Arizona State vs. Washington State (PK)
Rematch! These two meet after Remy Martin hit a dagger with 0.4 seconds remaining to earn the 77-74 win in OT (Feb. 27). Since then, Washington State has yet to play and Arizona State lost twice.
This will be the second meeting of the season and in the last two weeks between the squads. Washington State, historically, has been dreadful in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cougars are 6-20 all-time in the tournament, but made noise last season, upsetting Colorado in the opening round, 82-68.
That was the first time a No. 11-seed won the opening round in the Pac-12 tournament. Arizona State enters as the No. 8 seed this season and Washington State the No. 9. When these two meet, we usually witness a high-scoring affair between the two.
Last five meetings between Arizona State and Washington State:
2021: Arizona State 77, Washington State 74 (OT) (151)
2020: Arizona State 83, Washington State 74 (157)
2020: Washington State 67, Arizona State 65 (132)
2019: Washington State 91, Arizona State 70 (161)
2018: Arizona State 88, Washington State 78 (166)
The last five meetings have combined for 153.4 points per game average. The game total today is 144.5, so there is value here already. The last meeting went to OT and the end of regulation score was 67-67 (134), bringing the five-game average down to 150.0. The 144.5 total has been surpassed in four of the last five meetings and three in regulation.
Arizona State averages 73.6 points per game in Pac-12 games this year, second in the league only behind Arizona (75.2). Defensively, Arizona State allows the second-most points per game (76.6). The Sun Devils also play the fastest tempo (71.4) and have the quickest offensive average possession length (16.4) in the conference.
Defensively, Arizona State has the fourth-fastest defense to score on (17.4). Washington State's defense ranks last at 16.9 seconds per possession, giving Arizona State the chance to score too. Washington State averages 68.6 points per game in the conference play (9th) and allows 71.1 (8th). The offense plays at a slow pace (18.6), ranking 10th, but versus Arizona State's defense, Washington State should be able to score 70-plus.
These two squads have generally gotten off to fast starts versus one another too. The first-half totals set at 68.5, an interesting number going back in this series.
Last eight first-halves between Arizona State and Washington State:
2021: 34-34 Tied (68)
2020: 40-29 Arizona State (69)
2020: 37-31 Washington State (68)
2019: 50-33 Washington State (83)
2018: 40-38 Arizona State (78)
2017: 49-43 Arizona State (92)
2017: 40-37 Washington State (77)
2016: 40-32 Arizona State (72)
The last eight first-halves have combined for 68 points or more. The first-half total today is set at 68.5, of course, and that intrigues me as well. Since their last meeting, Washington State has had off, so they will have fresh legs for this matchup.
Arizona State is averaging 36.0 points per game in the first half and 34.0 in road games. Washington State averages 32.0 on the season and 31.6 points per game in the first-half away from home. Arizona State's defense has allowed 41 (Utah) and 31 (Colorado) points in the first-half over the last two games.
NBC Sports Edge's best trends for this matchup point towards the Over. For Washington State, the Over is 16-7 (69.6%) in the last 23 games versus Pac-12 Conference teams. Arizona State is 17-5 (77.3%) to the Over in the past 22 games versus Pac-12 Conference teams following an ATS loss.
Washington State also receives Point Guard Isaac Bonton back after missing four of the last five games with sprained ankles. Bonton's expected to play around 15-20 minutes today, a positive sign for the Cougars. Bonton led the team in scoring and steals, finishing fourth in the Pac-12 at 17.7 points per game and first in steals at 1.9 per contest.
Arizona State will be without Marcus Bagley, shutting him down after an ineffective 20 minutes against Colorado (0 points). Even with both player news, this game is a toss-up. PointsBet offers just a play on the Moneyline at -110 and while I lean Washington State to win, I think the Over is the best play here.
Both defenses allow opponents to score quickly and both squads want to advance after looking forward to playing each other since the last time they met. Washington State will have a sour taste in their mouth after Martin's buzzer-beater and I can expect them to come out swinging after having plenty of time off before this meeting. I like the chances both these teams score 70-plus points today.
Game Pick: Over 144.5 (1u), Lean First-Half Over 68
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