College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Washington vs. Arizona (Monday, Jan. 3)
Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images. Pictured: Kerr Kriisa (Arizona)
- Arizona has molded into one of the best teams in the country, and on Monday night, it takes on Washington at home.
- The Huskies are just 5-5, with losses to Utah Valley, Winthrop, Nevada, Wyoming and Northern Illinois.
- D.J. James breaks down why the spread of 20+ points is warranted and is the play for this game.
Washington vs. Arizona Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Arizona Wildcats host the Washington Huskies after this matchup was postponed from December 2. Both teams have had recent postponements due to COVID-19 running rampant across college basketball.
Still, this game presents a true mismatch between the two teams.
Arizona is currently 8-4 against the spread, while Washington is 3-7. Even with a 20-point spread in this one, Arizona is still poised to cover.
Washington last played on December 21, in which it lost to Utah Valley by 16.
The Huskies are an incredibly top-heavy program, with only two offensive threats averaging double digits.
Most of the scoring contributions come from the likes of Terrell Brown Jr. He does it all for the Huskies, averaging 21.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Unfortunately, the rest of the offense is not nearly as efficient. Collectively, Washington ranks 331st in effective field goal percentage, per KenPom. The Huskies only make 28.5% of their outside shots, 44.0% from inside the arc and 65.8% from the free throw line.
Essentially, they do not have much offensive firepower, even if they do run at one of the quickest paces in college basketball.
One area they will specifically struggle is crashing the glass. Arizona is a lengthy, tall basketball squad, and Washington only snags 28.1% of offensive rebounds and 35.0% on the defensive side.
The Huskies only average 34.4 rebounds each game, so they will have their hands full. Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Nate Roberts are their leading rebounders, and they will have a tall task dealing with the Wildcats’ bigs for the entirety of this game.
Finally, Washington does not shoot many 3s, so if it is trailing by a significant margin, it will struggle to get within striking distance. Only 24.5% of the Huskies’ offensive production comes from downtown, so they will not be able to quickly make their way back into this game.
Arizona is one of the best teams in the country. The Wildcats also have not played much recently, with their last game coming on December 22.
They could be a bit rusty — like the Huskies — but with both teams not playing for weeks, neither maintains an edge.
Arizona likes to play at an even quicker tempo than Washington. The Wildcats rank fourth in the NCAA in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, and average the fastest possessions in college basketball on offense at 14.1 seconds.
They are extremely efficient inside, and this will be where they crush Washington. They rank 14th in effective field goal percentage and eighth in 2-point percentage.
Their noteworthy size advantage will take a toll on the Huskies. The Wildcats average 43.8 rebounds per game and rank 11th in offensive rebounding percentage (37.3%).
This will exhaust the posts of Washington. Christian Koloko, Bennedict Mathurin, Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo all average five rebounds or more each. The Wildcats can basically rebound from every position.
Arizona also does not shoot many 3s, but when it does, it will come from Kerr Kriisa, Mathurin or Justin Kier.
Their attack mainly will come from inside. Tubelis, Koloko and Ballo are all poised to have huge games. Offensive put-backs and kick-out 3s should be prevalent in this game, and the Wildcats could be covering at a wider margin early in the second half.
Washington vs. Arizona Betting Pick
The size discrepancy in this game is the story. Arizona is far too tall and effective inside. Unless Brown has the game of his life, Washington is unlikely to cover.
Take Arizona at -20.5 and play it to -22.
Pick: Arizona -20.5 (Play to -22)
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