College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Arizona State vs. Arizona (Saturday, January 29)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Pelle Larsson.
- The Arizona State Sun Devils take on the Arizona Wildcats in an in-state showdown on Saturday afternoon.
- Arizona, one of the best teams in the country, is favored by more than 20 points, and it's for good reason.
- Kyle Remillard sees betting value on the over/under and explains why below.
Arizona State vs. Arizona Odds
|Arizona State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The two main basketball programs in the state of Arizona have been heading in opposite directions this season.
Arizona is becoming a popular pick to cut down the nets in March. The Wildcats are 16-2 and steamrolling opponents by an average of 22 points per game.
That wasn’t the case on Tuesday night, as Arizona was unable to get past a familiar foe, losing to UCLA. The Wildcats shot 31% from the field, which was by far its worst effort this season. They grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and had 11 more shot attempts than the Bruins but couldn’t get anything to fall.
Arizona State, meanwhile, has lost five of its last six games and sits at 6-11 on the season. Bobby Hurley’s seat is certainly heating up after he was suspended last game for an altercation with the refs against Stanford.
There is next to no doubt that Arizona will beat its in-state rival, but will it be enough to cover a monster 20-point spread?
To put it simply, the Arizona State basketball program is a mess this season.
The rebuilt roster has struggled in nearly every facet of the game, leading to a 6-11 start. The Sun Devils have played in only five games in the last 40 days due to COVID-19 issues.
The boiling point was reached last week against Stanford when the Sun Devils allowed 41 free throw attempts. Hurley and his players immediately confronted the refs after the game before Hurley exited straight to the locker room.
See you next weekend, Bobby. pic.twitter.com/vHNE0sIc4e
— Wildcat Country 🌵 (@CatCountryAZ) January 23, 2022
Hurley was suspended one game for the incident, which was a 56-78 loss to USC. Now, he returns with a monumental task against his in-state rival.
The Sun Devils rank 338th in the country in 3-point shooting, hitting just 28% of their attempts. They’re not much better scoring inside the arc, where they hit 46% (293rd). The group doesn’t go to the free-throw line often but sends opponents to the charity stripe regularly.
The offense owns the 228th-best offensive efficiency ranking in the country. The Sun Devils average 63 points per game, which is good for 316th nationally.
Things got off to a rough start in Pac-12 play when Washington State defeated Arizona State, 51-29.
This Arizona squad is a wagon.
The program owns a top-11 offensive and defensive efficiency rating, which has led the Wildcats to the second-best average scoring margin, winning by 22 points per game.
Defensively, the group is elite, allowing 65 points per game and featuring the top interior defense in the nation. It holds opponents to 43% from the field, which ranks fourth in the country. Only two opponents have shot better than 45% from the field against Arizona all season.
One of those opponents was UCLA last game, as the Bruins humbled the Wildcats by beating them by 16 points.
Arizona is even better offensively, averaging 87 points per game to rank second in the country. The group shows great chemistry, assisting on 66% of made field goals, which is the third-most third nationally.
Most of the damage comes from inside the arc, where it takes 63% of its attempts. That’s for a good reason, as the Wildcats rank sixth in 2-point field goal percentage, hitting 58% of their attempts.
The Wildcats have two 7-foot centers in Christian Koloko and Oumar Ballo. Both are hitting above 64% of their field goal attempts, and Arizona State will have no answers to slowing them down.
Arizona State vs. Arizona Betting Pick
It may be lost in the drama against Stanford, but Arizona State showed an offensive spark against the Cardinal. It rallied back from a 15-point deficit while shooting 63% in the second half.
Arizona State forward Jalen Graham is putting up eight points a game this season but has averaged 15 over the last four contests. Marreon Jackson joins him in that span, scoring 14 points a game, well above his season average of eight.
There is little chance that Arizona State will be able to slow down the Wildcats offense.
Arizona has four starters who are putting up double figures, highlighted by Bennedict Mathurin and his 17 points per game. He struggled to go 5-for-22 from the field against UCLA and is in store for a big bounce-back game.
Arizona plays at a blistering pace that ranks second in the nation, which has resulted in scoring 87 points a game. I don’t have any doubts that it will approach — if not exceed — that number in this matchup.
If that happens, Arizona State will just need to hit 54 points to hit the total in this matchup. That shouldn’t be an issue given the fast pace that’s expected.