College Basketball Betting Free Pick: Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona State Sun Devils
CBB FREE PICK: Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona State Sun Devils
#676 Arizona State +2 (Thursday, January 16 @ 9 pm EST)
The Colorado Buffaloes (13-3) bounced back from a loss to Oregon State with a blowout win over Utah, 91-52, last weekend while Arizona State (10-6) defeated the Beavers, 82-76, before losing to Oregon a couple of days later, 78-69.
Colorado started the season out 7-0 and has since since gone 6-3. During their 7-0 start, their best win was against this same Arizona State team, 81-71, in the season opener for both squads (it wasn’t considered an official PAC-12 game). Since then, they have a couple of quality wins against Dayton (78-76) and Oregon (74-65). Colorado’s three losses this season came against Kansas (72-58), Northern Iowa (79-76) and Oregon State (76-68).
Colorado is scoring nearly 73 ppg, good for 139th in the country. While they are slightly above average shooting from the field (158th), they have been very good from deep, hitting 36.5% (55th). They have also done well when at the line, shooting 73.4% (76th). The Buffaloes’ defense has been even better than their offense this season as they are allowing just 61.3 ppg (27th). Colorado opponents have shot 40% from the field (69th) and 31.3% from three (110th).
For Colorado, McKinley Wright IV and 6-7 guard Tyler Bey are key to their offense. Wright IV is averaging 13.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Bey is right behind Wright with 13.0 points per game but has been the team’s leading rebounder at 9.8 per game.
Arizona State has had an up-and-down season with signs of potential in one game and then a no-show the next. All six of Arizona State’s losses have come against quality opponents in Colorado, St. Mary’s, Virginia, Creighton, Arizona and Oregon (all of whom have been ranked at some point this season). The Sun Devils also have some quality wins over teams like Oregon State, Georgia, and St. John’s.
Arizona State’s offense has been slightly better than Colorado’s as they are scoring 73.3 ppg (131st). However, their shooting hasn’t been very good as they are 235th in FG%, 295th in 3PT% and 227th in FT%. One of the biggest reasons for their somewhat high scoring numbers and low percentages is due to their pace of play. The Sun Devils are a fast-paced team that is 23rd in the country in tempo. As a result, the Sun Devils’ defense has allowed 69.3 points per game this season (191st). Opponents have shot 42.5% from the field (184th) and 32.3% from three (152nd).
The Sun Devils offense revolves around one person in particular in Remy Martin. Martin is averaging 19.1 ppg. Alonzo Verge Jr. (12.8 ppg) and Romello White (10.5 ppg and 9.6 rp) have been the team’s second and third biggest contributors despite their recent struggles. While Martin has the potential to take on any team on his own, he will need some help from his supporting cast in tonight’s game.
When these two teams met to open their seasons, the game was played out in Shanghai. This time, the Sun Devils will have the home advantage. The Sun Devils were down 13 at the half and made a run late in that game before falling short. The biggest reason for Arizona State losing that game was their foul trouble. The Sun Devils committed 24 fouls to just 14 for Colorado.
Colorado is a slower-paced team that ranks around the middle of the pack in tempo. The pace of play of Arizona State could give this Colorado team trouble, especially on the road. The Sun Devils have also had a slightly tougher schedule than Colorado so their 10-6 record isn’t something to worry about. This will be a tough divisional game on the road for a Colorado team that is fairly new to being ranked. Expect a more sound and disciplined game from the Sun Devils at home as they seek the outright win as short home underdogs.