NCAA Odds: Arizona Wildcats host Cougars

By: David Schwab | Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arizona slipped past Washington State on the road in January, 65-63.

The Washington State Cougars look to avenge a previous two-point loss when they tangle with the Arizona Wildcats this Thursday night for the second time in less than a month. This PAC-10 matchup from the McKale Center in Tucson tips off at 5:30 p.m. (PT). The game will be broadcast nationally on the FOX Sports Network.

Since losing to the Wildcats 65-63 on Jan.22 as a 2 ½-point home favorite, Washington State has been unable to gain any momentum in the conference with three wins and two losses in its last five games. The Cougars are coming off a 75-71 victory over California this past Saturday as a 6 ½-point home favorite, but they lost to Stanford 75-62 as an 8 ½-point home favorite last Thursday.

Washington State is now 17-8 straight-up overall and 13-9-1 against the spread. It is 3 ½-games behind Arizona with a 7-6 SU record in PAC-10 play.

Junior guard Klay Thompson has been the primary force for the Cougars this season with 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists a game. The supporting cast consists of junior forward DeAngelo Casto, who leads the team in rebounds with 6.4 a game and is averaging 11.2 points and junior guard Faisal Aden, who is second in scoring with 13.3 points a game.

Washington State is shooting 46.5 percent from the field and averaging 73 points a game. The Cougars are converting on 35.4 percent of their shots from three-point range and 69.5 percent of them from the foul line. They are ranked 192nd in the nation in rebounds with an average of just 34.8 a game.

Arizona continues to roll toward tournament time with nine victories in its last 10 games including a thrilling a 3OT 107-105 win over Cal on Feb.5 as a two-point road favorite and a 67-52 rout of Arizona State as a 4 ½-point road favorite this past Sunday. The Wildcats are 21-4 SU overall (14-8-1 ATS) and lead UCLA by one gamein the conference with a record of 10-2 SU.

The big man for Arizona this season has been sophomore forward Derrick Williams, who leads the team with 19.2 points and eight rebounds a game. Another sophomore, Lamont Jones is averaging 9.4 points and junior guard Kyle Fogg is averaging 8.6 points a game, but the continued success of this team lies squarely on William’s shoulders.

The Wildcats are averaging 78 points a game but have also been weak under the boards with just 35 rebounds a game. They are shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three-point range. Arizona has been especially effective from the free-throw line; converting on 74.4 percent of its attempts.

Washington State is 2-2 ATS in its last four games on the road and 2-4 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last five games.

Arizona is 2-3 ATS in its last five games at home but 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of its last five games.

Head-to-head, the Wildcats have won four if the last seven games SU including the two-point win earlier this season. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of the last four games.

This time around Arizona should open as a four or five point favorite at home and as long as the line does not creep up any higher than that, remain a solid pick to complete the season sweep and cover the spread.

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