In the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, the Washington St. Cougars (13-17, 7-11) take on the California Golden Bears (17-14, 7-11). The game tips off at 3:00 pm ET from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. California is currently a 4 point favorite in this contest.
Washington St. enters the Pac-12 Tournament off an overtime win on March 7th against Colorado. Prior to that win against Colorado, the Cougars had dropped 4 of their previous 5 games. Washington St. likes to play an up tempo pace and are in the top 100 in the nation in scoring at 71 points per game. However, the Cougars are one of the worst defensive teams in the country allowing on average 76 points per game. Recently, the Cougars have been on a roll against the spread covering in their last 4 games.
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California comes into the Pac-12 Tournament having lost 2 games in a row and 5 of their last 6 total including a 39 point blowout loss during that stretch to Arizona. While some teams peak in March, the Golden Bears seem to be going in the opposite direction. They are not a very prolific scoring team and their defense has struggled tremendously during their last 6 games allowing on average 76 points per game during this stretch. Against the spread, the Golden Bears are just 5-13-1 in their last 19 games following a straight up loss.
Free Pick on Washington St. +4
Washington St. has played much better down the stretch than California. The Cougars are horrible on defense but the Golden Bears have not been that much better in that category as well of late. The Cougars are a bit more explosive as well on offense than the Golden Bears. The trends all point in the direction of Washington St. in this game. One last trend to look at is that the underdog in this game has covered in 5 of the last 7 contests. I expect that we will see this number go to 6 of the last 8 with the Cougars covering on Wednesday.
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