Boise State vs. Washington State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cougars Poised to Break Out of Slump (Wednesday, Dec. 22)
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Smith
- South Dakota State is an eight-point favorite on Wednesday night against Oral Roberts.
- Both schools bring an elite offense to the table, with the Jackrabbits also playing at one of the fastest paces in the country.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Boise State vs. Washington State Odds
|Boise State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Washington State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Two teams trending in the opposite direction meet on Wednesday night as Boise State takes on Washington State in Spokane, Washington.
It is a semi-home game for the Cougars, who are fresh off of a 26-point win over Northern Colorado. However, WSU has struggled over the last few weeks and is just 3-3 in December, including an 18-point blown lead to New Mexico State at home.
The Cougars’ foe, Boise State, hits the road and looks to win its sixth straight after a 4-4 start to the season. The Broncos have yet to lose in December, most recently beating Montana Tech. They added a win against Santa Clara by double digits, too, along the way.
Wazzu desperately needs to bounce back with a win against a top-level opponent, while Boise State looks for its first resume-boosting win.
Can Washington State put aside its second-half woes and string together a full 40 minutes in its last game of non-conference play? Or will Boise State continue to roll and prove too much for the Cougars?
It was a bumpy start for Leon Rice and Boise State, losing four of their first seven, including a seven-point loss at home to Cal State Bakersfield. Shortly thereafter, star senior Devonaire Doutrive was dismissed from the program.
In the five games since, Boise State is undefeated. That includes wins against Tulsa and Santa Clara. Things have begun to smooth out for the Broncos.
Much of that comes from the emergence of freshman Tyson Degenhart. He has scored in double figures ever since Doutrive’s departure and is incredibly efficient with his opportunities.
The 6-foot-7 forward shoots 42.3% from 3, doesn’t turn the ball over and has an offensive rating of 128, per KenPom, which is 90th in the country.
Degenhart rounds out a starting rotation of four seniors. This is an experienced and tall team — 15th in average height — that’s strong suit is defense. Four starters stand at 6-foot-7 or taller, and no player stands below 6-foot-2.
That length, especially on the perimeter, paired with the Broncos’ defensive intensity creates an inherent advantage in forcing turnovers and limiting second-chance opportunities. Not to mention Boise State holds opponents to a 44.1% clip from inside the arc.
The biggest question mark and where Boise State often sputters is on the offensive end. It’s what shot the Broncos in the foot in shocking losses to both UC Irvine and Cal State Bakersfield.
Abu Kigab is the go-to option and leads the team in scoring due to his strength and athleticism around the rim, but his 3-point shooting has all but dissipated. Emmanuel Akot and Marcus Shaver Jr. are both great playmakers but are inconsistent as a whole.
And to top it all off, the Broncos shoot 58.2% from the free-throw line. Despite getting to the line at an efficient rate, Boise State is anything but. It was the final nail in the coffin in its overtime loss against Saint Louis and will continue to be a big X-factor against top competition.
Unlike its Wednesday night foe, Washington State started the season hot before running off the rails and struggling late in non-conference play. The Cougars lost to South Dakota State before blowing an 18-point lead to New Mexico State on their home floor.
After a blowout win over Northern Colorado, Wazzu looks to return to its dominant ways. The Cougars have the potential to compete with the Pac-12 elite — they took USC down to the wire in early December — and much of that has to do with their physicality around the rim.
Seven different players average at least 3.8 rebounds per game and Wazzu ranks 17th in the country with a 36.5 offensive rebounding percentage, per KenPom. Much of that has to do with the trio of near-seven-foot bigs in Mouhamed Gueye, Efe Abogidi and Dishon Jackson.
South Alabama transfer Michael Flowers has transitioned nicely for Kyle Smith and the Cougars’ offense. Shooting at a 41% clip from beyond the arc, Flowers is leading the team with 14.3 points and 2.8 assists per game.
Smith likes to deploy a rotation that goes nine, even 10 deep depending on the game. Outside of Flowers, no player averages over 30 minutes per game and seven average between 15 and 24 minutes.
Noah Williams is often given the lion’s share of looks and is second on the team with 12.9 points per game. He’s seen a huge step back in shooting, though, shooting 25% from beyond the arc thus far. Last season, he shot 37.9% from 3.
Wazzu won’t beat you in one facet of the game, rather it does a lot of things very well. It doesn’t turn the ball over and crash the boards well. It spreads the floor and has multiple shooters that can catch fire from 3. If you foul the Cougars, they’ll make their free throws.
Their only obvious inconsistency is their second half performances. It haunted them in losses to Eastern Washington and New Mexico State. But if they’re able to remain level-headed, this is a talented Cougars squad that can beat just about anyone.
Boise State vs. Washington State Betting Pick
To me, this seems like the perfect get-right spot for a Washington State team desperately needing a resume-boosting win. Wednesday night provides an opportunity for a Quad 2 win.
From a numbers standpoint, the Cougars are the better team.
Yes, Boise State is long and athletic. But it has just one rotational player that is above 6-foot-8. Washington State has four. This will be crucial when it comes to rebounding, an area the Cougars often control.
Wazzu is an efficient offense with enough shooters to make you pay if given second-chance opportunities. TJ Bamba and Flowers proved that in a down-to-the-wire matchup against USC.
Tack on Boise State’s poor free-throw shooting, and I think that ultimately spells doom for the Broncos.
Back the Cougars to cover the spread as short favorites on Wednesday night.
Pick: Washington State -3 (Play to -4.5)
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