Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek is looking for his 38th win over a Top 25 opponent when the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats invade Wells Fargo Arena. Sendek is a three-time conference Coach-of-the-Year recipient and has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances during his storied coaching career. Sendek has taken a perennial under-achieving program and put it on the map as the Sun Devils have posted four 20-win seasons in the seven years Sendek has been on the sidelines.
At 18-6, Arizona State is an underrated team that is averaging 77.1 points per game on 46.5% shooting from the field and 39.4% from beyond the arc. More importantly, the Sun Devils are 13-1 at home this season where they are averaging 79.4 points per game on 48.4% shooting from the floor and 40.1% from three-point territory. Overall, Arizona State is 8.2 points per game better than average offensively (77.1 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.9 points per game), which still gives Arizona a decent 8.3 points per game advantage on the defensive end of the floor.
One of the keys to Arizona State’s success at home has been its defensive performance as the Sun Devils are limiting opponents to a mere 63.6 points per game on 39.3% shooting from the field and 29.6% from beyond the arc. Overall, Arizona State is 4.2 points per game better than average defensively (67.7 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.9 points per game), which is certainly good enough to contain a pedestrian Wildcat offense that is only 4.8 points per game better than average (73.4 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.6 points per game).
The better news for Arizona State fans is the fact that the Wildcats are only averaging 68.6 points per game on the road and 65.2 points over their last five games (39.6% FG; 26.9% 3-PT). Arizona’s offense is further hampered by the loss of forward Brandon Ashley, who underwent surgery on February 11 to repair a ligament in his right foot. Ashley was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game before getting injured on February 1 against California. From a technical standpoint, Arizona is a money-burning 13-25 ATS as road favorites from Game 25 out, including 3-15 ATS versus an opponent off a win. In contrast, Arizona State is is 13-7 ATS as underdogs at Wells Fargo Arena, including 11-1 ATS when coming off a win. Let’s also note that the Sun Devils are a perfect 5-0 ATS when seeking to avenge an earlier loss by 20 or more points.
Pro Edge Sports Pick: Arizona State (+6) (-110)