NCAAB Thursday January 26th #6 Arizona at Washington State Betting Preview
Revenge for the Wildcats?
Revenge is on the menu for the Wildcats in the Arizona at Washington State betting matchup as the Cougars picked up a 74-61 win at the McKale Center on January 7th as a +12 point underdog. It was not just a big upset for WSU, it snapped a 28-game home win streak for Arizona.
The Wildcats could be in a letdown spot after a big 58-52 home win over UCLA over the weekend tightened things up in the Pac-12. That was the first conference loss for the 8-1 Bruins and leaves 6-3 Arizona right in the hunt. The #6 Wildcats are just -4.5 road favorites here which seems on the low side.
Why Arizona Can Cover -4.5 Points
First of all Arizona probably didn’t take kindly to a near 30-game home win streak being snapped by these Cougars. In many ways the Wildcats didn’t just get beat, they got whooped being down by as many as 18 points in the second half of the 74-61 defeat.
Odds are the Wildcats aren’t going to shoot as bad in the Arizona at Washington State betting matchup as they did the first meeting. The Wildcats were just 20-63 (32%) from the field and 4-25 (16%) from three point range when they average 48.7% and 35.4% respectively on the season. WSU had no answer for Azuolas Tubelis in the first meeting as he had 29 points and 14 rebounds.
Arizona’s adjusted offensive efficiency ranks 12th in the nation, but they also struggled over the weekend despite getting a 58-52 win over UCLA. The three point shooting was off again going 5-18 and this was also the first time the Wildcats had been held under 60 points all season when their 83.3 ppg average is 12th in the nation.
Why Washington State Can Cover +4.5
The intimidation factor is out the window as Washington State (9-12, 4-6 in conference) has already taken down might Arizona this year and on the road. While WSU had no answer for Tubelis in the first matchup, the same could be said for the Cougars’ Mouhamed Gueye who nearly matched him with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Gueye has been battling through some hamstring issues, but he’s “good to go” according to WSU head coach Kyle Smith. Washington State’s TJ Bamba is coming off an 18 point performance against Colorado on Sunday, so if the Arizona offense continues to struggle the Cougs’ have some options.
Washington State has dropped two straight games but both have been on the road at Utah (77-63) and at Colorado (58-55) which did cover the +5.5 point spread. WSU is 6-2 at home this year and both losses have been close, 67-65 in OT against Utah and 67-66 against #8 UCLA as a +8.5 underdog. Will location give the Cougars the edge in this meeting?
Free Arizona at Washington State Betting Pick
This line seems way too low because Arizona is easily the better team here and 74% of the betting public agree while giving the -4.5 points, which is never a good thing. WSU got slammed in their last conference road game 87-68 at Oregon, but also won by 12 in Pullman last season (72-60) to cover the -6.5 number.
That’s too much public action on Arizona without the line moving, have to make the contrarian play here.
Pick: Washington State +4.5