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Will #10 Arizona State Upset #7 Texas in March Madness

#7 Texas Longhorns vs. #10 Arizona State Sun Devils Preview

When: Thursday, March 20th 2014 at 9:40pm ET
Where: BMO Bradley Harris Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Watch: Live on CBS

I’ve noticed that the #10 Arizona State Sun Devils 21-11 (10-8 Pac-12) are advancing on a lot of pundits’ brackets. Historically the #10 seed has won about 40% of the games against the #7 seed, but the #7 Texas Longhorns 23-10 (11-7 Big-12) are the better team.

Latest Betting Lines in Texas vs. Arizona State

I think the Longhorns are being a bit undervalued in this match-up by the sportsbooks. Close to 70% of the action is on Texas already although the spread hasn’t moved. The total has seen more movement, as the over/under is up two points in the last couple days.

Arizona State @ Texas Stats Pack

Why the Longhorns Will Beat the Sun Devils

Both teams have struggled down the stretch and won’t have much confidence coming into the tournament. Texas has won three of their last eight games while Arizona State has won two of their last seven. I like Texas, as they have more depth than ASU.

The Longhorns out rebound the Sun Devils by more than six per game. Texas is one of the top offensive rebounding teams. They’ve averaged 15.1 OFFRPG. The Sun Devils allow opposing teams to grab 9.9 OFFRPG (268th), so look for Texas to dominate the boards.

The Sun Devils will park 7’2’’ C Jordan Bachynski in the paint, but he’ll have to deal with Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley. ASU won’t be able to keep both big men for the Longhorns in check. Bachynski is a beast, but he can’t cover both big men in the paint.

Texas has had problems as well, but ASU has lost three in a row (Oregon, Oregon State & Stanford) and the defense has allowed an average of 80.7 PPG. Texas has four players averaging double digits, but none of them are likely to take over the game offensively.

The Longhorns offense needs to play through their big men and take high percentage shots, as they only shoot 43.1% from the field (238th). While the Longhorns are a bit weak offensively, the poor play on defense by ASU is a lot more worrisome to me.

Arizona State has averaged 19.3 personal fouls called on them per game this season (185th). Texas attempts 26.2 FT’s per game (36th) and shoot 66.4% from the line. If they can score 20+ points from the charity stripe it’ll be tough for the Sun Devils to beat them.

How the Sun Devils Could Win

Arizona State will likely keep this game close and that’s because of their shooting from beyond the arc. The Sun Devils shoot 38.6% from deep (29th) and make 8.1 shots from 3-point distance on average per game, which is ranked 25th in the nation.

Texas has had problems defending the deep ball this season as well. They allow teams to shoot 34.4% from deep (174th), but I expect the Longhorns to game plan for the ASU shooting, as the Sun Devils rely on the 3-pointer and if they don’t hit them they’ll lose.

Analyzing the Game Total in Arizona at Texas

The action is split down the middle (50/50) on the total right now and that’s not likely to change. There was early action on the over, but now there has been some buyback on the under. I lean to the under, as I like Texas to limit the 3-point shooting of ASU.

Texas has played a number of low scoring games recently as well and their offense isn’t likely to score too many points. This game is going to be won the paint and Texas has more depth with their big men than ASU. I expect about 130 points to be scored.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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