Oregon Ducks at Washington State Cougars Betting Pick

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Not much has gone right for Washington State this season, including three losses in four PAC-12 contests. While the Cougars were able to bring down UCLA earlier in the year, Washington State has dropped its other three conference games by an average of 14 points apiece. Although Washington State will have an opportunity to protect its home floor in Thursday night’s PAC-12 action, they’ll be facing off against an Oregon Ducks team with two victories in three attempts on the road this season.

Washington State Hoping for Upset

Sophomore CJ Elleby has been the most reliable scorer for the Cougars this season, ranking fifth in the conference with 18.4 points per game. Elleby has struggled in PAC-12 play so far, however, averaging just 13 points per game while shooting only 24.6% from the floor in four games. That trend will have to reverse itself if Washington State is going to bounce back from two consecutive losses.

By far the weakest aspect of the Cougars offense has been an absolutely putrid team field goal percentage from three-point range. Washington State is knocking down just 29.6% from beyond the arc, last in the conference and 318th in the country. The Cougars have had difficulties putting opponents away due to severe inconsistencies from deep, amongst other flaws.

The Cougars feature a relatively potent offense with 71.5 points per game on the season, while allowing 66.8 points per game on the defensive end of the floor. For Kyle Smith’s bunch to pull off a shocker on Thursday night, they’ll need a huge game from Elleby to spark an offense that has scored 66 points or less in three of four conference games. Against an Oregon team that has no problem putting up points on a regular basis, a more consistent effort is needed to keep the Ducks within striking distance and possibly notch the upset.

Ducks Primed for Fourth Win In a Row

The Ducks enter Thursday night’s conference clash on the strength of three consecutive victories, albeit all by single digits. Despite their propensity for close games, Oregon has continued to compile impressive wins against the likes of Memphis, Seton Hall, Michigan and Arizona to this midway point in the season. While Oregon did slip up in its conference opener at Colorado, the Ducks have rebounded nicely to remain near the top of the conference standings.

Led by senior guard Payton Pritchard’s 19.2 points per game, the Ducks are averaging 78.2 points on the year, second-best in the conference. Consistency outside of Pritchard’s offensive prowess has been a bit of a challenge for Oregon throughout the year, but junior Chris Duarte has put together a strong recent stretch of 14, 17 and 20-point performances to balance the Ducks offense in consecutive winning efforts.

In direct contrast to their opponents on Thursday night, Oregon ranks 10th in the nation and first in the PAC-12 with a 39.4% clip from three-point range. Each of the Ducks top four scorers have made at least 20 three-points on the season, compared to just two Washington State Cougars that have accomplished the feat. Oregon’s consistency barrage from deep combined with an above-average defense that allows 67 points per game should provide plenty of cushion to start off the road trip in a positive manner.

Betting Pick

Oregon should have little difficulty in dispatching the Cougars on Thursday night, and despite a double-digit spread in this one, I see Oregon covering with relative ease. Wazzu has already dropped two games at Beasley Coliseum by a combined 9.5 points per game, each against worse competition than what they’ll be facing with the Ducks in town. This is likely to be a long season for the Cougars, who just don’t have the talent to match-up with the conference elite this year. Bet the Ducks -11 at our favorite pay per head location www.A1pph.com.

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