Nevada Wolf Pack (22-10) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (22-12)
Game Info: Wednesday, March 15, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. EST (UD Arena)
Betting Odds: Arizona State (-2) / Over/Under (133.5)
Pick: Arizona State (-2)
As we near our first full day of March Madness action, we still have one more game to settle before the field is set. Let's dive into this battle between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Arizona State Sun Devils inside UD Arena on Wednesday night.
Nevada has not looked right of late. Over their last 3 games, they are 0-3 SU and ATS, all after being a sizeable favorite in each matchup. After opening Conference play up with a 12-3 record, surely setting their eyes on the Mountain West crown, they hit a wall in the last 2 weeks. Lucky enough for them, the Committee still valued their resume enough to give them a shot inside of the First Four. All in all, after suffering a miserable 13-18 season in last year's campaign, Head Coach Steve Alford was able to rally his group coming into this season and put out a solid 22-10 squad by the end of the year. Although Kenan Blackshear and Will Baker are solid options on the offensive end, this offense relies on star transfer Senior guard, Jarod Lucas, to put consistent points up on the board. Although the Wolf Pack have struggled vastly over their last 3 games, he has been the only player that has elevated his game over that span. With 75 points combined, he has kept the Wolf Pack in striking distance when they need him most. Can he stay on fire on Wednesday night to punch Nevada's ticket into the next round?
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Arizona State has been a pleasure to watch all season. I am always a massive fan of covering teams that play team basketball, and they are certainly one of them. For the most part, they are not going to run away from any squad by putting up 90+ points, but they will battle intensively on every possession on both sides of the floor. One area that they will try to exploit the Wolf Pack come tip-off is on the defensive end. Currently, they sit 40th in the nation in Defensive Efficiency, while Nevada sits at a dreadful 88th. If the Sun Devils can head to the Midwest and scrape out a hard-fought win inside of UD Arena, their defense will have a significant say in that outcome. Before falling to the eventual champions in the Arizona Wildcats in the Semifinal game in the Pac-12 Tournament, they were able to gain two key wins against Oregon State and USC, which was all they needed to be placed in the First Four set of games. Time will tell if Head Coach Bobby Hurley can get his troops rolling again come tipoff!
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Nevada is 0-3 ATS in their last 3 games
- The Sun Devils are 4-0 ATS when playing at a rest disadvantage to their opponent
- Arizona State is 4-2 ATS when playing at a neutral site
Frankly, Nevada has looked sloppy as the season came to a close. For sure, they have a chance to prove their doubters wrong in this game as they were given a spot inside of the First Four, but I do not see it happening here. The Sun Devils are a quality defensive squad that will force the Wolf Pack into tough shots all night long. Give me Arizona State to secure a clutch win by at least a few buckets!
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