It might be a game that means little to nothing in the context of the Pac-12 or any bigger college basketball picture, but the clash between Washington and Washington State, whether it be in football or basketball, is usually worth watching. This contest also presents a pretty good betting opportunity with the Cougars only favored by one point.
Handing down a point is basically a pick-em game, which should make you run and bet on Washington State before those odds have a chance to change. Here’s three reasons why:
1. The Huskies might own a respectable 14-11 record overall and they are not a bad team, but they have lost six games in a row and while the return of Jernard Jarreau might be a positive factor, he’s likely to need time to rehabilitate that knee back into game shape. Jarreau had injury problems last year too.
2. The Cougars actually travelled to Washington and won the previous matchup between these two teams on the road and they looked like they matched up pretty well winning a high-scoring contest 80-77. Expect another open game tonight.
3. Home court advantage has been significant all season long for a Washington State team (that is hardly great 11-14, 5-8 in Pac-12) that has gone 3-7 since beating the Huskies. All three of those wins came in tight games at home as they edged out Oregon, Stanford and Arizona State.
The Huskies season truly has been a story of two halves. They started the season 11-0, but are 3-11 in their last 14 games. Jarreau’s return is a help, but the reality is that this lineup misses seven-footer Robert Upshaw who was dismissed by head coach Lorenzo Romar for an unspecified violation of team rules (Washington are the second school to dismiss Upshaw).
This game is likely to be played small ball style (the Huskies have played four guards at times lately) and that’ll suit Washington State, who have a strong backcourt trio in DaVonte Lacy, Ike Iroegbu and Dexter Kernich-Drew. Lacy leads the team averaging 17 points per game, but it has been Kernich-Drew who has been on fire of late averaging 21.7 points while shooting more than 50% from beyond the arc in the past three games.
The Cougars also have a fast-improving front-court piece in Josh Hawkinson. The sophomore is averaging 10.4 rebounds and 14.4 points per game.
Betting Preview: Washington (+1) at Washington State
This point spread is an opportunity because of the respective current trends for these two teams, our extra betting tip would be to play even a little higher and look at odds for the Cougars at -2 or -3.
The Pick: Washington State (-1) (www.betonline.ag)
Writer’s Record Against The Spread: 28-19
college basketball prediction • DaVonte Lacy • Dexter Kernich-Drew • Jernard Jarreau • Josh Hawkinson • Lorenzo Romar • NCAAB • pac 12 • Robert Upshaw • sports betting • Washington Huskies • Washington State Cougars