Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
NCAAB: Saturday, January 12, 2019, Save Mart Center, Fresno, California, 8:00 PM ET
The Mountain West showdown between the No. 10 Nevada Wolf Pack and the Fresno State Bulldogs will be a joy to watch as two talented teams will face off against each other for the first time this season. Last year, the Wolf Pack won both head-to-head duels while 18 of the previous 20 meetings between these two foes were finished in the over.
The Wolf Pack is looking for the fourth straight win over the Bulldogs
The No. 10 Nevada Wolf Pack suffered their first defeat on the season this past Saturday, losing heavily at their conference rivals New Mexico Lobos 85-58. Nevada had an awful game on both sides of the floor, shooting just 33.3% from the field and hitting only four of its 22 three-point attempts. The Wolf Pack made just 11 assists, but they turned the ball over 14 times while completely losing the battle on the glass (47-37). Nevada rebounded from this heavy loss to smash San Jose State 92-53 last Wednesday.
The senior forward Jordan Caroline is leading the way for the Wolf Pack with 18.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game on 47.8% shooting from the field and 42.0% from beyond the arc. Another senior wing Caleb Martin is averaging 18.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, while Cody Martin is posting 10.4 points and 5.6 assists in his senior year. The Wolf Pack is scoring 81.1 points per game on 45.9% shooting from the field (128th in the country) and 33.7% from beyond the arc (195th), allowing 66.5 points in a return on 39.9% shooting (43rd).
The Bulldogs are hoping for an upset
The Fresno State Bulldogs suffered two losses in their first four games on the season, and it’s been a nice ride since then, winning ten out of 11 matchups along with a lone loss to the Utah Valley Wolverines 64-60. The Bulldogs are coming off a 78-77 win at the Utah State Aggies thanks to Braxton Huggins’ triple with five seconds left on the clock. Huggins lit up the Aggies with career-high 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field and terrific 8-of-13 from downtown, leading the Bulldogs from an 8-point deficit at halftime.
Braxton Huggins is a go-to-guy for the Bulldogs this season and the senior guard is tallying 18.9 points per game on 43.5% shooting from the field and 41.1% from beyond the arc. Another senior guard Deshon Taylor is averaging 16.8 points and 5.0 assists per contest, hitting 44.0% of his field goals, while the power forward Nate Grimes is averaging 11.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in his junior year. The Bulldogs are scoring 79.3 points per game on 46.7% shooting from the field (95th in the country) and 38.3% from beyond the arc (39th), conceding 66.4 points in a return on 41.0% shooting from the field (80th).
Fresno State Bulldogs:
- 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS in the last six home meetings with Nevada
- 7-1 SU and 4-4 ATS in the last eight home games
- Under is 5-3 in the last eight games overall
Nevada Wolf Pack:
- 4-2 SU and ATS in the last six meetings with Fresno State
- 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS in the last nine games on the road
- Under is 8-2 in the last ten games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This should be a tough matchup for the No. 10 Wolf Pack, as the Bulldogs are playing well on the home court and limiting their rivals below 68 points over the previous three home games. Nevada should have a huge motive to prove its worth after a blowout at New Mexico, and the Wolf Pack’s head coach Eric Musselman had certainly prepared his boys for this clash. I expect to see a tight game that will be decided down the stretch, and I think the visitors are closer to the victory, but it could really go either way.
Prediction: Nevada Wolf Pack -4.0 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Despite some ridiculous over/under record in the last 20 head-to-head duels between the Wolf Pack and the Bulldogs, I think we could easily see a tough battle and a low-scoring affair as both teams are recording 70.9 possessions per 40 minutes (tied-159th in the country). If you like to go with the betting trends, take the over, but I will pick the under, relying on teams’ sturdy defenses.
Prediction: Under 146.0 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Wolf Pack smashed the Bulldogs 80-65 in Fresno last season, while they beat the Bulldogs by ten points on the home court. I expect to see a tough battle on this one, doubting Nevada’s chances to make another blowout at Fresno State. We could easily see a really close game down the stretch, but I think the Wolf Pack will grab a win more comfortably, so I’ll take the visitors to win by six to ten points.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Nevada Wolf Pack by 6-10 points (+375)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Bulldogs have been opening games well lately, but their rivals were weaker teams than Nevada by far. Also, the Bulldogs were trailing by eight points at Utah State last time out, while the Wolf Pack had a 10-point halftime lead against Utah State at home which could be a proper benchmark. Therefore, I’ll take Nevada to cover, hoping they will bounce back on this one after a dreadful performance at New Mexico in its last outing on the road.
Prediction: Nevada Wolf Pack -2.0 (-110)