Nevada vs. Arizona St. 2023 March Madness First Four Betting Preview: Can Wolf Pack Prove Doubters Wrong in Play-In Game?

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Will Baker #50 and Tre Coleman #14 of the Nevada Wolf Pack slap hands after Coleman made a basket against the UNLV Rebels on January 28, 2023. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP.

NCAAB Pick: Nevada +2 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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The Nevada Wolf Pack and Arizona State Sun Devils were on the bubble before the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee decided the field of 68. Both teams just snuck into the field and will try to make some noise as 11 seeds. Which team will come out on top in the 11-seed play-in game? The winner takes on TCU on Friday.

Let’s see what the NCAAB odds tell us at the best sportsbooks!

Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 – 09:10 PM EDT at UD Arena

Game Preview

The Nevada Wolf Pack and Arizona State Sun Devils sneaked into the NCAA Tournament as the last teams to make the cut.

Nevada lost its last three games, including its first in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. However, that didn’t stop the committee from taking them over other bubble teams. Meanwhile, Arizona State won a couple of games in the Pac-12 Tournament but lost to the eventual champions in Arizona, but its resume was good enough to make the NCAA Tournament.

Both are 11 seeds looking to face six-seeded TCU in the Round of 64. Who will make the push as the 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament?

Here are our NCAAB picks and predictions for Wednesday’s college basketball matchup between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Can Nevada Rebound Better?

The Nevada Wolf Pack have been tremendous at the foul line this season, hitting over 79% of attempts. That always helps in crunch time in a tournament, but it’s not just that. Nevada also gets to the foul line at a high rate. That’s ultimately why the Wolf Pack were able to do enough to get into the NCAA Tournament.

The Wolf Pack have shot 33.8% from downtown and 50.3% from inside the arc. Those are solid numbers, except the Wolf Pack have only earned 22.9% of offensive rebounds this season. However, Nevada could be more aggressive in this game and crash the glass more. Arizona State has allowed teams to earn 31.8% of offensive rebounds this season. The Sun Devils have also fouled at a very high rate this season.

Still, the Sun Devils have held teams to 33.6% from deep and 43.8% from inside the arc. Arizona State doesn’t allow the easiest shots but will need to rebound off those misses. That’s where the concern comes in.

Can Arizona State’s Offense Compete?

We know that the Arizona State defense is tremendous. But what about the offense? It’s hideous.

The Sun Devils are shooting just 31.4% from deep, 47.9% from inside the arc, and 68.9% from the foul line. Those are all well below the average in college basketball.

Arizona State has had more success on the offensive glass, earning 29.6% of offensive rebounds and getting to the foul line at an average pace, but Nevada has held teams to 25.1% of offensive rebounds this year. The Wolf Pack also does a great job defending, holding teams to 32.5% from three and 49.3% from inside the arc.

Both teams average a solid turnover rate on the defensive end. But Nevada is also keeping turnovers down more on the offensive end. Arizona State has turned the ball over nearly 17% of the time. It’s still a good rate, but Nevada has given up just 15.2% of turnovers.

Betting Preview

Everyone was up in arms about Nevada making the NCAA Tournament, but this team has some good traits. The Wolf Pack has been terrific at the foul line and gets to the foul line at a ridiculous rate. That shouldn’t change much against Arizona State.

The Wolf Pack isn’t great on the offensive glass but could end up with more second chances knowing how poor Arizona State has been on the defensive glass this year. Plus, the Sun Devils are just terrible from the field. Nevada might not be a better defense than Arizona State, but the Wolf Pack are at least more consistent on the offensive end, especially from the field. Nevada will win the turnover battle and get more foul-shot attempts.

The Wolf Pack should also end up shooting better from deep and will still have success inside the arc. Because while Arizona State has held teams to 43.8% from inside the arc, many teams facing the Sun Devils typically shoot more from the outside. That’s one of the reasons why the Sun Devils have done so well inside the arc defensively. They don’t face as many shots as most teams in college basketball. The more volume, the harder it’ll be.

Let’s back Nevada at +2 here. Are you a Sun Devil fan who thinks Arizona State will do better? If so, you can place your bets at any of our top Arizona betting sites.

NCAAB Pick: Nevada +2 (-110) at BetOnline

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.