliver college basketball fans are early Christmas present on Saturday in a battle of top 15 teams in Las Vegas.

Florida Atlantic Owls vs. Arizona Wildcats (-6.5, 163.5)

While most have raved about the offense of Arizona, the defense has actually been the team’s most efficient unit as the Wildcats entered Friday ranked ninth in the nation in points scored on a per possession basis and seventh in points allowed per possession.

When Florida Atlantic made their Final Four run a season ago, they were one of the most balanced teams in the country, ranking in the top 30 of the country in both points scored and points allowed on a per possession basis. That same balance has not been there this season with the Owls 72nd in points allowed per possession while ranking 16th in points scored on a per possession basis.

One of the biggest issues the Owls has had on defense has been denying second chances, ranking 110th in opponents missed shots that result in an offensive rebound while Arizona has excelled at generating second chances, getting an offensive rebound on 36.8% of their missed shots, which ranks 12th in the country.

Also of concern for Florida Atlantic is their free throw shooting with the Owls 271st in the country with a 68.1% free throw shooting percentage while Arizona is 79th nationally in free throw shooting percentage, making 74% of their free throws.

With Florida Atlantic allowing opponents to shoot 37.2% from 3-point range in games played away from home and Arizona leading the country in overall rebound rate, the Wildcats will overwhelm the Owls.

The Play: Arizona -6.5