Safe Bet: Arizona to Cover NCAA Basketball Odds -16 vs. Washington State

Darin Zank

Sunday, February 15, 2015 3:32 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 3:32 PM UTC

Arizona owns the recent series with Washington State, winning the last seven meetings, covering the spread in all seven. But the Wildcats are facing a big number as a favorite in Pullman Sunday afternoon.

Wildcats-Cougars Betting Odds
Most of the NCAA Basketball odds market opened this game with Arizona favored by 16 points, the total offered at right around 146. In the early betting the spread was holding steady, while the total dropped to 145.

Those who believe Wazzu might spring the upset in this spot could get a nice fat price of +1200 on the moneyline at 5Dimes.


Wildcats-Cougars: Background Material
Arizona just bounced back from a loss to Arizona State last week to beat Washington Friday 86-62, covering as an 11-point favorite on the road. The Wildcats led by 19 at the half Friday, let the Huskies get within 11 with about eight minutes to go, then re-applied the gas and pulled away.

Arizona shot 53 percent from the floor Friday, and held U-Dub to just 35 percent shooting.

Last Saturday the Wildcats ran into a buzzsaw, as the Sun Devils shot 50 percent from the field in pulling an 81-78 upset.

At 21-3 overall, 9-2 in conference play Arizona is tied for the lead in the Pac-12 with Utah, and it's chasing a top seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Washington State is 2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS over its last four games, after knocking off Arizona State 74-71 Friday night, taking advantage of the Sun Devils in a letdown situation. The Cougars trailed by five at the half, but used an early spurt in the second half to take over.

Wazzu shot 52 percent from the field Friday night; it'll be hard-pressed to shoot that well Sunday.

Just before that the Cougars lost at Oregon 95-72; just before that they lost at Oregon State 55-50.

At 11-13 overall and 5-7 in Pac-12 play Washington State might actually be playing slightly above preseason expectations. Take that for what it's worth.

As mentioned above, Arizona has taken the last seven meetings with Wazzu, covering each game. Last season the Wildcats took the only meeting with the Cougars by a score of 60-25, cashing in as 18-point favorites.

Check out this NCAA Basketball Pick: California vs. Utah

Wildcats-Cougars Key Stats
Arizona is shooting 49 percent from the floor this season, which ranks in the top 10 in the country, 36 percent from 3-point land and 69 percent from the FT line. On the other end of the court the 'Cats are holding opponents to just 40 percent FG shooting.

Washington State is shooting 43 percent from the floor, 33 percent from long range and 72 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 46 percent. The Cougars have also given up at least 86 points in five of their last nine games.


Wildcats-Cougars Betting Trends
Arizona is 11-13 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Wildcats games have averaged 135 points.

Something important to keep in mind before placing your NCAA Basketball pick is that Wazzu has trended toward the OVERS by a 14-5 margin, as Cougars games have averaged 146 points.


Wildcats-Cougars Free Pick
Yes, that spread seems a bit much, but at least it's not 20 points. Arizona is going to win this game, mainly because it will not allow Wazzu to shoot anywhere close to the 52 percent it did Friday night. If the 'Cats don't call off the dogs too soon, they should cover.

Free College Basketball Pick: Arizona -16 at 5Dimes

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