Buffalo vs. Arizona State Betting Guide: Will Sun Devils Have Coaching Edge in NCAA Tournament?

Buffalo vs. Arizona State Betting Guide: Will Sun Devils Have Coaching Edge in NCAA Tournament? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Buffalo guard CJ Massinburg, ASU forward Zylan Cheatham

#6 Buffalo vs. #11 Arizona State: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Buffalo -4.5 
  • Over/Under: 157
  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT
  • Location: Tulsa, OK

>> All odds as of Thursday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Buffalo (31-3) pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, defeating 4-seeded Arizona, 89-68. The Bulls continued that high level of play throughout this season, winning the MAC East Conference with a 16-2 record. They’re also 18-13-1 against the spread, including 9-7-1 on the road.

Arizona State (23-10) won its First Four game against St. John’s, 74-65. The Sun Devils finished second in the Pac-12 with a 12-6 conference record and are 16-13-1 ATS, including 6-6 on the road.

Running with the Bulls

Buffalo features the fifth-highest scoring offense in the country at 84.9 points per game. Despite having such a high-speed offense, the Bulls produce the 19th-best offensive turnover rate in the country. They also rank 20th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 17th in 2-point shooting percentage.

The Bulls are led by MAC Conference Player of the Year CJ Massinburg (18.3 ppg), who is shooting 39.6% from 3 on more than 200 attempts. Senior Nick Perkins (14.4 ppg) has thrived coming off the bench and is also deadly (38%) from beyond the arc.

Buffalo is also strong on the offensive glass, ranking 71st in offensive rebounding percentage.

Sun Devils Can Create Offense Opportunities

Arizona State features one of the most athletic starting lineups in the country.

Senior forward Zylan Cheatham (11.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.2 apg) does it all for the Sun Devils inside. He’ll need to have a big game with rebounding and hustle to give Arizona State extra chances against the strong rebounding of Buffalo.

The key to the Sun Devils offense is guard Luguentz Dort (16.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg). The 6-foot-4, 215-pound freshman has experienced a high amount of variance in his accuracy from 3. When he’s hot, he’s one of the most versatile scorers in the country, attacking the basket off the dribble with a strong frame. But his inconsistency can lead to poor shot selection, which hurts the Arizona State flow.

Sophomore Remy Martin (13.2 ppg, 31.5% 3-point shooting) and junior Rob Edwards (11.3 ppg, 39.2% 3-point shooting) will need to hit any open shots from deep, as Buffalo is 14th-best in the country at defending the 3.

The Bulls allow opponents to shoot only 29.8% from beyond the arc.

The Pick

While there’s always the threat of the First Four team getting hot, Buffalo is too balanced on offense to allow the inconsistent Sun Devils to keep this game close.

Expect the Bulls to pull away in the second half, comfortably covering the 4.5-point spread.

THE PICK: Buffalo -4.5, would bet up to Buffalo -6

Our Projected Odds: Buffalo vs. Arizona State

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Buffalo -4.5
  • Total: 149.5
  • Proj Score: Buffalo 77 | Arizona State 72.5
  • Win Probability: Buffalo 66% | Arizona State 34%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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