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College Basketball Betting — Arizona State Has Eyes on Toppling Arizona as Home Underdog

The Arizona State Sun Devils did not like their previous result against the in-state rival Arizona Wildcats. But since then, they feel they have gained a little, while the ‘Cats may have lost something, and perhaps that helps them equalize things as the teams meet up once again in college basketball betting action that is set to begin at 9 PM ET at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

Neither of these teams comes into the game on a pointspread roll; Arizona has dropped five of its last six against the number, while ASU has been on the losing side of the basketball pointspread in six of their last eight contests.

This is not a normal basketball rivalry game in the respect that Arizona is currently the second-ranked team in the nation according to the Associated Press. They are also #3 in the country in the USA Today coaches’ poll. They have lost only once this season, to California, but rebounded with victories over Oregon and Oregon State.

In the college basketball betting lines that have been posted at WagerWeb, the Wildcats are the favorites on the road:

Arizona Wildcats -6
Arizona State Sun Devils +6

Over 132.5 points -110
Under 132.5 points -110

These teams came together on January 16, and while the Sun Devils made seven of their 14 shots from three-point range, they just couldn’t find the range form anywhere else, making just 11 of 39 shots from inside the arc. They also coughed up the ball 18 times and could not defend Arizona, yielding almost 56% shooting, and this is what allowed the Wildcats to win a 91-68 decision, gain a cover as a 14-point favorite in the basketball odds and send ASU back to Tempe with a lot to think about.

There were some circumstances in that game that will not be present this time around, however. One is that Jermaine Marshall, one of the people ASU depends on for outside shooting (43.6% from the arc) was not in the lineup, as he was sitting (and not comfortably, we bet) with a groin injury. As a player averaging 15.6 points a game, one can imagine the hole he created in the lineup with his absence.

And Arizona has lost one of its “glue guys” in Brandon Ashley, who was the team’s third leading scorer and known as one of the key components in a defensive scheme that has seen the ‘Cats allow opponents to shoot just 37.8%. He went down during a 60-58 loss to California with a foot injury, and it remains to be seen what kind of long-term effect it is going to have. WagerWeb customers have seen, however, that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has stepped in and done a good job, scoring 30 points with 15 rebounds in his last two games.

Perhaps the most critical factor for Arizona State in this game is what will happen with Jordan Bachynski. The 7’2″ senior center is a potentially dominant force inside, as many college basketball bettors have seen, as he has blocked 107 shots in 24 games. He also broke loose for a huge game against Oregon last time out, with 26 points and nine rebounds to go along with nine blocks. But he was relatively silent in the first meeting with Arizona, as he had only three points and six rebounds. What can the Sun Devils get from him in this all-important contest that could make the difference between ASU (the +200 underdog in the basketball money line) getting an at-large bid to the Big Dance and missing out?

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