Washington Huskies (10-3 SU, 3-10 ATS) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (10-5 SU, 3-8 ATS), 10:30 p.m. EST, Friday, January 8, 2009, Wells-Fargo Arena, Temple, Ariz. TV: FCS Atlantic
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Washington +3.5/Arizona State -3.5
The Washington Huskies and Arizona State Sun Devils both desperately need a conference win when the two Pac-10 teams face each other in Tempe on Friday night. The Huskies were the preseason Pac-10 favorites and are in danger of falling to 1-2 in conference play, while the Sun Devils are 0-2 in the Pac-10 and need to get their first conference victory at home instead of falling to 0-3. Washington is also in danger of falling out of the top 25 rankings for the first time this season if they were to lose this game.
The Huskies were expected to be the best team in the Pac-10 and one of the better teams in all of college basketball this season, but they haven’t picked up many quality wins. The Huskies have lost to Texas Tech, Georgetown and Oregon, while their best wins are over Texas A&M, Portland and Oregon State. The loss at Texas Tech, which was in overtime, was Washington’s only road game so far this season. The Huskies lost their first tough home game to Georgetown, 74-66, and they defeated Texas A&M 73-64 on December 22. In between, they dominated a struggling Portland team, 89-54.
In their first two conference games, both at home, the Huskies barely hung on (76-70) against a very weak Oregon State team that most recently lost by 51 points to Seattle University at home. In their last game last Saturday, the Huskies lost at home to Oregon, 90-79. In the two conference games, the Huskies haven’t played well overall in either game. Against Oregon State, they out-rebounded the Beavers by 13 and got to the free throw line 28 times, but they committed 17 turnovers which allowed the Beavers to stay in the game. Against Oregon, they only committed nine turnovers and they got to the free throw line 35 times, but they allowed the Ducks to shoot 53 percent from the field, only forced eight turnovers, and got out-rebounded by seven.
In both of Washington’s conference games, Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter and Venoy Overton were the only Huskies to score in double figures. In the two games, Thomas is averaging 22 points per game, Pondexter is averaging 18, and Overton is averaging 13.5.
Arizona State’s only two quality wins have come over LSU and San Diego State. The Sun Devils have lost to Duke, Baylor, BYU, UCLA and USC. All four of those losses were by 13 points or less. They lost to UCLA by two points and to Baylor by three. In their two conference games, both on the road, the Sun Devils lost 72-70 to UCLA and 47-37 to USC. The Sun Devils did a great job protecting the ball against UCLA with only six turnovers. Nearly half of their field goal attempts (25 out of 56) were 3-point attempts. They allowed UCLA to shoot a ridiculous 62.9 percent from the field and 64.7 percent from 3-point range (11-of-17) and they still almost won the game. They had 21 more field goal attempts than UCLA. Rihards Kuksiks, Derek Glasser and Ty Abbott were the three ASU players to score in double figures against UCLA, but the three of them combined for nine points against USC, as Jamelle McMillan and Demetrius Walker were the only ASU players in that game with over four points. The Sun Devils shot just 24.4 percent from the field and made 5-of-23 3-point attempts. They also committed an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers.
Washington is 6-0 ATS in its last six games as a road underdog, 6-2 ATS in its last eight games as an underdog, and 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road games. The Huskies are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games and 3-10 ATS overall this season. Washington is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS loss. ASU is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 games following an ATS loss and 1-5 ATS in its last six games overall. The over is 4-0 in the last four games between these teams. Washington is 6-0 ATS in its last six games at Arizona State. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five games in this series and the road team is 12-2 ATS in the last 14 games between these teams.
The Sun Devils haven’t beaten the Huskies at home since 2002.
Ryno’s Pick: The Arizona State players have never beaten Washington at home and they don’t want to fall to 0-3 in conference play, so the Sun Devils should be very motivated to come out strong and play well at home in this game. The trends point towards a Washington win in this game since the Huskies have owned the Sun Devils in recent years. But this is also an unranked team favored over a ranked team, which is a very profitable trend to bet. Take Arizona State -3.5.