Washington State Cougars vs Washington Huskies
Betting Spread – WAZZU -7.5. Total 142.5
Here we have the Washington Huskies traveling to play the Washington State Cougars. In the first match-up with these two, Washington cruised to a 15 point victory in near wire to wire fashion. They did so with their tremendous edge on the offensive glass leading to plenty of extra possessions. This was by no means an anomaly as match-up wise, they have a large edge on the offensive glass vs the Huskies. Will the Huskies be able to keep this one closer the second go around or will they struggle once again?
Let’s start with the Cougars who are in the middle of a five game home stand. This team has an above average defense with their superior length (12th best in D1), but their pace and high TO rate often lead to easy baskets on the defensive end. From a SOS standpoint, this team has had one of the easier roads of all the PAC12 teams yet only have 4 total conference wins. Washington State’s pace tends to make games go into the 70s, the problem is their offense doesn’t often show consistency. While they are a team that wants to run, shootouts have not been kind to the Cougars. They have 0 wins this season when they give up 73 points. While the offensive glass is a big mismatch in this game vs the Huskies, it is one of the few significant advantages they have. When these two first met the game played like a blaze. Plenty of fouls, countless TOs, lots of offensive boards, but an overall paltry game shooting from both teams. A game that still almost went over the number. The total in that game was 139.5 and the Cougars were only a 1.5 point dog. Now the Cougars are nearly 8 point dogs with the total seeing a brief bump to 142.5.
Why I mention the previous line is the team total for the Huskies in that game was 69.5 and now sits at 67.5. This is a team much like the Cougars who have seen some good defensive snails recently and now draw a similar tempo team. The team total is 67.5 -108 at DK and I have this quite favorable over for the Huskies. If we take out the two snails that Washington just played, Washington has gone over this number in four of five games. The one time they didn’t was against this Cougars team, but that game was quite an anomaly. Washington shot quite poorly from the field despite the elevated opportunities and also wasn’t able to convert well from the charity stripe. This Huskies team has put up good numbers this year against better defenses and I like the value we have on this number. Washington State has given up 68 points in 10 of their last 11 games. The only time they didn’t was yes against this Washington team. Goes back to my anomaly comment before. Washington State is no stranger to pace and enjoys moving up and down with teams that love to run. This will add possessions to Washington strengthening the chances of this going over. Washington shot 38% from the field and 60% from the FT line in the first match and still only came up 6 points short. Only one other time this season has a team shot below 40% against this Cougars team and that was California who was without their top scorer.
Simply put, this Cougar team is not a great defense by any means. Kenpom has them ranked 38th and sure in the half court, this team is tough to score against with their length, but in transition, easy baskets are to be had. While Washington may lack of plethora of big scoring options, they have plenty of guys who contribute with a few legit 3 point snipers. The extra possessions added in this game along with the extra expected TOs from the Cougars should have this number of 68 needed to cash be live all game. If the Huskies shoot 40% from the field tonight (a number they’ve gone over in 6 of their last 8 games), I’ll feel real strong about they pushing over this number. Happy to hop on a good spot here with the Huskies.
JJ’s Best Bet
Washington Team Total OVER 67.5 -108 (DK)