Arizona St. on the Rise Sun Devils the NCAA Basketball Pick Against Texas A&M

David Lawrence

Saturday, December 5, 2015 11:52 AM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 11:52 AM GMT

The Texas A&M Aggies have enjoyed an excellent start to their new season. The Arizona State Sun Devils suffered a bad loss in their opening game. Who will be our NCAA basketball pick?

Momentum
The Texas A&M Aggies were supposed to be a much-improved team in the SEC, one that would have a great chance of making the NCAA tournament. So far, so good, for head coach Billy Kennedy and his team. The Aggies won two of three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, beating Texas and Gonzaga before losing to Syracuse. The Aggies have lost only one game in their first eight, and that puts them in very good position relative to a lot of other teams at this point in the season. Texas A&M looks like one of the three best teams in the Southeastern Conference, one which can push Kentucky for the league championship. A win here in this game would enable the Aggies to have a road victory against an opponent which is likely to finish in or near the top 100, and that’s the kind of result which really helps when March Madness rolls around.

Arizona State is not as good as Texas A&M right now, but the Sun Devils are steadily improving under first-year head coach Bobby Hurley, who came over from the University of Buffalo after leading the Bulls to their first NCAA tournament. The team lost at home to Sacramento State in its season opener, a grim beginning to what was expected to be a difficult season. However, the Sun Devils are 5-1 since then. They lost to Marquette but beat North Carolina State in Brooklyn. They then won a game on the road at Creighton earlier this week. Creighton was a bad team last season in the first attempt to move beyond the departure of program superstar Doug McDermott. The Bluejays were expected to be a much better team this season, so Arizona State’s win in Omaha is very impressive. If the Sun Devils can win this game here against A&M, they would begin to put on the appearance of a team that can contend for the NCAA tournament.

 

Home-Away Trends
Texas A&M is playing its first true road game of the season, having played three neutral-site games last week. Arizona State is playing its fifth home game of the season. It is 3-1 in the previous four, having lost its opener to Sacramento State but then winning three in a row, one of them a quality win against Belmont.

 

Injuries
Texas A&M guard Alex Robinson has left the team.

Arizona State forward Andre Adams is out for this season with a knee injury.

 

What’s The Play?
The Aggies are favored by three points on the NCAA basketball odds. However, this is their first true road game, and Arizona State happens to be improving. If you put these two teams against each other on a neutral court right now, Texas A&M would be the better pick. In Tempe, however, Arizona State looks like the right choice for your NCAA basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona State +3 at Bovada

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