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Saturday on the College hardwood and a pair of teams from the Mountain West Conference will square off as the Utah State Aggies grapple with the Wyoming Cowboys at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Aggies enter this game off a 78-77 home loss to Fresno State, which puts them at 1-2 in league play, while the Cowboys are now 0-3 within the MWC after falling 84-54 to San Diego State on the road.
Aggies Fall Short Against The Bulldogs
The Utah State Aggies have had a solid start to their season as they are 11-5 overall, but they did just suffer a tough one-point home loss to the Fresno State Bulldogs. The Aggies fell in that game by a score of 78-77 to fall top 1-2 in league play. The Aggies are rated at 49th in the nation by KenPom and they have played the 112th toughest schedule. Despite their 1-2 league start, the Aggies will be a team to watch. The defense had been strong for them all year, but it let the Aggies down against the Bulldogs as they allowed them to hit 45.5% of their shots overall, including 48.4% (15/31) of their shots from long range. They will have to be far better than that against a good three-point shooting team like the Cowboys are. The Aggies have been a good offensive team this year and they hit 51% of their shots overall but they were also just 6/20 from long range. Leading their attack was Neemias Queta (10.2 ppg) and Sam Merrill (19.1 ppg), who each had 16 in the loss.
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) January 10, 2019
The Aggies enter this game ranked 76th in the nation in scoring at 78.9 ppg, while also ranking 69th in shooting (47.3%), 224th in three-point shooting (33.2%) and 33rd in free throw shooting (75.5%). On defense, they are 53rd in points allowed, giving up 65.9 ppg, while also ranking 5th in defensive FG% (37.0%) and 125th in three-point defense (32.4%).
Cowboys Still Looking For 1st League Win
It has been a miserable start to the season for the Wyoming Cowboys as they have gone 4-12 through their first 16 games overall, including 0-3 within the Mountain West Conference. It is going to be a long year for the Cowboys, who were crushed 84-54 to San Diego State on the road in their last game. The offense has struggled for the Cowboys this year and it did so against the Aztecs as they hit just 34.8% of their shots from the field overall and they were just 6/20 (30%) from long range. Missing 13 free throws didn’t help either. Wyoming has yet to score more than 56 points in league play so far. Leading their attack in the game was Justin James (20.7 ppg), who had 18, while Hunter Thompson (12.2 ppg) had 11. The defense has struggled this year as well and the Aztecs were able to hit 50.9% from the field overall against them, including 50% (12/24) from long range. Wyoming needs a lot of work at both ends of the court.
We had the pleasure of welcoming Cowboy legend Josh Adams back in town last week.
— Wyoming Cowboy Basketball (@wyo_mbb) January 11, 2019
The Cowboys enter this game ranked 297th in the nation in scoring at 68.3 ppg, while also ranking 313th in shooting (41.0%), 122nd in three-point shooting (35.7%) and 92nd in free throw shooting (72.7%). On defense, they are 281st in points allowed, giving up 76.5 ppg, while also ranking 251st in defensive FG% (44.6%) and 225th in three-point defense (34.6%).
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games
Utah State is:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- 38-14 ATS in their last 52 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will lay the lumber with the Aggies who are rated 49th in the country by KenPom, while the Cowboys are rated at 281st. The Cowboys are a bad team on both ends of the court, especially on offense right now as they have not scored more than 56 points in league play yet. The Aggies have a defense that can keep that string going. They also have an offense that will rip a bad Wyoming defense. The Aggies are far better and they will show it with an easy win in this one.
Prediction: Utah State -13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I will look for the Aggies to get their fair share of points, but the Cowboys will not. Even if Utah State hangs up 80 in this game, the Cowboys will not contribute enough for this game to go Over the total. They have scored 56 or less in all three MWC games and the Aggies have allowed 65.9 ppg on the year. The Under is 20-8-2 in Utah State’s last 30 road games and 8-3 in Wyoming’s last 11 home games. I will call for Utah State to win this one by a score of 77-60.
Prediction: Under 142