NCAA Basketball Pick on Oregon in Friday Pac-12 Action

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, January 30, 2015 3:04 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 3:04 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.


There is potential good underdog value in Pac-12 Conference action Friday night when those Oregon Ducks (14-7, 0-3 away) pay a visit to the Arizona State Sun Devils (11-10, 10-2 home) at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, AZ at 8:00 ET in a game available on the Pac-12 Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Oregon as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +6½ with odds of -113.

Ducks Look to Bounce Back from Romp
The Ducks are 14-7 overall but they come off of their second loss to sixth ranked Arizona this season and this one was the worst loss in the five-year tenure of Coach Dana Altman at Eugene, as they were demolished 90-56 on the road in Tucson. The Wildcats have done that to a lot of teams this season though so we expect Oregon to bounce back well here.

Arizona State is just one game over .500 and the Sun Devils are still just 3-5 inside the Pac-12 even after being the winning NCAA Basketball picks vs. Oregon State 73-55 here in Tempe on Wednesday. We get that Arizona State is 10-2 at home compared to 1-8 elsewhere, but Oregon would probably represent the Sun Devils’ best home win if they pull it off as they lost their biggest home test so far to Utah. Their other home loss was not as “good” vs. Lehigh.

No Point Guard for ASU Hurts
Besides having lost to the best team it has faced at home thus far, Arizona State has now lost its starting point guard Kodi Justice for the season after he fractured his foot in an 89-70 loss at Stanford Saturday, and although Justice is a freshman, he is still more polished at this point than his replacement, fellow freshman Tra Holder. And that was apparent when Holder has as many turnovers as assists with four apiece in the win over Oregon State Wednesday.

The Sun Devils are actually 55th in the country in assist-to-field goal made ratio at this point, but that ranking is almost sure to drop with Justice gone. Furthermore Arizona State was turning the ball over too much even with their starting freshman, ranking 292nd in the country in offensive turnover percentage at 21.5 percent vs. a national average of 19.5 percent, and that does not figure to improve with a less polished freshman now in.

Ducks Could Won Two-Point Battle
Now, both of these teams shoot three-pointers reasonably well with Arizona State ranking 51st nationally at 37.6 percent and Oregon 79th at 36.6 percent, and neither team plays particularly good perimeter defense with Arizona State ranked 247th in three-point defense and Oregon 271st, so the shooting beyond the arc here figures to basically wash out.

Thus the winner of this game or at least who covers this spread could be determined on the interior. Now, the Sun Devils are a nice 67th in the land in two-point offense at 50.6 percent, but that gets offset by Oregon ranking a better 41st in two-point defense allowing just a 43.2 percent success rate. Therefore the biggest key to the game could be the expected success of Oregon’s inside offense.

While the Ducks are not known for their size with their three biggest contributors being the 6-foot-2 Joseph Young, 6-foot-5 Dillon Brooks and 6-foot-6 Elgin Cook, Oregon is still safely above the national average in two-point offense shooting 49.5 percent compared to a national norm of 47.6 percent, and it can take advantage of an Arizona State team ranked only 149th in two-point defense at 46.8 percent, a figure that rises to a hideous 50.4 percent in Pac-12 play!

Oregon Won First Meeting
Oregon won a hard-fought battle the first time these teams met in Eugene this season 59-56 on January 10th, and two-point shooting made all the difference then as each team made only three three-pointers but Oregon went 20-for-34, 58.8 percent on two-point attempts while Arizona State went 16-for-30, 53.3 percent inside the arc.

Add it the fact that Oregon is the better free throw shooting team by a mile ranking 13th in the nation at 75.3 percent while Arizona State is 239th at 66.9 percent and the Ducks get our underdog call on the road in Tempe on Friday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon +6½ (-113)

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