Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#807 Utah 146 vs.
#808 Arizona State -6.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#807 University of Utah
#808 Arizona State University
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This article covers a past game!

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It's a Pac-12 battle as Utah travels to Tempe to take on Arizona State on Saturday night at 9pmET. Both teams are struggling in the conference, with the Utes off to a 1-3 start, while ASU is 1-4.

Last season, ASU beat Utah on the road by 11 and lost at home by 10.

When does football season return?

It's not that bad for Utah. They do have a 10-6 record, but with a 116 KenPom rating and a 68 Net Ranking, the Utes are on the outside looking in. They have also lost three straight to Oregon by five, Colorado (91-52) and Arizona by 16. If they were more competitive, you could sense a turnaround. But wait a minute. Wasn't this the same team that upset then No. 6 Kentucky from Las Vegas on Dec. 19? Sure and Evansville also shocked the Wildcats earlier.

On Thursday, the Utes fell at Arizona despite solid efforts from Timmy Allen (16pts) and Riley Battin (16pts). The Utes shot 44% from the field and 36% (10-28) from beyond the arc. They were outrebounded by six and allowed the Wildcats to shoot 15-of-29 (52%) from beyond the arc.

Allen (6-6, 204) is one of the bright spots on the team with 19.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

According to KenPom, the Utes rank 59th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 172nd in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Utes are outrebounding teams by 3.2 and shooting 46.5% (50th) from the floor and 35% from beyond the arc. They rank 42nd in the nation in pace of play with 76.6 possessions per game.

Struggles in Tempe

Arizona State has lost two straight, three of four games and five of seven. At some point, head coach Bobby Hurley's seat is going to get warmer. His squad did going 23-11 last season and 12-6 in the Pac-12, but this season, they are in last place in the conference. It's early, but he owns an 83-65 record in four+ years, which is fine for some programs, but when you are in Arizona, you are always chasing the Wildcats. Losing to Colorado at home 68-61 on Thursday is not going to inspire a lot of confidence, although the Buffs are improved at 14-3 and 4-1 in the league.

In their loss to Colorado, the offense struggled, converting just 30% of their shots int he second half and 4-of-19 (21%) from beyond the arc. Remy Martin led the Sun Devils with 25 points, while Romello White added 19 points and 10 boards. Martin leads Arizona State with 19.5 points per game, 4.0 assists and 1.9 steals per contest.

On the season, ASU is struggling big-time offensively, shooting just 42.1% from the field and 30.1% from beyond the arc (309th). They are getting outrebounded by 2.4 per game. KenPom has the Sun Devils at 88th and 59th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They rank 117th in pace of play with 72.5 possessions per game.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Somebody has to win this game. But Utah is not only losing games, but they are also getting hammered. Both teams played Colorado and the Utes fell by 39 points, while the Sun Devils lost by seven. Arizona State has more talent. They are just underachieving and should be performing better. Martin is one of the best guards in the Pac-12 and White is a 6-8, 235-pound bruiser who averages just under 10.0 rebounds per game.  On the road, Utah is allowing over 78 points per game. They will play a fast pace which is fine for ASU. Expect another bad road loss for the Utes.

Prediction: Arizona State -7

Full-Game Total Pick

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Neither team has a bunch of Gary Payton's in the backcourt, to use an old Pac-12 player. In the last three meetings and four of five, these teams have gone over. Utah put up 96 points last year on the road and Arizona State put up 98 on the road. Arizona State's poor rebounding aside from White, will also hurt them on the defensive glass. The pace of play should also be perfect for the over.

Prediction: Over 146
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!