Arizona State Sun Devils at Baylor Bears
Thursday, 12/2/10, 7:00 PM EDT, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: Baylor -9
Current Betting Line: Baylor -10
Arizona State is the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons and is set to face the Baylor Bears on Thursday night. The Sun Devils enter this contest after dropping a 67-58 decision to St. John’s in Saturday night’s championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. The team is playing is fifth season under head coach Herb Sendek and returns three senior starters from last year’s second-place Pac-10 team that finished 22-11. Sendek has a good chance in leading his team to victory tonight, with 36 career wins against ranked foes. Arizona State has won seven of its last 15 matchups with ranked opponents after losing 22 in a row. Over the last three seasons, the Sun Devils are 4-7 ATS as an underdog and are double-digit underdogs tonight on the NCAA basketball lines page.
The Sun Devils pride themselves on defense and are just one of nine teams to finish in the top 25 in scoring defense the past two seasons. Arizona State is 2-3 versus Baylor, dropping a 64-61 game in Tempe last year. Offensively, the team is scoring 64.2 points per game, while only two players are averaging in double figures. Conference experts have pointed out that experience will prove big in this team’s performance over the entire season, as the seniors on the roster are 18-10 in games decided by six points or less.
Baylor has posted a 2-1 record in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series and has won the last two contests. The Bears have been dominating their recent opponents and have not trailed in the last 138 minutes of action, dating back to the second half of the LaSalle game. The team currently owns a 10-game home winning streak, which is tied for the second-longest streak in Ferrell Center history and the second-longest in the Scott Drew era. The ninth year coach has led the program to a 40-10 mark over its last 50 games dating back to its 2009 postseason run. Baylor is 3-1 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points and 7-3 ATS in this role the past three seasons.
The Bears have loved playing in prime time especially on the ESPN family of networks, posting a 25-18 record and wins in six straight games. Baylor enters this contest ranking third nationally in rebounding margin (+13.8), 10th in field goal percentage (50.8) and 17th in scoring defense (56.3). Despite winning its last two contests versus the Pac-10 Conference, the Bears still own a dismal 11-20 all-time mark versus its current members.
Bettors will be interested in the Sun Devils 3-13 ATS mark versus non-conference foes, while the Bears are 8-3 ATS in non-conference competition.
The hard court action is heading up and the college basketball handicappers at Maddux Sports are ready for you to join in the fun all season long!