Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Arizona Wildcats – NCAAB, January 25, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| January 25, 2021 8:36 am PDT

These two teams might come from the same state, but that’s where the similarities end. The Sun Devils have struggled this season and find themselves down in 11th position in the Pacific-12 Conference. Whereas the Wildcats are having a great season, a win here would put them at the top with both USC and UCLA. It’s, therefore, not just bragging rights on the line here.

The recent head-to-head record is as close as the state they both play in… yes, that’s right, it’s identical as both teams have split the last six games and have three wins apiece. However, the Wildcats have a superior record at home, having lost only one of the previous 11 games that date back over ten years.

Speaking of ten, that’s precisely how many points the Wildcats have beaten the Sun Devils by on average over the previous ten games.

Let’s check out the betting before I give you my Sun Devils vs. Wildcats betting prediction.

Sun Devils vs. Wildcats Odds

Sun Devils +6.5-110
Wildcats -6.5-110
Sun Devils To Win+205
Wildcats To Win-230
Over 156-110
Under 156-110

This game is very accurately priced, in my opinion, so we will have to do some digging on each team to come up with a value bet.

One thing to point out is that Arizona State has lost all four matches this season that they entered at the underdogs.

Sun Devils Analysis

The Sun Devils are currently on their worst run of form this season, having lost their last five games in a row. However, they did put up some terrific fights in most of those defeats. They lost in overtime against UCLA, who are joint top of the Conference, they went down by one against Oregon State, and then most recently, they lost to tonight’s opponents narrowly by two points, 82-84.

They have been excellent on the road this season, winning three of their four road trips. Before their narrow loss to Oregon State, they had previously beaten Rhode Island, California, and Grand Canyon. These are, however, all games they would have been expected to win.

Here are the latest betting trends for Arizona State:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have only won one of their last seven games.
Total The total has gone over in 13 of their previous 19 games.
ATS Arizona State has a record of 4-1 from their last five games against the Wildcats.
ATS The Sun Devils have only won one of their last six games on the road.
Total Against teams from the Pacific-12 Conference, 10 of their last 12 games have gone over the betting total.
ATS They have lost four of their previous five games played in January.

The Sun Devils don’t shoot well and are poor at rebounding the ball offensively, but they still somehow manage to average 76 points per game despite this. What they do well is they hustle and work extremely hard to get the ball back. They don’t have the luxury of many gifted players, but each one of them works their socks off every game. So imagine what they could do if they did shoot better? Well, you don’t have to, as they do seem to shoot better on the road, which is why they have won 75% of their games played away from home.

They also have a very smart offense that doesn’t turn the ball over much.

Unfortunately, their offense is being let down by their defense badly. This is presumably because they put so much effort into their offense that very little is left in the tank to defend. Because of their poor defense, they have a negative points difference per game of -1.2, the third-lowest in the Conference.

They are averaging seven steals per game, which is a good return, but again they are putting so much into this part of their game they are leaving very little for other areas of their defense.

Overall, they tend to tire in games, which has ultimately been their downfall. As they tire, they start to make mistakes, and they then lose their discipline resulting in the Conference’s highest average number of personal fouls.

Senior Remy Martin has been the critical figurehead for the Sun Devils this season, but they were close to not having him. He initially decided to drop out of college and put his name in the NBA draft. However, he eventually decided against this and withdrew from the draft, much to the Sun Devils’ delight.

The Sun Devils only have one player unavailable as their Forward Cherry is out due to personal circumstances.

Wildcats Analysis

The Wildcats look very good this season and have won 11 of their 14 games played. They currently occupy third place, but a win here puts them level with the top two teams.

After losing to their two main rivals for the title back-to-back, they have gone on to win their next two by beating Oregon State and Arizona State.

Their record at home is as impressive as their overall record, having won seven of their nine games. However, those two defeats came most recently against USC and UCLA. Both of those games were extremely close at halftime, but the Wildcats ran out of steam, eventually losing by six and five points, respectively.

Here are the latest betting trends for Arizona:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have lost four of their previous five games.
Total Their last five games have all gone over the betting total.
Total Against the Sun Devils, only two of the previous eight games have gone over the betting total.
Total Six of their last seven home games have gone over the points total.
SU They have won their last 12 games in a row that took place on a Monday.

The Wildcats have a fantastic offense that does most things well. However, it’s not been as good at home as it has been on the road.

They have enjoyed playing against their neighboring Conference teams as they are averaging five points per game more against them than non-Pacific-12 teams.

They are good from the free-throw line and have the best shooting figures in the Conference, so you need to be well-disciplined against them.

They have an excellent points difference per game of 11.7. Looking at their record against the spread recently suggests that the bookmakers are making life too difficult for them by setting them unrealistic targets to overcome.

They pass the ball well and average 15 assists per game, the third-highest in the Conference.

Their defense is decent but beatable. They rebound the ball very well at both ends of the court, and they also make a high number of blocks per game.

Much like their opponents, they too can be physical at times and are never bullied out of a game. However, this comes at a price, making many personal fouls per game. These aggressive tactics were criticized by the Sun Devils head coach when they met a few days ago. He also accused the officials of ‘swallowing their whistles,’ allowing the Wildcats to be overly aggressive.

James Akinjo leads the way for the Wildcats this season, and the match up with Remy Martin will undoubtedly be one of interest. In some way, this match up reflects the entire game as Martin represents the more experienced Sun Devils team and Akinjo, the youthful Wildcats who are heavily fuelled by freshmen.

The Wildcats will be without trio Baker, Batcho, and Kriisa, who are all sidelined for this one.

Sun Devils vs. Wildcats Pick

Pick
  • Wildcats To Win
    -230

This game promises to deliver on many fronts. As well as close rivals, there will be a lot of bad blood following their game played just days ago, which is still fresh in the memory. A physical game will play into the Wildcat’s hands, which is what they are used to. Therefore, I will take them to beat the Sun Devils and rise to the top of the Conference.

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