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It’s a PAC 12 nightcap here as the Arizona State Sun Devils travel to take on the Utah Utes. Arizona State has been shaky recently, but still enters at 16-8. Utah on the other hand has played great, and has won seven of their last nine games. Oddsmakers have this one as nearly dead even, so it should be a good one. It’ll be televised on FS1.
Arizona State Up And Down
Arizona State started off the season as seemingly the only PAC 12 school who had a good non-conference run. But they’ve been consistently inconsistent, and always seem to throw away any progress that they make.
Toward the end of non-conference play they scored a huge upset over Kansas, who was ranked #1 in the country at the time. They followed it up by losing to Princeton in their next game. They then lost to this very Utah team at home in their conference opener, and will be looking for revenge here. They gave up 96 points to the Utes in that first matchup, and were unable to stop them. Right now Washington is the only PAC 12 school safely in the NCAA Tournament field, but Arizona State has the next best shot. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has them among his last four teams in the field of 68.
LUGUENTZ DORT IS A SAVAGE pic.twitter.com/s8VPVpxS2R
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) January 25, 2019
As a bubble team, every single game is of the utmost importance for Arizona State the rest of the way. This is a game they absolutely need to win, and a road win over a solid team would go a long way toward boosting their resume. They’ve shown in wins over Kansas and Mississippi State that they’re capable of beating elite teams, and now that it’s the closing stretch of the season I think they’ll really turn it on and finish strong.
Utah had a rough start to their season, but has responded really well lately. They went just 6-6 during their non-conference slate, but have picked it up in PAC 12 play. They have an 8-4 record in conference, which is second-best behind only Washington.
But thanks to their slow start, they aren’t a serious contender for an NCAA Tournament at-large spot. As such, they have far less motivation than Arizona State does. They’ll also be facing a Sun Devils team hungry for revenge after Utah beat them by ten on their home court in the conference opener. They’ve now won three in a row, but all three wins were by seven points or fewer. Before that, they dropped two straight games, both at home, to Oregon and Oregon State.
I’m not really buying the Utah resurgence, as they’ve played an extremely easy schedule. Their non-conference strength of schedule ranked 147th in the nation, so there’s no excuse for them only going 6-6 there. The PAC 12 is really down this year, so it’s not surprising they’ve battled back. They’ll have a much tougher time here against an Arizona State team that is arguably the most talented in the conference. The Utes have struggled against good competition, and are just 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 games vs. teams with a winning % above .600
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
Sun Devils are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Sun Devils here. They’re the team with a lot more to play for, and they’re looking for revenge here. They have way more talent than Utah does, and this is an absolute must-win game for them. ASU wins this game easily.
Prediction: Arizona State -1
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the over a lot here. Utah’s defense has always been bad, but they’ve been rediscovering their outside shot recently. The over is 5-1 in their last six games, and it’ll be 6-1 after this one. The last time these two teams played resulted in a 96-86 shootout, and I expect something similar here.