Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#767 Utah State vs.
#768 BYU
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by David Hess

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#767 Utah State University
#768 Brigham Young University
9-1
8-4
18-16
14-18
19-13-2
16-16
78
78
67
76

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College hoops action on Saturday evening and the Mountain West Conference will square off with the West Coast Conference as the Utah State Aggies grapple with the BYU Cougars. This contest has a start time of 8:00 pm ET and will take place at Vivint Smart Home Arena as a part of the Beehive Classic. The Aggies enter this game at 10-1 on the year while the Cougars are 8-4.

It Has Been A Sizzling Start For The Aggies

The Utah State Aggies are off to a strong 10-1 start to the year but we must be a bit cautious as they have faced the 322nd ranked schedule so far. The Aggies have played just one game this year against a team from a Power 6 Conference. That was a home game against LSU and they won that game by a score of 80-78. The Aggies are still doing what they are supposed to do against a weak schedule and that is to win their games easily. Utah State has five wins of over 27 points and they have outscored their foes by 20.9 ppg on the year. Their lone loss was at St Mary's from the WCC so this will be no easy task for them.

The Aggies enter this contest off a 94-49 with over St. Katherine. Who??? USU shot 45% from the field overall, including 39% (12/31) from long range while allowing their opponent to hit just 33% of their shots overall, including 18% (5/28) of their shots from long range. Leading their attack was Brock Miller (10.5 ppg), who had 22 points while Diogo Brito (11.2 ppg) had 15 and Justin Bean (14.7 pg) had 12 points and 14 boards.

Utah State enters this game ranked 28th in the nation in scoring at 81.2 ppg, 134th in field goal percentage at 45.2%, 128th in three-point shooting at 34.6% and 28th in free-throw shooting at 76.9%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 30th in points allowed at 60.3 ppg, 36th in defensive FG% at 37.8% and 75th in three-point defense at 29.6%.

Cougars Have Faced A Daunting Schedule So Far

While the Aggies were busy getting fat on a very easy schedule, the BYU Cougars were going 8-4 against the 30th ranked slate of games in the land. BYU has faced Kansas, Utah, UCLA, Boise State, and Virginia Tech so far and we note that they have gone 2-3 in those games, but two of the losses were in OT. The Cougars are battle-tested in this game and they have won the last seven in a row in this series. Can they keep it rolling against a solid Utah State squad? We shall see. Since their loss to Utah, the Cougs have bounced back to beat both UNLV and Nevada by 33 points.

Leading their attack in the win over Nevada was Jake Toolson (15.3 ppg), who scored 15 points while Yoeli Childs (18.7 ppg) had 14 points and 13 boards and Alex Barcello (10.8 ppg) had 13. The Cougars shot just 41% from the field overall, including 32% (12/37) from long range. The defense was outstanding in the contest as they allowed the Wolf Pack to hit just 25% of their shots from the field overall, including just 13% (3/23) of their shots from long range, plus BYU outrebounded Nevada by 12.

BYU enters this game ranked 79th in the nation in scoring at 79.5 ppg, 27th in field goal percentage at 48.6%, 15th in three-point shooting at 40.7% and 108th in free-throw shooting at 72.3%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 156th in points allowed at 67.3 ppg, 249th in defensive FG% at 43.8% and 65th in three-point defense at 29.2%.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will be siding with the Cougars in this one. They have been tested by a very tough schedule so far while the Aggies have built their record on the 322nd rand schedule in the land. I will look for the Aggies to get exposed here. We also note that the Cougars have won the last seven games in this series straight-up. Utah State is 29th in the nation in scoring at 81.2 ppg but that was against a very easy schedule while the Cougs are ranked 80th in scoring at 77.5 ppg and that has been against the 30th ranked schedule. Take BYU to extend their winning streak to eight over the Aggies.

Prediction: BYU -1

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This is normally a high-scoring game but I do not expect this one to be that way. The Cougars play at the 142nd pace in the nation while the Aggies' pace of play ranks 111th. Those are not extremely high rankings. Both offenses have been strong so far but BYU has allowed just 67.3 ppg while the Aggies have allowed just 60.3 ppg. This will not be a slow-paced game but it will not be super fast either and I see both defenses stepping up in this heated rival. The Under is 6-1 in Utah State's last seven games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game and 9-2 in BYU's last 11 games following an ATS win.

Prediction: Under 145
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.