Pac 12 Basketball Betting Preview: #2 Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils
#2 Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils
Wells Fargo Arena – Tempe, Arizona
Friday February 14, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Arizona -4 1/2
Current Line: Arizona -6
Opening Total: 132 1/2
Current Total: 134 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona -210 / Arizona State +180
Current Money Line: Arizona -260 / Arizona State +215
Even though it is Valentine’s Day, there is no love lost between the 23-1 Arizona Wildcats and 18-6 Arizona State Sun Devils as they renew their rivalry Friday night in Tempe. Arizona leads the Pac 12 at 10-1 by two games over UCLA. Arizona State is 7-4 and tied with California for third in the conference.
Arizona leads the series 145-80 against Arizona State including 60-53 in Tempe. The Wildcats have beaten their in-state rivals 6 of the last 7 times including 3 straight wins. Arizona won 91-68 in Tucson Janaury 16 in the last meeting.
Arizona is coached by Sean Miller. The Wildcats have key wins over Cal Poly, Long Beach State, at San Diego State, Rhode Island, Drexel and Duke in the pre-season NIT in New York City, Texas Tech, UNLV, New Mexico State, at Michigan, Washington State, Washington, at UCLA and USC, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, at Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State Sunday 76-54. Arizona has won two straight games since hteir only loss this season at California. Arizona is 14-9 ATS and the total is 5-17 this season.
Arizona is outscoring teams 73-57 this season. The Wildcats are #3 nationally in points allowed. Arizona is shooting 47% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #55 nationally in field goal percentage. Arizona makes 66.4% of their free throws. Wildcat opponents are shooting 37.8% from the field and 30.2% from 3 point range. Arizona is #6 in field goal defense and #27 in 3 point defense. The Wildcats average 39 rebounds per game and opponents average 25.8. Arizona is #25 in rebounds and #3 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Wildcats average 15.1 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 9 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 4.7 steals and 3 blocks per game.
Guard Nick Johnson averages 15.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Aaron Gordon averages 11.8 points, 8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Both Johnson and Gordon are on the Wooden and Naismith Awards mid-season watch list. Forward Brandon Ashley averaged 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game. He broke his foot in the Cal loss and is gone for the season. Center Kaleb Tarczewski averages 9.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1 block per game. Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson averages 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Guard T.J. McConnell averages 7.5 points, 4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Gabe York averages 6.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Arizona State is coached by Herb Sendek. The Sun Devils have losses to Creighton and Miami-(FL) in a tournament in Fullerton, CA, Washington, at UCLA, at Arizona, and at Stanford. ASU has key wins over Miami-(OH), at UNLV, Bradley, Marquette, College of Charleston in Fullerton, at DePaul, Texas Tech, UC-Irvine, Washington State, at USC, Utah, Colorado, at California, Oregon State, and Oregon Saturday 74-72. Arizona State has won 5 of their last 6 games including 2 straight games. The Sun Devils are 11-12 ATS and the total is 11-12 this season.
Arizona State is outscoring teams 77-68 this season. The Sun Devils are #50 nationally in scoring. ASU is shooting 46.6% from the field and 40% from 3 point range. The Sun Devils are #15 nationally in three point shooting. Arizona State makes 69% of their free throws. Sun Devil opponents are shooting 40.8% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. ASU averages 37 rebounds per game and gives up 34.4 to opponents. The Sun Devils are #310 nationally out of 351 teams in rebounds allowed. ASU averages 15.9 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 7.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.7 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Guard Jahii Carson averages 19.3 points, 4 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Guard Jermaine Marshall averages 15.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Center Jordan Bachynski averages 11.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game. Forward Shaquielle McKissic averages 8.5 points, 5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Jonathan Gilling averages 7.2 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Guard/forward Egor Koulechov averages 4 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Arizona is 10-4 ATS after a cover, 5-2 in road games and against teams with winning home records, 1-4 after a straight up win, 1-5 against teams with winning records, overall and in Pac 12 games. The Wildcats have covered 5 of the last games against the Sun Devils and Arizona was favored in each of those contests.
Arizona State is 7-1 ATS in Friday games, 5-2 against teams with winning road records, 2-6 against teams with winning records, overall, and in Pac 12 games, and 1-4 after failing to cover. The home team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.
Arizona isn’t quite as deadly without Ashley. They have had some close calls even before the Cal loss, Arizona State is trying to solidify their resume for the NCAA tournament, and a win over the #2 team in the country would certainly do that. I think the Sun Devils have a reasonable shot of pulling off the upset. I would take the 6 with Arizona State.