Arizona at Washington State Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Wednesday,February 15, 2017 9:11, EDT in

No. 5 Arizona leads the Pac-12 by a game and the Wildcats shouldn’t have much trouble staying atop the conference on Thursday night as they visit a struggling Washington State side. The only way the game should be close is if the Cats overlook the Cougars. Arizona will be a double-digit NCAA basketball betting favorite.

Arizona at Washington State Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 9 PM ET
Where: Friel Court, Pullman, Wash.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Arizona / Washington
Opening NCAAB Lines: Arizona favored by TBA

Why Bet On Arizona?

The Wildcats (23-3) beat Cal 62-57 on Saturday. Kobi Simmons scored 13 points, Dusan Ristic added 12 and Arizona stretched its home winning streak to 20 games. Kadeem Allen added 11 points. The Bears kept it close against Arizona, but were never able to make a big run after the Wildcats built a nine-point halftime lead.

Simmons scored 10 points in 12 minutes in the first half against Cal. Simmons had scored 11 points total in 40 minutes in his last two games combined entering Saturday. UA finished the half on a 7-0 run in the final 1:33 of the half.

The Arizona defense held the conference’s leading rebounder, Ivan Rabb, to just four points and three rebounds in 26 minutes of action. Rabb entered the game averaging 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds in Pac-12 play.

Entering Saturday, the last three meetings between Arizona and California were decided by a total of nine points. The average margin of victory between the two programs in the last four meetings is now 3.5 points game. Allonzo Trier missed the final of his four free throw attempts on Saturday, which snapped a string of 18 straight makes at the free throw line going back to the Oregon State game on Feb. 2, 2017.

While point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright started the first seven games of the season before suffering a high ankle sprain, he may be unlikely to return to the starting lineup anytime soon even as he approaches full health. When Jackson-Cartwright missed six games in December, Simmons took over in the starting lineup and remained there until Trier began starting last Thursday against Stanford. For its two games last week, UA had Allen starting at point guard, with Trier and Rawle Alkins on the wings, while Simmons and Jackson-Cartwright played off the bench with Chance Comanche and Keanu Pinder.

Lauri Markkanen is one of three freshmen in the nation to lead his team in scoring (15.6 ppg), rebounding (7.3 rpg) and three-point field goal percentage (.475), joining Ryan Daly of Delaware and Miye Oni of Yale.

Why Bet On Washington State?

The Cougars are off a loss to Colorado on Saturday. The Buffaloes had a season-best 12 steals and scored 34 points off Washington State's two dozen turnovers. The Cougars (11-14, 4-9) were seeking their first series sweep in five years. Washington State beat the Buffs 91-89 in overtime last month, but the Cougars' poor ball-handling quickly drained any drama from this rematch.

Colorado took control with a 17-4 run late in the first half in which seven players scored and the Cougars shot just 20 percent. Robert Franks led Washington State with 10 points thanks to a long 3-pointer with three-tenths of a second left. Josh Hawkinson, who scored 18 points against Colorado last month, finished with eight points.

Washington State looks for its first win over Arizona since 2009-10 and its first win over a ranked foe this season. WSU has lost 11-straight to Arizona, its last win having come Feb. 6, 2010 at Pullman by the score of 78-60. The Cougars are 8-29 against the Wildcats at home, including an 0-3 mark in WSU home games at Spokane.

WSU’s last win against a ranked opponent came last season, Jan. 3, 2016 against then-No. 25 UCLA…it lost to then-No. 7 Arizona (Jan. 26), then-No. 15 Oregon (Jan. 7) and then-No. 22 Creighton (Nov. 18) this season, and then-No. 23 and then-No. 18 Arizona (Feb. 3, 2016 and Jan. 16, 2016) last season.

WSU has lost its last eight games against ranked Arizona teams, its last win was Feb. 1, 2007 at Tucson with the Wildcats ranked 20th and the Cougars ranked 18th. The Cougars are 1-76 all-time against teams ranked in the AP Top 5 and 0-11 against the No. 5 team in the country.

The Cougars are 0-2 against No. 5 Arizona teams, a 94-81 loss, Jan. 8, 1998 at Spokane and a 70-64 loss, Feb. 11, 1993 at Pullman. WSU’s only win over a top-5 team came over No. 4 Oregon State, Feb. 16, 1980.

Arizona at Washington State Expert Pick:

If this spread is more than 15, take the points. If not, go Cats.