The last time Stanford and Oregon State fans watched their team win a game was before Christmas. Both teams will enter tonight’s match-up on five-game losing streaks and sitting at the bottom of the PAC-12 standings. We’ll preview the game before breaking down the best way to bet on it.
The Stanford Cardinals were picked to finish 5th in the PAC-12 in preseason rankings, but as of today, the Cardinals are still in search for their first conference win of the season. Despite having an offensive efficiency rating of 107.6, ranked 93rd in the country according to KenPom, the Cardinals only average 67.8 points per game.
Shooting-wise it’s been a disaster of a season, as their 49.5% effective field goal percentage is ranked 205th in the country, and their 31.2% three-point percentage is ranked 295th. In seven conference games this season, Stanford has failed to score more than 70 points in a game and entering tonight, only one player in the Cardinals' starting line-up is averaging in double figures.
On the defensive end, the Cardinals' slow tempo has helped them hold opponents to an average of 53.9 field goal attempts per game, ranked 54th in the country. However, the teams' overall defensive efficiency rating of 102.3 ranks 146th, according to KenPom. The Cardinals’ opponent tonight is no offensive juggernaut, but that does not mean they have an advantage, as they have already lost two games to conference teams with losing records.
Oregon State was able to get their first conference win on December 1st, and since then have won three games overall and lost six straight conference games. The Beavers’ offense has looked much better in their last two games, but overall their 100.1 offensive efficiency rating is ranked 253rd in the country, according to KenPom.
Defensively the Beavers have been inconsistent all season, but as a whole, they rank 177th in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. They have been able to hold opponents to an average three-point percentage of 32.2%, which could play a big factor in tonight’s game.
Oregon State is currently listed as +9.5 point underdogs, and I’ll be backing them as my best play for the game. Stanford has not shown anything recently that would warrant them being this large of a favorite, especially since the last time they were favored by a similar number to Cal, they ended up losing the game outright by 22 points at home.
Both teams run at two of the slowest tempos in the conference, so building a lead for Stanford may become difficult with the low number of possessions each team usually have per game. The Cardinals only have one offensive player currently playing at a high level, and that will not be enough to build a double-digit lead.
This game has a good possibility of turning into a sloppy low-scoring game. Both teams have been struggling to limit turnovers recently, and with Stanford failing to cover their last three conference games when favored, I like the Beavers to keep it within the number.
Oregon State (+9.5)