Washington Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks Predictions 1/23/22
Washington Huskies (9-7 SU, 8-8 ATS) vs. Oregon Ducks (11-6 SU, 6-10 ATS)
When: Sunday, January 23, 10 p.m.
Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.
Point Spread: WASH +11.5/ORE -11.5 (MyBookie)
Moneyline: WASH +475/ORE -700
Last Time Out:
Washington defeated Oregon State 82-72; Oregon handled USC 79-69.
About the Matchup:
These teams both looked like a pair of big disappointments to start the year, but both have come on strong in their past few games, as the Ducks are winners of five straight and the Huskies have won four of five. Oregon’s wins are a fair amount more impressive, as the Ducks went to Los Angeles and swept USC and UCLA, suggesting that Oregon might be a fair amount better than its 11-6 record suggests.
The big question is whether the Ducks will be ready to go for this game, which is a concern for two reasons. First, a letdown usually follows after two big wins like that. The Ducks might avoid that because this is a rivalry game and a loss they cannot afford to take, but it’s a genuine concern. So is the fact that Oregon hasn’t played in more than a week, as the Ducks didn’t get to face Washington State earlier in the week because the Cougars got COVID. The Huskies might have been playing bad teams, but they’ve been playing and winning games. Ironically, though, this win streak might be hurting embattled coach, Mike Hopkins, as he’s been sidelined with COVID while the Huskies went to Oregon State and won without him.
Scouting the Huskies:
The Huskies are an oddity: a team that pushes the tempo a fair amount without actually doing much scoring. Washington’s point total isn’t terrible, but that’s only because the Huskies take so many shots that they can still score when they shoot a mere 40 percent from the floor and rank in the bottom 30 nationally in field goal percentage. But the lack of shooting means that other teams will get enough possessions to take control of games against them, as evidenced when the Huskies lost by eight to Winthrop and lost by 16 to Utah Valley.
The biggest problems for the Huskies on offense are that they aren’t great shooters, they don’t create good shots, and they’re far too dependent on Terrell Brown Jr. Brown leads the Huskies with 21.4 points per game, but he doesn’t get his points from outside, shooting a mere 26.7 percent from deep. In fact, nobody on the Washington roster who has shot at least ten 3-point attempts has hit more than 40 percent of them, which says this is a team that is not built to come back.
Scouting the Ducks:
Scoring is what Oregon does, but the Ducks allow too many teams to either hang around or just flat out beat them because they can’t get enough stops. Oregon is the inverse of Washington, patiently waiting for its shots and making sure that the shot is a good one, but playing at a slower pace that means lower scores. The Ducks win mostly by taking the air out of the ball and making sure that when they do attack the basket, they’ve given themselves a good look at the hoop.
Oregon does have problems creating its own shot and doesn’t always take great care of the basketball, but when the Ducks get within 15 feet, they’re deadly. Outside of that, it’s a much different story. Will Richardson is a good 3-point shooter, and De’Vion Harmon is reliable at the free-throw line, but nobody else fits those descriptions. The foul line is a major source of woes for the Ducks, as Oregon’s other seven of its eight highest scorers besides Harmon all shoot 70 percent or worse from the stripe. That makes the Ducks tough to trust when trying to protect leads, and it’s why the Ducks are a mere 4-9 ATS as a favorite this year. Plus, every Oregon game in which the Ducks have covered as a favorite has beaten the spread by at least seven points. If the game has a chance to be a backdoor cover, Oregon tends to leave it open regularly.
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Washington will Cover If: The Huskies can avoid falling in a deep hole early. Washington is at its best when it can force opponents to keep pace, and the Huskies cannot do that if they fall behind early. The Huskies have to at least stick close in the first 10 minutes.
Oregon will Cover If: The Ducks can get on an early run in the first or second half. Oregon does not close games well, so the Ducks need to make sure that they put the game to bed early and don’t give the Huskies reason to hope.
Dan’s Best Prop Bets
With Oregon struggling to stop teams, this one looks like it’s got a good chance to go over. The Ducks usually hit their numbers, and the Huskies’ scoring has been a lot better as of late.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Oregon leaves the backdoor open far too often for my liking. I think this looks more like the Oregon State game, where the Ducks win it late after the Huskies fight gamely for most of the second half. I want Washington and the points.
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