Stanford vs. Arizona State NCAA Basketball Picks: Expecting Low Scoring Game

Willie Bee

Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:40 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 3, 2016 12:40 PM UTC

Thursday's tussle in Temple could be a preview of a 1st-round game in next week's Pac-12 Tournament. Join us for a free NCAA basketball pick as Arizona State hosts Stanford.

A couple of teams going nowhere fast are part of the Thursday college basketball betting docket. But just because neither the Stanford Cardinal or Arizona State Sun Devils are NCAA Tournament bound, that doesn't mean the matchup is worthless, especially since there appears to be a winning angle from a wagering standpoint.

One of the final matchups on Thursday's card, the Cardinal and Sun Devils tip a little past 11 PM (ET) at Wells Fargo Arena with FOX Sports 1 providing the pictures. The line opened with ASU laying 3½, that spread now down a point at most sports books while Bookmaker is running with 141½ for the total.

Arizona State has already locked itself into the 11th slot of next week's Pac-12 Tournament, scheduled to get underway next Wednesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Sun Devils earned that seed by virtue of a 4-12 conference record entering tonight's tilt, putting them 1½ games back of UCLA and four ahead of the cellar-dwelling Washington State Cougars.

Stanford is still in a brawl for the No. 6 seed in the league bracket, and whoever wins that slot will take on ASU in the opening round. The Cardinals are a half-game behind USC for sixth and deadlocked with the Washington Huskies who finished their schedule on Wednesday.


Dawkins Vs. Hurley, Part 2
The matchup features a couple of coaches who were both All-American guards at Duke, Johnny Dawkins on the Stanford side and Bobby Hurley in his first season running the show at Arizona State. It was Dawkins' dudes who captured the first meeting between the coaches on January 23 when the Cardinal snagged a 75-73 win at home to push a 2 point spread on the NCAA basketball odds.

That clash appeared headed to overtime before Roscoe Allen drove the lane for the winning layup with three seconds left. Allen finished with a game-high 24 points for Stanford which led by as many as 10 in the second half before Arizona State started to make it interesting. Tra Holder topped all Sun Devils with 18 points, one of four ASU players in double-digits.

The victory gave Stanford a 48-33 advantage over the history of the rivalry, 10 of the last 13 meetings going to the Cardinal. One of Arizona State's few wins in that span came last year on this floor where the Sun Devils posted a 67-62 victory as 1½ point favorites. That final didn't have enough to reach a 140 point total, the fourth consecutive 'under' winner in Tempe.  


ASU In Throes Of 4-Game Losing Streak
For Stanford (15-12 straight up, 11-13-1 against the spread), the only path to the NCAA Tournament is to win the Pac-12 bracket, and that's just not going to happen. The Cardinal can still make a strong enough impression to reach the NIT if they can win their final two regular season games and reach the semifinals of the conference tourney, but it's looking more and more like the CBI or CIT are the more likely destinations.

They have been playing better of late, winning four of their last five and covering each victory. The rub, however, has been playing away from home where Stanford is 2-5 both outright and vs. the spread.

Arizona State (14-15 SU, 12-15-1 ATS) enters Thursday on a 4-game skid both on the floor and at the window. The three most recent games did come away from Tempe, the Sun Devils putting forth a miserable effort in an 81-46 loss at Utah, the Utes storming to a 30-2 lead early and holding ASU to just 15-of-60 (25%) from the field.

I can't really talk myself into getting behind either side for my free NCAA basketball pick, so let's run with a play on the low side of the total.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 141½ 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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