Picks of the Day – 2/28/2019

#25 Washington Huskies -12 @ Cal Golden Bears, Total 136

Cal’s season has been anything but successful. Sitting at 5-22 on the year, the Golden Bears, even if they win out (highly unlikely), will tie their worst record since 1987-88’ (9-20). Cal has lost 16 straight games, including all 15 conference games, despite showing some fight at the beginning of the year (3 point loss to St. John’s, 6 point win over San Diego St). To make matters worse, Cal has shot the ball terribly.

Of their 15 conference losses, the Golden Bears have only held teams to within 10 points 5 times and have shot at or under 40.0%. You can look at just about any offensive stat for Cal and they will likely be in the bottom 100 nationally. They’re not an efficient shooting team, don’t rebound well at all, foul frequently or get to the free throw very often. It’s hard to score points or keep them off the board that way.

The Washington Huskies, their opponent, represent largely the only consistent product to come out of the conference this year. The purple and gold have won 15 of their last 16 games, with the only blemish coming as a double-digit loss to Arizona State. The Huskies are a ‘do anything’ team and can play lockdown defense, pound the glass, and score the ball easily. Washington has been a true model of defense becomes offense.

The Huskies opponents have averaged 17.4 turnovers per game in conference play and are led by Matisse Thybulle with 3.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. If the season ended today, Thybulle would be only the second player in history to record at least 3 steals and 2 blocks per game (Zakee Wadood – ETSU 2002-03’ — http://cbbref.com/tiny/jvs8k).

Pick:

The Golden Bears have not shown the slightest bit of consistency this season, especially in conference play. It would be a bit much to ask them to suddenly shoot better than 40% from the field against the best defensive team in the conference and top 25 team nationally. The Huskies will make Cal pay early and often, while becoming the 11th team in 16 games to score on at least 50% of their attempts. Look for Washington to have a comfortable lead near the end of the game and hold Cal to under 60 points.

5* Washington -12, 4* Under 136

Other picks:

3* Arizona State +3 @ Oregon (I expect the Sun Devils to win outright)

4* Arizona Wildcats @ Oregon State Beavers -4

Posted in Daily Picks.

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