California vs Arizona State - Picks Of The Day, Feb 8th

Arizona State Sun Devils player in action

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 7:46 PM GMT

Growing pains were expected for the Arizona State Sun Devils as head coach Bobby Hurley looks to turn this program around and it will take some time. The Sun Devils have lost 7 out of their last 10 games and host a California Golden Bears team which has dominated Pac-12 play thus far. Cal is a 5 point betting favorite but the far superior team in this matchup.

California vs Arizona State

 

Normally, I would consider the betting line to be a tad high, but the Sun Devils' season has really come to a halt in inter-conference play as the Pac-12 supplies some really established teams and ASU is just not ready to match up with squads such as UCLA and USC. As for California, they're on a major run, winners of 4 straight games and 7 out of their last 8 games. While Cal isn't an elite team, they have a win over USC to their credit and could stir things up in the Big Dance as this is a team that's capable of beating any team at any given time.

Ivan Rabb

When assessing California's squad, the first player that immediately comes to mind is 6 foot 11, 220 pound sophomore Ivan Rabb. In my opinion, Rabb has a similar game to that of John Henson when he played for North Carolina and now the Milwaukee Bucks. This is a player that's still developing and has a huge upside. Aside from his potential, he's already delivering a nightly double-double and the Golden Bears will only go as far as he takes them.

During California's 4 game winning streak, Rabb has averaged 16.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. ASU's primary focus on defense will be to contain Rabb as he has the ability to take over a game and not allow the Sun Devils any 2nd chances on the offensive end. California can ill-afford a 7th loss for the season and I expect them to come out strong with Ivan Rabb leading the way.

Offense certainly isn't an issue for ASU as this is a team that averages 84 points per game and with Torian Graham (18.5 points, 4.1 rebounds), Tre Holder (17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists), and Obinna Oleka (12.3 points, 10.3 rebounds) leading the way. They could give California a run for their money if Cal comes into this game flat. The battle in the paint will be a deciding factor in this game and one facet of ASU's team that's damaging to their team is their lack of bench production.

Don't expect a blowout, but California should cover the spread.

NCAAB Free Pick: California Golden Bears -5

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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