We played with fire last night, and we got burned. I made a play that I rarely make, where I backed a team getting a handful of points but didn’t think they had much of a shot to actually win outright. As a general rule, I will usually only back an underdog getting fewer than ten points, if I think that they have at least some chance of winning the game.
But with how close all of the games have been recently for both Alabama and LSU, I didn’t think the Crimson Tide were going to win but felt that the six points would be enough to cash our ticket, so I broke my own rule and backed Alabama. The gams started out ok as through the first ten minutes, it was a one-possession game. But LSU went on a furious run in the final ten minutes of the first half to hit halftime with a 51-33 lead.
? 7-0 in SEC play pic.twitter.com/Uij2cD53v7
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 30, 2020
The Tide did an admirable job at competing in the second half and actually outscored the Tigers in the second frame, but they never did get it close enough to give us a sweat to cover, eventually losing 90-76. The win was a big one for LSU as they remain undefeated in the SEC, and in first place. For Alabama, the Crimson Tide would have loved to have knocked off the Tigers on their home floor, but this loss won’t go down as a bad one and won’t hurt them much on Selection Sunday.
Well, I guess sometimes I have to take my own advice when it comes to what type of bets I make! For today’s daily betting pick, I will get right back to my bread and butter, home underdogs in league play, as we breakdown the game between the Washington Huskies and the Arizona Wildcats.
- Arizona Wildcats (13-6) at Washington Huskies (12-9)
- Hec Ed Arena, Seattle
- 6:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPN 2
The Washington Huskies will look to get things turned around in league play tonight as they host the Arizona Wildcats. Despite having two future NBA lottery picks on their roster, the Huskies have underwhelmed recently, losing five out of their last six games, and holding just a 2-6 record in conference play. The Huskies are hoping for some home cooking tonight as four out of those five losses have come on the road, and they are certainly glad to be back in Seattle for this one.
On to the next one.#TougherTogether
— Washington Men's Basketball (@UW_MBB) January 30, 2020
For Arizona, the Wildcats have also had their fair share of struggles as after starting out the season 9-0, they have lost six out of their last ten games, including going 3-3 in Pac-12 play. Shockingly, the Wildcats have yet to win a single true road game this year and are hoping to breakthrough tonight at Washington.
There might not be a more talented team in the country that is as underwhelming as this Washington Huskies team has been this season. Isiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels are two of the best freshman in the country, and both are expected to be first-rounders in next year’s NBA draft. Yet this team can’t seem to find a way to stay consistent, especially on the road.
Away from Hec Ed Arena, the Huskies are a dismal 1-4 in true road games. They also have neutral site losses to Tennessee and Houston. Losing on the road tends to be a sign of an inexperienced team, and with the Huskies two best players, both being freshman, I guess it makes sense that they can’t win away from home.
But when you look at how this team has played at home, they are a much better team. In Seattle this year, the Huskies are 9-3. One of those losses came to Gonzaga, a team that has been in the top five all season long, and another came in overtime to Oregon, another team that has been ranked all year. They did have a fluky home loss to UCLA that remains the biggest blemish on their resume.
The Wildcats spent much of their non-conference schedule beating up on mediocre teams. Of their thirteen non-conference games, nine of them came against teams ranked outside of the top-100. Of the four games they played against teams that were in the top-100, they went just 1-3. And that trend has continued here in Pac-12 play as they are just 2-3 against top-100 opponents.
Arizona had aspirations of winning the Pac-12 regular-season title not long ago, but now about halfway through league play, they are in fifth place, three wins behind first-place Oregon. Winning on the road in league play is never easy, but if Arizona wants to get back into this race for the conference championship, they are going to have to find ways to win games like this one tonight.
Who Do I Like?
We talked about how Arizona has mostly beaten up on mostly bad teams this season, and when you look at their performance on the road, that is even more prevalent. The Wildcats have played four true road games this year, they are 0-4. The road losses to Baylor and Oregon were understandable, but road losses in league play to Oregon State and Arizona State were somewhat surprising.
This Washington team rates out as significantly more talented and accomplished than both Arizona State and Oregon State. And while Washington has struggled quite a bit on the road, they have been mostly respectable at home. I talk a lot on my daily column about backing home underdogs in league play, and that is a trend I will follow again tonight.
I think this game is the start of a strong trend for both of these teams. The Wildcats play four out of their next six games on the road. And we have seen that they just can’t seem to win in hostile territory. And for Washington, they play five out of their next eight games at home, they need to take advantage of this winnable stretch of games and win the majority of those contests.
And I think that is what will happen tonight. I just can’t back this Arizona team on the road until they prove to me, they can beat anybody in their own house, which they haven’t done. So, I will back the Washington Huskies as home underdogs tonight, getting +3.5-points, and fully expect them to take care of business.