It's a limited menu in college basketball Friday night, and still we couldn't hold ourselves to just one “Game of Choice” pick. Here's our take on a pair of Pac-12 contests for Friday night.
Oregon vs. Arizona State
A pair of Pac-12 middle-of-the-packers meet in Tempe.
We weren't sure what to expect from either of these teams heading into this season. The Ducks went 24-10 last year, then lost four starters; the Sun Devils went 21-12, then lost three starters. We figured both would finish somewhere in the middle of the pack in the Pac-12, and neither was assured of a return trip to the Big Dance. So far, that's kind of how things have played out. Oregon is 14-7 overall, 4-4 in conference play, while ASU is 11-10 overall, 3-5 in conference.
The Ducks had won two in a row, but last time out, Thursday night, got bombed at Arizona 90-56. Oregon shot just 40 percent from the floor, and allowed the Wildcats to shoot 59 percent. That's how you miss on the cover as 15-point dogs on our NCAA basketball odds.
Arizona State, on the other hand, had lost five of its last seven games, but last time out, Thursday night, beat Oregon State 73-55. The Sun Devils used an early 18-3 run to take a 20-point lead, and cruised to the victory and the cover as seven-point favorites.
Oregon just beat Arizona State three weeks ago up in Eugene 59-56, but the Sun Devils covered as five-point road dogs. Arizona State led that game by four points with about four minutes to go, but went cold from there.
The Ducks shot 50 percent from the floor in that match-up, and held ASU to 40 percent.
Oregon laid an egg last time out, while Arizona State pounded the Beavers. But both these teams seem perfectly susceptible to the normal ups and downs of the college basketball season. It won't surprise us at all if these two teams experience a reversal of fortune Friday night.
Free College Basketball Pick: Oregon +5.5 at BetOnline
Arizona -17 vs. Oregon State
The 19-2 Wildcats, who got upset by the Beavers up in Corvallis three weeks ago, host what some bettors might look at as a “revenge” match.
Since that loss Arizona has gone 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS, winning those five games by an average of 19 points per. Last time out the 'Cats bombed Oregon 90-56, shooting 59 percent from the floor, easily covering as 15-point favorites. At 7-1 in conference play Arizona leads the Pac-12 by a game over Utah and Stanford.
Oregon State, meanwhile, was the preseason choice to finish last in the Pac-12 this season, its first under a new head coach. Instead, the Beavers are 14-6 overall and 5-3 in Pac-12 play. In fact, they just had a three-game winning streak snapped by a 73-55 loss at Arizona State Wednesday.
Oregon State beat Arizona three weeks ago 58-56, winning outright as 10-point home dogs. The Beavers shot 51 percent from the floor that night, held the Wildcats to just 38 percent and won the battle on the boards by a 32-26 margin. And still Arizona almost forced overtime.
Oregon State, playing above expectations so far this season, is 13-6 ATS; Arizona, battling big expectations and large spreads, nonetheless is 12-9 ATS.
Some bettors might look at this game as a good spot for a revenge play on Arizona, but our take is the revenge factor in sports betting is overrated. And yet, even the oddsmakers seem to take it into account. Yes, Arizona will probably extend its home winning streak to 34 games tonight, but if the Beavers can slap some of their tough defense on this game and maybe turn it ugly, they'd stand a nice chance of covering this spread. We'll take the points with the dog for our NCAA Basketball picks.
Free College Basketball Pick: Oregon State +18 at 5Dimes