College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Arizona State vs. San Diego State: Ride the Aztecs in West Coast Duel
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Bradley
- Arizona State faces off against San Diego State in a late-night clash.
- The Sun Devils already lost to UC Riverside at home and have not looked impressive thus far this season.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down this game and makes his top pick.
Arizona State vs. San Diego State Odds
|Arizona State Odds|
-105o / -115u
|San Diego State Odds|
-105o / -115u
San Diego State looks to avoid a sub .500 record for the first time in over 15 years as they welcome the Arizona State Sun Devils on Thursday night.
The programs have a common opponent through the first week of the season but saw drastically different results. San Diego State opened the season with a 66-53 victory over UC Riverside, but Arizona State lost on a full-court heave to the Hilltoppers just two days later.
— Highlander Athletics (@UCR_Athletics) November 12, 2021
Arizona State struggled last season with a strong backcourt and a top-10 recruiting class. After starting the season with the 23rd Kenpom ranking, Bobby Hurley’s team finished 86th.
They now move on to this season without seven of their top 10 scorers from last season. Those include Remy Martin who transferred to Kansas, Alonzo Verge who transferred to Nebraska, and Josh Christopher who was drafted by the Houston Rockets.
San Diego State ended last season winning 14 straight games before the Syracuse zone sent them home in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They finished the season 23-5 but will be without the big three from last year of Jordan Schakel, Matt Mitchell, and Terrell Gomez.
Even with losing three starters from last season the Aztecs are loaded with an experienced starting lineup that includes five seniors. Whether that experience will be enough to cover as 8.5-point favorites at home against the Sun Devils remains to be seen.
All signs indicate that the Sun Devils will be without five-star recruit Marcus Bagley who missed the second half of the last game with a knee injury. He’s one of the few pieces who returned to the program from last year’s squad. Marcus, the younger brother of Marvin Bagley III, has averaged 10 points and four rebounds through three games this season.
Bobby Hurley attempts to rebuild this season after losing majority of the production from last year. Seven players who saw significant minutes last season are no longer with the program this year.
He brings in four transfer guards who will have an immediate impact on the program. Marreon Jackson joins from Toledo after winning the MAC Player of the Year last season by averaging 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. Hurley also brings in Jay Heath from Boston College, Luther Muhammad from Ohio State, and DJ Horne from Illinois State. In addition to the four transfers, the Sun Devils welcome five freshmen.
Arizona State has played at a fast tempo under Hurley which emphasizes playing in transition. The Sun Devils have ranked among the top-25 in Adjusted Tempo in each of the last two seasons according to Kenpom.
The frantic pace has had a negative effect on the defense which ranked outside the top-100 in efficiency. The group ranked outside the top-250 in 3-point, 2-point, and free-throw percentages. Though it is a new (and not-so-improved) roster, a boost in offensive or defensive efficiency isn’t anticipated so early in the season.
San Diego State moves on from Jordan Shakel, Matt Mitchell, and Terrell Gomez who elected not to use their extra year of eligibility this season. The three contributed 38.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game while attempting 62% of the team’s 3-point attempts.
The Aztecs are missing that production through the first week of the season as they are shooting a measly 15.2% from behind the arc, ranking 350th in the nation.
Brian Dutcher’s squad welcomed in Matt Bradley, a senior transfer from Cal, who averaged 18.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest last season. Through two games, the six-foot-four guard has averaged 15 points while connecting on 50% of his field goals.
The defense has been the bread-and-butter for Brian Dutcher’s squad over the years. Last season, the Aztecs ranked in the top 25 in defensive efficiency, and through two games they are sixth in the nation. According to Hoop-Math, only 23% of SDSU’s opponents field goal attempts came at the rim last season. And through two games, they have locked down opponents on the 3-point line by holding them to 25% shooting from behind the arc.
San Diego State was in a one-possession game with fewer than 60 seconds to play against BYU last time out. They couldn’t secure the victory but have an immediate opportunity to bounce back at home against a Pac-12 opponent.
Arizona State vs. San Diego State Betting Pick
This is a matchup between two programs that compete with opposite playing styles. San Diego State ranks outside the top 300 in adjusted tempo over the last two years while Arizona State ranks in the top 25.
The Sun Devils attempt to get out and create transition opportunities every opportunity they get. But that won’t be an easy feat against the Aztecs who allowed 17% of shot attempts in transition last season, the third lowest in that span.
San Diego State defeated a much more talented Arizona State roster last season 80-68. San Diego State was also able to take care of business against UC Riverside who later defeated Arizona State.
The biggest weakness thus far for San Diego State has been the poor shooting from 3-point land. Though the Aztecs have hit 5-of-33 from downtown, this is a perfect opportunity for some positive regression. Arizona State is allowing opponents to hit 37% from outside, which ranks 263rd in the nation.
Bobby Hurley’s squad will likely be without the leader Marcus Bagley due to his knee injury which opens the door for Matt Bradley to have a big game. Back Bradley and San Diego State down to -9.5.