If the Arizona Wildcats were dealing with any lingering issues after forward Brandon Ashley suffered a foot injury that will cost him the rest of the season, they definitely did not show it during Sunday’s matchup against Oregon State. The Wildcats put on a stellar performance and proved that the squad will still be a major player in the NCAA title picture even without its starting forward. Freshman Aaron Gordon picked up the slack that Arizona was missing without Ashley, and he will probably look to be more aggressive on the offensive end—which cannot be good for the rest of the Pac-12 as the season nears its end.
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The Arizona State Sun Devils have spent the entire season living in the shadow of the high-profile Wildcats and would love nothing more than to prove to the rest of the college basketball world that the state has more than one elite-level program this season. The Sun Devils carry an 18-6 overall record into Fridays’ matchup and are third in the Pac-12 standings with a solid 7-4 conference record. Arizona State will head into its rivalry week matchup on a bit of a hot streak and looking to hand the No. 2 team in the nation its second loss of the season. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup with picks and analysis.
Arizona at Arizona State Betting Story Lines
Arizona is still trying to pick up the pieces after its starting forward, and major contributor to the team, Ashley suffered a season-ending injury at California two games ago. The Wildcats struggled in its very next outing against Oregon but still managed to pull out a nail-biting two-point victory. The team looked far more comfortable in its next outing against Oregon State and managed to earn a 22-point win and cover the 16-point spread rather easily. It seems that mentally the squad has already recovered from losing one of its major players, but the question now is how will the team respond physically? Will Arizona have enough talent to still be a factor in the upcoming NCAA Tournament?
During the team’s last outing Gordon scored 17 points in an effort to make up for the missing production from the injured forward. Gordon and Ashley both average 11 points per game, and with those extra buckets in the paint needing to be accounted for, expect Gordon to see a few more shots per game and increase his scoring average into the 15- to 17-point range. Arizona is a team that loves to get points in the paint and will probably remain the same type of team heading forward without Ashley.
Arizona State is currently in the middle of a solid stretch of basketball. The squad has won five of its last six matchups and continues to position itself as a legitimate threat in the Pac-12. On the betting side of things, however, the Sun Devils have struggled to cover spreads and currently owns an 11-11 overall ATS record while failing to cover six of their last eight matchups. Arizona State has also lost three straight ATS games, two of them as a favorite and one as an underdog.
The Sun Devils are the 49th-ranked scoring team in the nation with an average of 77.1 points per game, the 86th ranked rebounding team with 37 per game, and are ranked 63rd in assists, dishing out 14.6 per game as well. The squad is being led by second-year guard Jahii Carson, who averages 19 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assist per game, and it is also receiving excellent production from its center Jordan Bachynski, who averages 12.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and a whopping 4.5 blocks per game for Arizona State.
Arizona at Arizona State NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Arizona opened as a five-point favorite over the underdog Sun Devils at BetOnline. Arizona is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS win and 5-2 ATS over its last seven road games. The team has also won five of its last seven road games against teams with winning home record, but has covered only one game in its last five matchups following a SU win. Arizona is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against the Pac-12 and 0-5 ATS in its last five games against teams with a winning percentage above .600.
Arizona State is 7-1 ATS over its last eight Friday games and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games against teams with a winning road record. The squad is 2-6 ATS in its last eight overall games and in its last eight versus the Pac-12. Arizona State is also 1-4 ATS over its last five games following at ATS loss. Head-to-head, Arizona is 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings, while the home team has covered four of the last five games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Arizona at Arizona State Predictions
Arizona has dominated this rivalry over the past three seasons, winning and covering five of the last six matchups between the two teams. The Wildcats, however, will be missing some of their offensive firepower in Friday’s game and will probably struggle to build a large lead over the high-scoring Sun Devils. Arizona State is able an excellent rebounding team, which will be another area that Arizona will suffer in because of the absence of Ashley. Arizona might still be able to win this game, but the take underrated Sun Devils plus the five points at home.
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