Washington State vs Arizona State Odds, Prediction: Target Saturday’s Over/Under

Washington State vs Arizona State Odds, Prediction: Target Saturday’s Over/Under article feature image

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images). Pictured: Jaylen Wells.

Washington State vs Arizona State Odds

Saturday, Feb 24
8:00pm ET
Washington St Odds
-110o / -110u
Arizona St Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Let's dive into the Washington State vs. Arizona State odds and make a prediction for Saturday's Pac-12 college basketball clash.

The final season of the Pac-12 could not transpire without some insanity.

Washington State embodies that madness, as the Cougars – picked 10th in the preseason media poll – are now the odds-on favorite to win the regular-season title. Helped by a Jaylen Wells four-point play in the final minute, Washington State completed a season sweep of Arizona on Thursday night.

That win in Tucson as 13.5-point underdogs cemented the Cougars as forces in the league. Can they back it up in Tempe 45 hours later?

Of course, host Arizona State is in a challenging spot itself. Bobby Hurley’s squad erased a 25-point deficit in the second half, only to fall short in overtime. That, too, will require a short memory with the league-leading Cougars coming to down.

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Washington State Cougars

The key to success in college hoops is having an identity. Whether that’s pressure defense or elite shooting or a star point guard who runs the show, the best teams know who they are.

Washington State has found an identity, and that is being absolutely monstrous. The Cougars are the tallest team in the country, per KenPom’s average height statistic, and 6-foot-3 Myles Rice is the only player in the primary seven-man rotation who stands below 6 feet, 7 inches.

Unsurprisingly, the Cougars are a terrific rebounding squad. They rank 83rd nationally in offensive rebounding rate and 25th in defensive rebounding rate, per KenPom, using their massive wing and post size to pound opponents on the glass. Idaho transfer Isaac Jones is the tone-setter, but 6-foot-11 centers Oscar Cluff and Rueben Chinyelu are forces in their own right. Chinyelu is one of the best per-minute rebounders in the country.

That trio also fuels Washington State's interior defense, arguably the best in the Pac-12. The Cougars rank second in the conference in two-point percentage (behind Utah) and block rate (behind USC).

Of course, though their size is pivotal, the Cougars’ offense still comes back to Rice, the only true perimeter creator. He has by far the most assists on the team, and his scoring off the bounce is vital for a team that lacks other options of his ilk.

In the Cougars’ 12 league wins, Rice is shooting 44.7% from the field and 29.2% from deep. In their four losses, those numbers drop to 39.2% and 23.5%. Washington State needs him to play well.

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Arizona State Sun Devils

If we’re saying Washington State has a fully realized identity, then Arizona State is likely on the other end of that spectrum. The Sun Devils have struggled on both ends of the court in Pac-12 play and have dropped nine of their last 12 games after a promising 4-0 start.

Perhaps Arizona State's strongest area is ball control/turnover margin. Led by savvy point guard Frankie Collins, the Sun Devils lead the conference in turnover rate offensively. Complementary scorers Jose Perez, Adam Miller and Jamiya Neal also do a terrific job taking care of the rock.

Collins is also a demon defensively, ranking ninth in the entire country in steal rate. He makes life miserable for opposing ball-handlers, and his instincts off the ball general create a couple transition layups each game for the Sun Devils’ offense.

Those easy opportunities are much-needed because Arizona State really struggles to score in the half court. Per Synergy, it tallies 0.825 points per possession in the half-court, ranking in the 10th percentile nationally.

The Sun Devils have zero interior offensive threats and are terrible on the offensive glass. Combine that with poor jump shooting (310th nationally in 3-point percentage), and you have a recipe for disaster. If Collins and Perez are not scoring off the bounce, it gets really ugly.

Washington State vs Arizona State

Betting Pick & Prediction

Handicapping a side in this game is a challenge given the challenging spot both face after Thursday night. Washington State could face a letdown after such a program-defining win in Tucson. However, Arizona State is coming off a demoralizing overtime loss of its own, and it might be looking ahead to playing spoiler against archrival Arizona on Wednesday.

The matchup angle favors the Cougars. Arizona State should struggle mightily to score against Washington State's gigantic lineup. Plus, the Cougars should thrash the Sun Devils on the glass. Still, I am unwilling to lay a medium price on the road with Washington State in this spot.

Instead, I envision a strong scenario for the Under. Arizona State's scoring struggles are already noted, and neither team has much incentive to speed the game up 48 hours after a war. I expect this game to be more of a rock fight variety, with pace and inefficiency contributing to a strong under wager.

Pick: Under 137.5 (Play to 134)

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