Take the Plunge: 18 Point Favorite Worth Backing With Tonight's NCAA Basketball Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, January 30, 2015 5:23 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 5:23 PM GMT

A quick look at the PAC 12 standings could make one wonder why this 11-10 SU Arizona St. team is favored by more than the home court against 14-7 SU Oregon.  After all, Oregon won the first matchup (59-56) as 5 point favorite.  

 

Oregon vs. Arizona St. (-5-) 8:00 ET PAC 12
A quick look at the PAC 12 standings could make one wonder why this 11-10 SU Arizona St. team is favored by more than the home court against 14-7 SU Oregon. After all, Oregon won the first matchup (59-56) as 5 point favorite. Let’s go inside the numbers to see why there is value selecting Arizona St. as my NCAA Basketball pick.

Oregon is smartly coached by 5th year mentor, Dana Altman. In the previous 4 years, Altman led the Ducks to 97 wins, including 24-10 SU last season and a round of 32 NCAA appearance, where they were defeated by Wisconsin. There were high hopes for Altman’s 5th consecutive 20 win season. Off-season events, however, left Oregon with just 1 RS entering the season. Three key returning starters were dismissed in the spring for misconduct allegations. These included a pair of lead guards in Artis and Dotson, along with Austin.  When the smoke cleared, Altman had just 3 returning players and a roster totaling only 10 young men. Leading scorer, Joseph Young, was the lone returning starter.  As such, Altman has done a fantastic job in maintaining a winning record this season. But, a young rebuilding team will surely show cracks on the road.  In a trio of PAC 12 road games, the Ducks have gone 0-3 SU ATS allowing 94 PPG. That includes a confidence-shattering 90-56 loss at Arizona on Wednesday.  The Ducks have now allowed 94 PPG on the road in those 3 games. Altman entered the season with a record of 36-21 ATS as dog, but his Ducks have been just 1-5 ATS in that role this season. 

Arizona St. is rebuilding in a similar way under 9th year HC Sendek. Gone are PG Carson, scoring guard Marshall and big man Bachynski. But, the three returning starters have banded together with solid recruits for a winning team who enters tonight on a 3-1 SU ATS mini-streak, after beating Oregon St. (73-55) on this court Wednesday night. Home success can be credited in part to the “Curtain of Doom.”  The clever Arizona St. student body has designed a retractable curtain which they place behind the opponent’s basket in the 2nd half of each home game. The curtain opens as the opposing player attempts his foul shot which reveals a variety of costumes and actions meant to distract the foul shooter. Teams are making 70% of their foul shots against Arizona St., but less than 60% in the 2nd half of home games, resulting in a hidden advantage of 2 ½ points per home contest. 

Let’s play the Curtain of Doom with the Arizona St. momentum against an Oregon team who has had trouble suiting up on the road.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Arizona St. -6.5 at 5Dimes

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