It’s a clash between the Big West and the Mountain West as the college basketball landscape shifts to the Silver State. The Pacific Tigers head east as they travel to face the #7 Nevada Wolf Pack Friday night. Pacific comes in off a 74-65 win on the road over SIU-Edwardsville Tuesday night. Nevada rolled to an 86-70 win at home over BYU in their season opener Tuesday. The Tigers own a 25-15 advantage in the all-time series between the teams but the Wolf Pack has taken the last three meetings. That includes an 89-74 victory on the road in the last matchup on November 18, 2017.
Pacific Tigers Try to Spring Upset on the Road
Pacific picked up a season opening victory but it probably wasn’t as easy as fans of the program would have liked. The Tigers now have to go on the road, in a hostile environment, and face a top 10 program. That’s a major challenge for a team that finished last season 14-18 and lost to the Wolf Pack by 15 on their own floor. Pacific ran to a 19 point halftime edge against SIU-Edwardsville but struggled to maintain that momentum. The Tigers led 16-0 out of the gate and by as many as 23 in the first half only to see the lead cut to four with under two minutes to play. Pacific knocked down free throws down the stretch to seal the win. In the game, the Tigers shot 49 percent from the field and went eight of 23 from beyond the arc.
— Pacific Men's Hoops (@PacificMensBB) February 23, 2018
Lafayette Dorsey paced Pacific with 18 points off the bench in the victory. Anthony Townes chipped in 15 points plus seven rebounds while Roberto Gallinat added 13 points plus five boards in the win. The Tigers took care of business at the charity stripe, sinking 18 of 22 opportunities while the Cougars were only 13 of 26. Pacific won the rebounding battle 43-25 while holding SIU-Edwardsville to 39.3 percent shooting in the game, including eight of 31 from beyond the arc. Those numbers helped the Tigers overcome 21 turnovers in the game. They’re going to have to be much better to hang with Nevada in this one.
Nevada Wolf Pack Seeks Second Straight Win to Open Season
Nevada took care of BYU at home to open their season and the team looks to continue that momentum here as they face Pacific. The Wolf Pack has high expectations after bringing back the majority of last year’s team. Against BYU, Nevada was tied at 34 at the half and trailed 52-49 with 13:53 to play before taking control. The Wolf Pack ripped off a 10-0 run over the next 2:25 to take a seven point lead. Their edge didn’t drop below two the rest of the way. Nevada shot just 37.9 percent from the field, including an eight of 28 showing from three point range, and clanked 11 of 39 free throw attempts, yet still won by double figures. That’s the sign of a scary team.
— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) November 7, 2018
Jordan Caroline led the way for Nevada with 25 points plus a career-high tying 16 rebounds in the win. Caleb Martin scored 21 points, all of which came in the second half, while Portland transfer Jazz Johnson finished with 12 off the bench. Caleb’s twin brother, Cody Martin, was scoreless on the night: he did grab seven rebounds while dishing out 11 assists in the contest. The Wolf Pack is minus Lindsey Drew at the moment as he is dealing with an Achilles injury: there is no timetable for his return to the lineup. Nevada’s defense stepped up as they limited BYU to 37.7 percent from the floor, including just six of 31 from beyond the arc.
- Wolf Pack are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 Friday games
- Wolf Pack are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. West Coast Conference foes
- Tigers are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 non-conference games
- Tigers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 Friday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Pacific had their struggles against SIU-Edwardsville on the road in their opener. To see a 23 point lead sliced to four against a team that finished the 2017-18 season 9-21 overall and 5-13 in the Ohio Valley Conference means you have to pump the brakes a bit about being excited. The Tigers are going to be in trouble here if they are sloppy at all. Nevada is an experienced team that will slice you up in a hurry if you have a lull. The Wolf Pack showed that by beating BYU by 16 despite a poor shooting night. Nevada rolls to a win here to improve to 2-0.
Prediction: Nevada Wolf Pack -21
Full-Game Total Pick
Pacific is going to have to try one of two strategies in order to have any success here. They’re either going to have to go the BYU route and contest everything, play physical and make the Wolf Pack work for every shot opportunity on that end of the floor. On the other side, they can try and run the floor, wear Nevada out and try to ride athleticism to success. The first strategy didn’t work for the Cougars and it’s safe to say BYU is a better team than Pacific. On the other hand, trying to run with the Wolf Pack could get you blown out of the building. Do the Tigers have a shot in this one or are they doomed to fail?
The over is 13-2-1 in Pacific’s last 16 games on Friday and 4-1 in their last five overall. Nevada has seen the over go 4-1-1 in their last six after a straight up win, 21-8 in their last 29 Friday games and 16-7 in their last 23 non-conference tilts. With Nevada’s talent and Pacific’s weaknesses, this one should end up over the number when all is said and done.