Washington State Cougars (15-9 8-13 ATS) vs. California Golden Bears (16-8 11-11 ATS) Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA 4PM EST Saturday February 13. 2010 on FSN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: WSU Cougars +12/Cal Bears -12
On Saturday afternoon in a Pac 10 match up that is important for both teams the California Golden Bears host the Washington State Cougars. This game may be more important for the Cougars, as even though they only have one less loss than the Bears they are 2 games below .500 in conference play while Cal is 4 games above .500 in the Pac 10. The Cougars are reeling, as they have lost 4 of their last 5 games including their last one.
Cal is still in 1st place in the Pac 10 with a slim one game lead over both Arizona State and Arizona. The Golden Bears have won 2 in a row after dropping 2 straight and in their last game they looked impressive in lighting up the Washington Huskies for 93 points.
This season Cal is 12-2 at home and WSU is 3-6 on the road.
These 2 teams met in the middle of January at Washington State and the Golden Bears came out on top beating the Cougars 93-88. In that game the Cougars could not contain Bears’ G Jerome Randle, who blew up for 39 points and hit on 7 of his 12 3-pt bombs.
The Cougars also committed 14 turnovers in the loss to Cal and they have to hold onto the rock in this game.
In their first meeting the Golden Bears hit on 55% on their 3-point shots (11/20) and if they shoot like that again they will be tough to beat. The Bears are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation and the Cougars have to play good perimeter D and not allow Cal to have open looks from deep.
The Cougars have to hit their open J’s, as they do not have much of an inside presence. Unlike the Cougars Cal has a solid inside-outside game with 2 guards, including leading scorer Jerome Randle (19.7 ppg), and 2 forwards averaging in double figures.
The Cougars also have a solid backcourt led by leading scorer G Klay Thompson (21.1 ppg) and they will need his offense against Cal. In the match earlier this season Thomson did have 18 points, but he only shot 6/16 from the floor and only buried 2 of his 10 3-pointers.
Since Cal has a better frontcourt the Cougars have to hit the glass hard as a team to have any shot to pull off the upset.
In their last game Cal beat Washington 93-81 on Thursday night. The high scorer for the Golden Bears was Randle going for 33 points on 12/19 shooting. For the game the Bears shot well going 31/60 from the floor for a FG% of 51.7%. On defense the Bears allowed Washington to shoot 26/60 for a FG% of 43.3%.
The Cougars lost a tough game in their last contest losing to Stanford 60-58 also on Thursday night. Klay Thompson was the high scorer for the Cougars going for 19 points on 7/16 shooting. For the game WSU shot 23/55 for a FG% of 41.8%. On defense the Cougars allowed Stanford to shoot 19/40 for a FG% of 47.5%.
According to the Sagarin NCAA hoops ratings Cal ranks 35th (84.61) and WSU ranks 93rd (77.68).
WSU is 4-4 ATS this season on the road and has an Over/Under record of 4-4 in their road games.
Cal is 8-4 ATS at home this season and has an Over record of 6-4-1 in their 11 home games.
Jason’s Pick: Cal is starting to pick up their play and they have a more well-rounded offense than the Cougars have. I think WSU will learn their lesson and not allow the Bears to bomb away from deep, but that will open up the lane for Cal’s frontcourt to score a lot of points inside. Cal will win this game convincingly and extend their winning streak to 3.