Washington State-Arizona State Odds | College Basketball Betting Guide

Washington State-Arizona State Odds | College Basketball Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Smith (Washington State)

  • Washington State takes on Arizona State in a Pac-12 tilt on Thursday.
  • The Sun Devils have faded from their impressive non-conference start while the Cougars have picked up their play as of late.
  • How should we bet this matchup? Anthony Dabbundo has your answers.

Washington State vs. Arizona State Odds

Thursday, Jan. 5
8 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
Washington State Odds
-110o / -110u
Arizona State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After a poor non-conference showing, Washington State desperately needed to get something out of its home games against UCLA and USC last weekend. Even though the Cougars blew a double-digit lead and lost by one to UCLA, the win against USC gave them a platform to build from.

The Cougars will have two more difficult tests this week on the road at the two Arizona schools.

That begins on Thursday night in Tempe when Washington State visits Arizona State.

Following a great 11-1 start to the season, signs of regression have shown for Bobby Hurley's team. The Sun Devils lost to San Francisco by 37 four days before Christmas and then lost by nine at home to rival Arizona.

It's a good home bounce-back spot for the Sun Devils, but the spread is a bit too inflated here for two evenly-matched teams.

Washington State Cougars

Kyle Smith and the Cougars are somehow having a second consecutive Murphy's Law season. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the boys from Pullman.

They rank in the bottom 10 in the country in KenPom's luck rankings and in the Bart Torvik "F.U.N." metric, which is short for fortune unexplained by numbers. ShotQuality also suggests that positive regression is coming for Washington State.

The Cougars are 1-4 in close games, with the only win coming in the final seconds against George Washington. They've squandered leads and lost a bunch of coin-flip matchups.

The market was really down on them coming into league play.

Throw in some injuries throughout the non-conference, and you have this Murphy's Law situation.

Washington State's offense is built primarily around isolation drives and spot-up shooting. The Cougars are an excellent jump-shooting team when they're moving the ball and willing to not settle for bad shots.

They run into trouble when they try to do too much, but they're not an offense that wants to operate out of the high post often, or get the ball to the rim with high frequency.

From a defensive perspective though, it's hard to score in the post or off of offensive rebounds against this Cougars defense. Arizona State will want to run out in transition offense, but the Cougars have been above average at defending that on a points per possession basis.

They generally dictate tempo by dominating the glass, so I'd expect the Cougars to dictate here if they can protect the ball.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State has a very aggressive interior defense that does an excellent job of contesting shots, but the Sun Devils are also quite vulnerable on the glass.

Given that Washington State loves to shoot from the perimeter and produce long rebounds and second-chance opportunities, there could be an issue for the Sun Devils on the defensive glass in this game.

Arizona State ranks 258th in defensive rebounding percentage nationally, while the Cougars are a very good offensive rebounding unit. The Sun Devils sell out to block shots, too, but Washington State isn't an offense that looks to get the ball to the rim often.

There's also some major regression coming for this Arizona State offense that can't shoot well at all from the perimeter and doesn't have an efficient transition offense, either.

Synergy grades the Sun Devils as below average in transition PPP, below average in the pick-and-roll and poor on the offensive glass. The offense can get bogged down and go through cold stretches when shots are not falling from the perimeter.

The offense finished 207th in KenPom efficiency last season. While it did perform well in the non-conference this season, there's still questions after it managed just 0.85 PPP against a relatively mediocre Arizona defense.

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Washington State vs. Arizona State Betting Pick

The Cougars remain an excellent buy low until the market corrects from what I believe is an overreaction.

For starters, Washington State has played one of the toughest schedules in the country. It's top-25 in the nation in strength of schedule, whereas Arizona State didn't test itself nearly as much outside of league play. Also, the Sun Devils' marquee win is against a short-handed Creighton team.

Arizona State's offense looked improved on the surface and some of the transfers help in theory. But the underlying data suggests that the Sun Devils strengths' offensively aren't going to remain as such going forward, and they may lack consistency because of it.

The Cougars will have the perimeter shooting edge to shoot over ASU's solid inside defense, and the Cougars should win on the glass.

I think these two teams are about even on a neutral court and thus I'd play Washington State at +4 or better in Tempe.

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