Sunday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: San Francisco vs. Arizona State Betting Preview

Sunday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: San Francisco vs. Arizona State Betting Preview article feature image

Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: San Francisco Dons standout Jamaree Bouyea.

  • San Francisco continues its road trip with Sunday's clash against Arizona State.
  • The Dons are coming off a tough loss against Grand Canyon last time out ahead of this meeting.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup below and details why he's backing San Francisco to cover the spread.

San Francisco vs. Arizona State Odds

Sunday, Dec. 19
6 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
San Francisco Odds
-110o / -110u
Arizona State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

San Francisco was one of the final seven unbeatens in all of Division I college basketball, but the Dons finally suffered their first defeat of the season Saturday at Grand Canyon.

Head coach Todd Golden's team will now complete the two-game, back-to-back road trip in Arizona with a game in Tempe, Ariz., against Arizona State.

While the Grand Canyon loss won't look great on the Dons resumé, they have a chance for an immediate bounce-back victory Sunday and a strong West Coast Conference gives them ample chances at solid wins in conference play as well.

While the Dons just suffered their first loss, Arizona State has saved its season in the last two weeks with wins at Oregon; home vs Grand Canyon, and at Creighton.

Following an 0-3 trip to the Bahamas in the Battle 4 Atlantis and a loss to Washington State in which the Sun Devils scored 29 points, it looked like a lost season for Bobby Hurley and Arizona State.

The Sun Devils have won with their defense the last three games, but without Marcus Bagley, they don't have the offense to compete with teams who have any semblance of outside shooting.

San Francisco Dons

San Francisco had its worst 3-point shooting night of the season by more than 10% and still nearly pulled off a win against a solid mid-major in Grand Canyon on the road. In college basketball, it's important not to overreact to any one game sample of how good or bad a team truly is in general.

The loss was a classic example of single-game variance for the Dons. They've already notched four wins against teams better than both Grand Canyon and Arizona this year and typically shoot around 35% from deep. Based on their numbers from last season, plus returning production and current numbers, you'd expect the Dons to have made about three more 3-pointers than they actually did Saturday.

Actually, Grand Canyon made around its season-long average from deep and that enabled it to steal the victory by a point in front of a partisan semi-home crowd.

Golden is a big endorser of the analytics revolution in basketball that focuses shots around the rim and the 3-point arc. Part of that is accepting variance and acknowledging that your team will have poor shooting nights and lose games.

San Francisco had gotten away with a few sluggish first half performances lately, including in the most recent game against Fresno State. A loss could be the wake-up call it needed.

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Arizona State Sun Devils

The Sun Devils' improved defense has been the storyline of the last three victories, but it seems pretty unsustainable when you look at opponent shooting. Oregon made just 4 of 22 (29%) shots from deep when Arizona State beat it in overtime.

When the Sun Devils beat Grand Canyon, the Antelopes made 8 of 32 (25%) from 3-point land. And in the Sun Devils' most impressive win at Creighton, they featured just five made 3-pointers on 25 attempts.

Some credit should probably be given to the Sun Devils for improved perimeter defense, but that's unsustainably good and now the Dons come to town off their worst shooting game of the season.

Arizona State's offense is still largely nonexistent and is one of the worst in all of the Power 5 conferences. Only six Power 5 teams have a worse offensive rating, per KenPom, and that factors in some games with Bagley, who is out.

The Sun Devils aren't just overvalued because of fortunate defense, but close game performance. All three of those wins were decided in the final minute, final possession or overtime. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils four losses prior all came in comfortable fashion.

Stringing together a bunch of close victories has a way of causing a team to be overvalued and this is no different on Sunday with them as a short home underdog.

San Francisco vs. Arizona State Betting Pick

I'm not too concerned about the back-to-back spot because the Dons lost. They've played on consecutive days earlier this year and are an experienced team overall.

San Francisco is the much better team on paper and don't be fooled by the recent results of either squad. It's a good bounce back buy spot on the Dons, and an excellent time to fade a lucky perimeter defense for Arizona State playing a good jump shooting team.

Despite being the mid-major in this matchup, San Francisco has more size in the interior, has the much better playmaking talent in Jamaree Bouyea and Khalil Shabazz on the perimeter and should be able to control this game.

If it is close late, the Sun Devils have close game regression coming and San Francisco has the better shot makers. I'm expecting this line to open at three and would play the Dons up to minus-4 in this matchup.

Pick: San Francisco -2.5 (play to -4)

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Jul 13, 2024 UTC