Utah State vs. Nevada, 02/18/17 - Prediction & Preview

Game Snapshot

#642 University of Nevada Reno Wolf Pack
vs.
#641 Utah State University Aggies

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Utah State vs. Nevada

NCAA Basketball:  Saturday, February 18th, 8:00 pm EST

Line:  Nevada -9.5

Total: 147.5

Utah State heads to Nevada to take on the Wolfpack on Saturday night in a Mountain West contest.  The Aggies are currently 5-9 in conference and 11-14 overall, and have lost three of four.  They went down 66-62 to San Diego State on Wednesday night in a bard fought, tough game.  Nevada responded after losing to the Aztecs as well by beating Air Force, and are now 9-4 in conference.

The Mountain West is a cluster-you-know-what at the top of the standings.  Earlier this year, it looked like Nevada might run away with it, and then Boise State caught them and eventually overtook them.  Now, the Rams of Colorado State came out of nowhere and lead the conference at 10-4.  Nevada and Boise State are 9-4 and New Mexico is 9-5.

Utah State crushed Nevada to start February

Probably the most shocking box score of the Mountain West season was played between these two teams back on February 1st.  The lowly Aggies shocked the Wolfpack and wasn’t just that they won, but they did so decisively.  The game was tied at 25 at halftime, and then the Aggies outscored Nevada 49-32 in the second half for a 17 point victory.  It knocked the Wolfpack out of first place at the time.

The Aggies were led by Koby McEwen who had a monster game.  The freshman guard had 26 points while making eight of 12 from the field and eight of 10 from the free throw line.  He also had six rebounds.  He’s been arguably the best Aggie player this year, and he’s only a freshman so that bodes well for the future of Utah State.

Nevada gets back to winning ways

After losing to San Diego State and dropping behind Boise State in the standings, Nevada came back and defeated Air Force 78-59 on Wednesday night.  Cameron Oliver carried the day for the Wolfpack, scoring 25 points and pulling down 15 boards. He made nine of 12 from the field and all five of his free throw attempts.  The Wolfpack’s stellar defense returned, allowing only 39% from the field.

Nevada got a win and help when Boise State lost, but all of a sudden Colorado State can’t lose, and they have gone to the top of the Mountain West standings.  The Rams are now 10-4, having won four in a row and seven of eight.  I still favor the Wolfpack coming down the stretch however.

Trends:

The Utah State Aggies are:

  • 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up loss.
  • 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games.
  • 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

The Nevada Wolfpack are:

  • 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 home games.
  • 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

This is a revenge game, plain and simple.  Nevada played their worst game of the year in a loss to Utah State to start this month.  I think they get on them early and cruise to an easy win.  I like the Wolfpack by 20 points or more on Saturday.

Pick: Nevada

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.