Get ready for a Pacific-12 showdown, Cougar fans! On Thursday, January 18th, the Washington State Cougars head south to Maples Pavilion in Stanford, California, to take on the mighty Cardinal. This matchup promises to be a nail-biter, with both teams hungry for a win and boasting impressive records.
Cougars on the Rise:
Washington State, led by the dynamic duo of TJ Brossard and Mouhamed Gueye, is no pushover. They’ve been tearing up the Pac-12, currently sitting at 3rd place with a 9-7 record (impressive for a team picked to finish near the bottom!). Their defense has been stingy lately, holding opponents to a stingy 70 points per game on average. Gueye’s rebounding prowess (averaging almost 11 boards a night!) gives them a huge edge under the basket.
Cardinal in the Castle:
Stanford, however, is a force to be reckoned with, especially in their home court. They’re currently 4-2 in the Pac-12, with a potent offense led by the sharpshooting Spencer Jones (averaging 22 points per game!). Their home court advantage at Maples Pavilion is no joke, with the crowd roaring like a pride of lions protecting their turf.
The Buzz on the Spread:
Oddsmakers are favoring the Cardinal by 3.5 points, meaning they expect a close game with Stanford pulling slightly ahead. The moneyline, which reflects the outright winner, has Stanford at -165, while the Cougars are at +140. This means you’d have to bet $165 on Stanford to win $100, while a $100 bet on Washington State would net you $140.
So, who will take home the victory?
Here’s the breakdown:
Reasons to Back the Cougars:
- Hot defense:Washington State’s defense has been on fire lately, shutting down opponents and keeping games close. If they can contain Jones and the Cardinal offense, they’re in with a shot.
- Rebounding advantage:Gueye is a monster on the boards, and Stanford doesn’t have anyone who can match his size and hustle. Second-chance opportunities could be the key for the Cougars.
- Underdog mentality:Washington State thrives on proving doubters wrong. They’ve already exceeded expectations this season, and a win against Stanford would be a major statement.
Reasons to Back the Cardinal:
- Home court advantage:Maples Pavilion is a tough place to play, and the Cardinal crowd can be intimidating. Stanford thrives on their home energy.
- Jones’ scoring:Stopping Jones is no easy feat. He’s a walking bucket and can single-handedly carry the Cardinal offense. If he gets hot, it’ll be tough for the Cougars to keep up.
- Experience:Stanford has a more experienced team, with several players who have played in big games. This experience could be crucial in a close matchup.
This is a tough one to call. Both teams have their strengths and weaknesses, and it could go either way. However, I’m leaning slightly towards Washington State covering the spread (getting within 3.5 points of Stanford) but losing the game. Their defense is impressive, and I think they can hang around with the Cardinal. But Jones’ scoring prowess and Stanford’s home-court advantage might be too much to overcome in the end.
No matter who wins, this promises to be a thrilling matchup. So grab your popcorn, Cougar fans, and get ready for a Pacific-12 battle you won’t want to miss!