When you bet sports as much as I do, sometimes you get unlucky, and sometimes you run good. While we always want to do our homework and make sure we are making long term profitable value plays, at the end of the day, luck is still a factor. The sharps in the betting business like to call this variance, but calling it luck is the same thing.
Two days ago, we ran good at the end of the Maryland Terrapins game. Darryl Morsell nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Terrapins the victory, and us a winning bet. When I wrote up the game yesterday between the UCLA Bruins and the Arizona State Sun Devils, I was hoping to keep that run good going.
The Bruins led throughout, but ASU did a great job of tightening things up in the second half for a stretch run. This was a one-possession game for the final ten minutes of action, with both teams trading baskets back and forth, and neither team was giving up an inch. The game was all tied up at seventy-two points with less than a second left on the clock, and then this happened…
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 28, 2020
For the second consecutive game, we nailed an improbable deep three at the buzzer to sneak in a win and cover. I can call it positive variance all I want, but at the end of the day, that was just pure run good. And boy, oh boy, does it feel good to run good!
For the Bruins, they are now tied with ASU and Oregon for first place in the Pac-12 standings. It has been a scorching hot run for UCLA, and at this point, it would be very hard to deny them a spot in the NCAA tournament, regardless of how they finish in the Pac-12 conference tournament.
For ASU, the Sun Devils lost their outright Pac-12 lead, but with two of their last three games coming at home, and all three games coming against teams in the bottom half of the standings, don’t expect them to fade away just yet. For today’s daily betting pick, we will stay right here in the Pac-12, as Washington hosts Washington State.
- Washington State Cougars (14-14) at Washington Huskies (13-15)
- Hec Ed Arena, Seattle
- 6:00 PM PST
- TV: FS1
The Washington Huskies host their bitter rivals, the Washington State Cougars, tonight in a game between two disappointing teams. The Huskies came into conference play looking to potentially compete at the top of the Pac-12 for a league title. They had one of the best freshman classes in school history, with two projected lottery picks, and most expected them to compete. Instead, UDUB is in dead last place with a 3-12 conference record.
— Washington Men's Basketball (@UW_MBB) February 28, 2020
For WSU, the Cougars came into the season with much lower expectations, and while they haven’t dominated by any means, they are closer to the middle of the pack in the league standings than in the basement, like the Huskies. The Cougars are looking to break through with their first conference road win of the year tonight in Seattle.
It is senior night in Seattle as the Washington Huskies play their final home game of the year. They will play that game against their archrivals, and emotions are sure to run high. But when you look at this senior class, it is certainly underwhelming as none of these guys are significant contributors. Most of the time, especially in a season like this one that is all but over, the coach is going to give these seniors some minutes. That is not going to bode well for Washington’s chances of winning the game.
And when you look back at what the Huskies have done, particularly since they have lost star transfer Quade Green to injury, it has been ugly. The Huskies have lost thirteen of their last sixteen games, including a nasty nine-game losing streak. They snapped that losing streak in their last game when they managed to beat a bad Cal team at home. But on a somewhat positive note, Washington has won all three of their league games on their home floor, they are hoping to make that four tonight against WSU.
Washington State Cougars
The Cougars haven’t had a lot more success than Washington this year, but it is the quality of their wins that makes this team a threat, not the quantity. WSU has wins over Oregon, Arizona State, and UCLA, and as we mentioned earlier in this article, those three teams are tied for first place in the Pac-12 standings. And oh yeah, they also beat this Washington team earlier this year by thirteen points, in Pullman.
The issue for WAZZU has been their consistency. They can beat quality teams, but they can also lose to bad ones. WSU has losses to Cal (twice), Utah, Santa Clara, Nebraska, and Nebraska-Omaha. All of those teams are outside of the top-100. A win tonight to give them the season sweep over their in-state rivals would put a nice positive spin on what had been a turbulent season for the Cougars.
Who Do I Like?
Is it ok not to like either team in a matchup? Because that seems to be the case tonight in this one. These are two bad teams. And while WSU is the better of the two evils, as they have at least shown signs of life at some point this year, neither of these teams are very good. So, in an ugly matchup, where do I find the value?
With the points. We just talked about how Washington has won just one game since January and just three games since December, and now all of the sudden you want me to back them laying double-digit points? On senior night where emotions and frustration are likely to get the best of them? Against their biggest rival? Huh?
We have talked earlier this year about a fade bet. That’s where you bet against a team, rather than actually backing the other side. This bet tonight is a straight fade of Washington. In the college basketball world, there are teams that should be laying double-digit points, and there are teams that shouldn’t. The Huskies fall decidedly into the category of shouldn’t.
When you are looking to lay this much wood, you want to think that the other team has zero shot at winning and that the game will be a blowout. And if you have that level of confidence in this Washington team that has five home losses in Pac-12 play this season, you’re delusional. Yeah, maybe the Huskies do win and blow them out. Or maybe they get blown out themselves.
This game could go either way. And in a spot like that one, where nobody knows what is going to happen, I am going to snatch up that big pile of points and hope that the variance breaks my way. Give me the Washington State Cougars tonight, getting +10-points, as they look to spoil senior night in Seattle!