Arizona State vs. San Diego State: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (11/18/21)

Arizona State vs. San Diego State Betting Odds 

In this Western U.S. battle, Bobby Hurley will lead his Arizona State Sun Devils to San Diego to battle the SDSU Aztecs.

SDSU lost a tough game to BYU last Friday. However, that loss doesn’t look so bad following the Cougars’ domination of Oregon.

Meanwhile, the Sun Devils look horrendous in the early season. They’re now 0-3 against the spread (ATS) and recently lost a game against UC Riverside. Things are bad in Tempe, and Marreon Jackson needs to get it together.

But can the Sun Devils get out of their way enough to cover 8.5 points against the Aztecs? It will be the first time they’re underdogs this season, so perhaps that’ll lead to a different style of play.

Arizona State Sun Devils Odds

I’m genuinely worried about this Sun Devil squad.

The team fell way short of expectations last season, winning just 11 conference games and 17 games overall. This season, Hurley lost three starters, including star point guard Remy Martin, and more than 60% of their total minutes.

Their weaknesses are showing. As mentioned, ASU lost to UC Riverside, but they’ve failed to cover in their other two wins over Portland and North Florida.

Hurly brought in Toledo transfer Jackson to try and replace Martin at the point. Jackson was a high-volume MAC scorer who has been brutal in his first stretch for the Sun Devils, averaging only seven points per game on 33%/30% shooting splits. His 3.7:2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio is concerning as well.

Forward guard Kimani Lawrence has kept the team afloat, scoring over 16 points per game on 1.064 points per possession (74th percentile).

The perimeter defense needs to be better. So far, the Sun Devils are 266th in 3-point shooting defense (36.8%) and are allowing 1.1 points per possession in spot-up situations (11th percentile).

San Diego State Aztecs Odds

There aren’t many NCAA basketball programs as consistent as San Diego State. After winning the Mountain West last season, they’ve now made the NCAA tournament nine times in the last 12 years.

The Aztecs will try and reload again this season, as Brian Dutcher will replace three starters. He’s been able to replace everyone else before, and it’s mostly because of the Aztecs’ defensive prowess.

Dutcher’s defense does two things particularly well.

First, the Aztecs prevent shots at the rim. Last season, only 23% of SDSU’s opponents’ field goals came at the rim, which was the lowest rate in Division-I.

Second, the Aztecs get back on defense. Only 17% of their opponent’s shots came in transition.

As such, that leaves their opponents with long, grueling possessions that end in jumpers. This season, the Aztecs’ 19.6-second average defensive possession length is the 12th highest in the country.

Prediction and Pick

My pick: San Diego State -8.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. I’ll continue to fade Arizona State until Hurley and co. prove the team has figured it out.

How are the Sun Devils supposed to score? They won’t get out into transition, which is tough considering ASU likes to run (89th in tempo this season). While the Sun Devils like to shoot a lot of jumpers, they’re outsized at almost every position and the Aztecs have allowed just .784 points per possession in spot-up situations this season.

Their size will come to bite the Sun Devils on the other end of the court, too. Arizona State’s backcourt won’t contain SDSU’s backcourt, considering they both stand at 6-foot-3. Last season, over 40% of the Aztec’s shots came from deep and they shot almost 37% on those attempts. Expect SDSU to fire away confidently in this game, as they’ll likely have success.

I believe SDSU routs ASU in this game, and am willing to play this line up to 9.5.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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