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Arizona State vs. Colorado College Basketball Odds & Pick: Edge on Total in PAC-12 Opener

Arizona State vs. Colorado College Basketball Odds & Pick: Edge on Total in PAC-12 Opener article feature image

Via Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: KJ Simpson #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes takes a foul shot during a second round game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational college basketball game against the Colorado Buffaloes at HTC Center on November 18, 2022 in Conway, South Carolina.

  • PAC-12 basketball begins on Thursday as the Sun Devils face the Buffaloes in Boulder.
  • The Buffaloes are short home underdogs against the Sun Devils in a matchup of teams that scored upset wins in their nonconference schedules.
  • Scott Schaeffer breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Arizona State vs. Colorado Odds

Thursday, Dec. 1
8:30 p.m. ET
Arizona State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Colorado Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Two PAC-12 foes with NCAA tournament aspirations look to boost their résumés with an early conference win as the Arizona State Sun Devils face the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder on Thursday night.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State was one of many PAC-12 teams to fall victim to a SWAC opponent, losing in overtime at Texas Southern. Aside from that result, coach Bobby Hurley has to be pleased with the six wins his team has tallied, including neutral site wins over VCU and Michigan.

Arizona State and Colorado have similar profiles and projections in terms of their expected finish in the PAC-12. Neither is a true challenger to UCLA or Arizona to win the conference, but both could make a case for an at-large bid if their seasons trend positively.

An interesting note entering Thursday’s contest is the current contentious relationship between Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley and forward Marcus Bagley. Preseason expectations implied that Bagley would be a key sixth or seventh man in the rotation, yet he has not seen the floor since the team’s second game against Northern Arizona.

While Hurley claims “there just aren’t any minutes” for Bagley in the current rotation, Bagley claims his lack of playing time stems from a heated postgame encounter after the NAU contest. A cryptic tweet Bagley sent warning others to be very certain about the coach a recruit is committing to play for poured lighter fluid on the flame that is the current Bagley/Hurley feud.

In Bagley’s stead, Arizona State’s backcourt has been its strength. Guards DJ Horne, Frankie Collins and Devan Cambridge have been the team’s top-three scorers thus far, all in starting roles. Hurley has often gone small in his approach to creating efficient scoring lineups, going with four guards and Nevada transfer Warren Washington at the five.

I would anticipate a willingness from Tad Boyle’s Colorado bunch to play fast and create a number of possessions that may be higher than expected.

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Colorado Buffaloes

Although they have had some puzzling losses, the Buffaloes can hang their hats on the Tennessee win that may prove decisive in their bid to earn an at-large selection from the tournament committee in March.

Colorado’s three losses this year are all away from home, as Boulder is a tough place for visitors to play, ranking fifth in KenPom’s Home Court Advantage metric valued at 4.3 points. However, I think the fear in backing visitors is more prevalent when opponents are playing their second leg of back-to-back road games; the Sun Devils have been resting since Sunday for this one.

6’2″ guard KJ Simpson will be the Buffs’ most potent counter to the trio of Sun Devils guards mentioned above. The sophomore is averaging 17.1 points per game in Colorado’s first seven contests. He has struggled with a 16.5% Turnover Rate, but playing at home should help calm the anxiety that leads to turnovers.

Colorado’s Offensive Efficiency has consistently been better under Boyle’s long tenure when playing at home. I would expect the same to be true Thursday night against an Arizona State team that has not yet played a truly potent offense.

Four of the Sun Devils’ starting five are newcomers via the transfer portal, and I would be shocked if they have reached their defensive ceiling just seven games into their run as a group. Whether they come via turnovers or defensive breakdowns, I am expecting plenty of points.

Arizona State vs. Colorado Betting Pick

Offensive efficiency was at an early season-high on Tuesday night in college basketball. I am expecting that trend to continue in Boulder on Thursday.

While defensive pressure may create some turnovers, I would expect the guards in this contest to push tempo on both sides. The skill of both backcourts will create both turnovers and easy transition buckets throughout the night. If this contest remains as close as the point spread implies it will, I am taking the over in this PAC-12 opener.

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