NCAA Basketball Picks: Everything Points To Stanford -2.5 Over Arizona State

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, January 23, 2016 3:07 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 3:07 PM UTC

The Arizona State Sun Devils visit Stanford to take on the Cardinal in a clash of Pac-12 rivals. Let's review what the NCAA basketball odds makers are hanging on this one and cash a ticket.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Stanford -2.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Arizona State (11-8 SU, 9-9 ATS)
Conference games have not been kind to Arizona State and tonight they will encounter their seventh consecutive Pac-12 foe, hoping that the results will be markedly different than most conference tilts thus far this season. The Sun Devils have dropped five of their last six to conference rivals and have covered the NCAA basketball odds in just two of those straight up losses. Their latest setback was a road game at the Haas Pavilion against the University of California where they covered the number as 7 ½ point road dogs yet suffered another Pac-12 defeat by the score of 75-70.

Junior forward Obinna Oleka scored a team-high 14 points but the team's woes from beyond the arc continued. Arizona State entered the game as the worst three-point shooting team in the Pac-12 and began the game by misfiring on eight of their first 10 from three-point land. The team finished 5-of-18 from downtown for yet another disappointing long range shooting performance. ASU has been a middling club in scoring averaging 75.9 PPG (130th) and dubious on the defensive end surrendering 72.2 PPG (193rd).


Stanford (10-7 SU, 7-8 ATS)
The Cardinal has alternated wins and losses over their last six contests therefore if the patterns stays true to form then the loss in their last outing to No. 12 Arizona is a good omen for their chances tonight. However, that certainly wasn't what the team nor their coach was thinking at the time because there are never any thoughts of silver linings when you are getting blown out on your own home court by a conference opponent. When the dust settled those who backed Stanford in their NCAA basketball picks found that the six point head start that the odds makers were giving the home dog was insufficient as the Wildcats dribbled out of Palo Alto with a 71-57 victory.

Stanford lost to Arizona for the 12th consecutive time and sealed their fate when they went almost nine minutes between buckets. Team scoring leader Rosco Allen  went 1-of-12 for four points -- including 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. Allen is the team leader in points averaging 13.9 this season and the Cardinal has five players averaging in double digits. Sophomore forward Michael Humphrey has also been a consistent contributor with 10.6 points per game and 6.8 boards per contest. Despite the fact that Stanford struggles offensively, averaging 70.3 PPG (241st), their defense has been stout allowing only 66.4 PPG which ties them for 56th in the nation.


Betting Analysis
These Pac-12 foes have yet to meet this season but in their last meeting in March of 2015 ASU notched a 67-62 win as 1 ½ point home favorites. Yet two months prior the Cardinal blasted the Wildcats 89-70 on their home court as 6 ½ point betting favorites. But what about this season and how do these 2015-2016 editions matchup? Arizona State scores more but to say they are a juggernaut is certainly not the case.

However, Stanford does one thing very well and that is they play really good defense. They are tied for 56th in the nation allowing only 66.4 PPG and the way ASU has been shooting from the outside should have anyone, who either follows or backs this team with their own hard earned dinero, more than a bit concerned when facing a solid defensive club.

The Sun Devils are 3-10 ATS against the Pac-12 and 1-4 ATS following a game in which they covered the number (as they did against California on Thursday). The Cardinal is 4-1 ATS following a loss and 5-2 ATS following a game in which they failed to cover the number (as they did against Arizona on Thursday). Finally, the home team has covered the number in five of the last six meetings between the two schools. Everything points to Stanford in this one.

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