Arizona State and Utah treat us to some PAC-12 After Dark on Thursday night with the Utes set as considerable road favorites.
Utah is enjoying one of the nation's longest winning streaks, currently at eight games, but only two of those have come away from home. Will the team travel and hold up against an Arizona State team that plays at a quick tempo and is off two road wins against middling PAC-12 foes in Stanford and Cal?
Are the Sun Devils starting to round into form as its set to host two NCAA Tournament hopefuls over the weekend?
Here are the odds and our best bet for Thursday's late night action:
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Arizona State vs. Utah Odds, Spread and Total
Utah vs. Arizona State Betting Trends
- Utah is 8-5 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Arizona State is 5-8 ATS this season
- Arizona State is 2-4 ATS as an underdog
- Arizona State has gone UNDER in five of six games as an underdog
Utah vs. Arizona State How to Watch
- Date: Thursday, Jan. 4
- Game Time: 11:00 PM EST
- Venue: Desert Financial Arena
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN2
- [Away Team] Record: 11-2
- [Home Team] Record: 8-5
Utah vs. Arizona State Key Players to Watch
Branden Carlson: Carlson is off a monster game on New Year's Eve, scoring 34 points with seven rebounds and seven assists, hitting 14-of-23 shots. The senior big man is up to 18 points per game on the year with six rebounds and more than two assists while shooting 51% from the field. He'll face a Sun Devils defense that has been stout on defense, especially on the interior.
Frankie Collins: The junior guard has stepped into a more featured role for the Sun Devils, scoring more than 13 points per game while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists while ranking 12th in the country in steal percentage. Collins will look to pressure the rock and slow down the Utes' offense.
Utah vs. Arizona State Prediction and Pick
Arizona State's offense leaves plenty to be desired, 280th in effective field goal percentage and a non-factor to generate second chances (353rd in offensive rebounding percentage), but I like the team catching over a few buckets at home.
Utah hasn't left Salt Lake City in over a month, it's last game not at Huntsman Center was on November 30th against Hawaii. The team typically enjoys a noted home court advantage and may struggle with the heavy ball pressure of Arizona State, who has faced a stiff schedule thus far already, featuring six teams inside KenPom's top 75.
The Sun Devils don't have a true big man to challenge Carlson, but the team has the ball pressure to keep Utah out of its preferred offense. Last season, Arizona State forced Utah into 17 turnovers in a 67-59 win.
Further, Utah's defense is due for a ton of negative regression. The Utes are due for a .05 drop on offense in terms of points per possession and a 0.04 increase on defense. Both arrows are pointing in the wrong direction in terms of regression, and it may rear its head on the road against a tricky matchup against Arizona State.
I'll grab the home underdog.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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