Colorado State at Utah State
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 19, Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum, Logan, Utah, 9 p.m. EST.
For Utah State, the challenge is to hold serve in the Mountain West Conference until its next shot at the heavyweights. That task continues Saturday night at home versus Colorado State.
Rams take to the road with confidence after back-to-back wins
Colorado State (7-10, 2-2 MWC) is 0-4 in true road games and has lost six of seven overall outside Fort Collins, but first-year coach Niko Medved and his team are in a good frame of mind after lopsided victories over Air Force and New Mexico.
The Rams followed up their 23-point rout of the Falcons with a 91-76 romp past the Lobos last Saturday. Hyron Edwards scored a season-high 20 points off the bench to lead five players in double figures as Colorado State shot better than 56 percent for the second straight game.
— Colorado State Men’s Basketball (@CSUMBasketball) January 18, 2019
“We kept it simple, got it in the middle, made really good decisions when we got it in there,” Medved told CSU’s official website. “The evidence is there with 26 assists to nine turnovers. Just really proud of the way our guys played. Logan (Ryan) came in there and gave us a big lift and it was really fun to see.”
The challenge for the Rams is to carry that shooting to the road. They are averaging 76.4 points on the season, but that number dips to 71.0 per game on the road. The primary reason is poor 3-point shooting — Colorado State has hit just 26.9 percent of its long-range shots in those four losses, well off its season mark of 34.3 percent.
Nico Carvacho, who had 16 points and eight rebounds in just 19 minutes versus New Mexico, is averaging team highs of 16.2 points and 12.4 rebounds while posting 10 double-doubles. The 6-foot-11 junior leads Division I in rebounding and is shooting 60.3 percent.
J.D. Paige (14.9) and Anthony Masinton-Bonner (12.9) also are in double figures and shooting 39 percent from 3-point range. Colorado State’s offense, though, is not keeping up with a porous defense giving up 76.5 points per contest.
Aggies rolling after dominant road wins
Utah State (13-5, 3-2) has a lot of tough losses on its resume that require wins against Nevada and Fresno State in the second go-round against those teams. The Aggies shook off a one-point home loss to the Bulldogs by rolling past Wyoming and San Jose State on the road by a combined 34 points.
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) January 17, 2019
Utah State snapped out of an early funk to blow past San Jose 81-63 on Wednesday night. Diogo Brito hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points for the Aggies, who overcame a 15-point, first-half deficit before pulling away the final 20 minutes.
Neemias Queta added 14 points and nine rebounds as Utah State hit 11 3-pointers and forced 22 turnovers.
“We forced them into 22 turnovers,” Aggies coach Craig Smith said. “The key part was that we finished that first half on a really strong note. We gave up two field goals in the last 14 possessions, going from down 10 to up six.”
Sam Merrill leads Utah State in scoring at 18.9 points per game, connecting on 37.9 percent of his 3-point shots and shooting 49.3 percent overall. Queta is the only other Aggie in double figures (10.6), but four teammates are averaging between 7.8 and 9.5 points.
Utah State is also pesky defensively, limiting opponents to 37.5 percent shooting.
Utah State is:
- 11-5 ATS in its last 16 home games.
- 9-3 ATS in its last 12 home games as a favorite of 13 or more points.
- 11-4 ATS in its last 15 games as a favorite of 13 or more points.
- The over is 35-16 in its last 51 games as a home favorite.
- The over is 42-20-1 in its last 63 games as a favorite.
Colorado State is:
- 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS win.
- 10-21-2 ATS in its last 33 games vs. above-.600 teams.
- 4-16-1 ATS in its last 21 games following a straight up win.
- The over is 7-1 in its last eight games as a road underdog of 13 or more points.
- The over is 6-0 in its last six games after scoring 90 or more points in the previous game.
- The over is 21-7 in its last 28 games vs. above-.600 teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Aggies look to be the Aggies everyone expected them to be upon entering conference play with their bounce-back wins on the road. With the NET formula taking margin of victory into account, Utah State is going to be at full throttle every game against the Mountain West lightweights, and another blowout should be in the cards.
This line jumped to 17 in the overnight, so hopefully, you got in early.
Prediction: Pick: Utah State -15.5
Full-Game Total Pick
With the Rams playing up-tempo and the Aggies being one of the most efficient teams in the nation, the over is a strong play. While Utah State does have a solid defense, Colorado State does not, and that will help the Aggies shoulder most of the scoring load to deliver the over.
This line also moved 1.5 points higher in the overnight, strengthening confidence in the original pick at 147.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 147 points
Half-Time Side Pick
The Aggies have led by eight or more in all seven of their home games versus Division I opponents and had double-figure leads in five of them. With the urgency Utah State has to keep its NCAA at-large hopes alive, look for that trend to continue.
Prediction: Pick: Utah State -9.5
Half-Time Total Bet
Utah State has reached 68 or more in the first half of five of its seven home games, and Colorado State has been equally capable of scoring on the road, combining for 66 or more in four of its last five road contests.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 70 points