Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#729 Fresno State 137 vs.
#730 Utah State -13
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 6:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#729 California State University, Fresno
#730 Utah State University
2-5
8-1
19-12
18-16
15-16
19-13-2
76
78
67
67

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It’s a battle of Mountain West foes on the college hardwood in the Beehive State. The Fresno State Bulldogs are on the road as they travel to face the #25 Utah State Aggies Saturday evening. Fresno State was upended 81-80 in double overtime at home by UNLV Wednesday night to open their conference slate. Utah State defeated San Jose State 71-59 on the road in their last game Wednesday night in their conference opener. The Aggies lead the all-time series 35-25 and have won the last two meetings, including an 85-60 win in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament on March 15, 2019.

Fresno State Bulldogs Seek to Even Conference Mark

Fresno State went to the wire and then some at home against UNLV but ended up falling a point short in a double-overtime defeat. The Bulldogs look to earn an upset win on the road to even their conference mark on the season and snap a three-game skid. Fresno State led by six at the half but allowed UNLV to rally back and force overtime. After the teams went tooth and nail in the first overtime, the Bulldogs seemed to run out of gas, falling behind by five. Fresno State was unable to get back to even as UNLV hit enough free throws down the stretch. The Bulldogs shot 37.7 percent from the field, including 14 of 42 from three-point range, but took a 51-36 beating on the glass in the contest. Noah Blackwell led Fresno State with 18 points in the loss.

The Bulldogs are putting up an average of 71.7 points a game in the early going this season. Fresno State grabs 37 rebounds a game while dishing out 13.4 assists per contest. The Bulldogs are 191st in scoring defense by allowing 69.4 points per game. Jarred Hyder leads Fresno State with 13.7 points per game on the season. Nate Grimes contributes 11.7 points plus 9.9 rebounds a night while Orlando Robinson contributes 10.7 points per contest. Mustafa Lawrence, Noah Blackwell, Aguir Agau, New Williams and Niven Hart are all looked at to contribute to the program. The Bulldogs are shooting 42.3 percent from the field as a team this season. Fresno State shoots 32.9percent from beyond the arc while splashing 10.9 triples a night. The Bulldogs have been struggling at the charity stripe, converting 64.7 percent of their opportunities this season.

Utah State Aggies Look for Second Straight Win

Utah State bounced back from their first loss of the season as they opened conference play with a triumph over San Jose State on the road. The Aggies now return home looking to pick up another conference victory. Utah State led by three at the half over San Jose State and by two with 17:51 to go before going on a run that gave them control of the game. The Aggies outscored the Spartans 9-0 over the next 4:19 to go up 11 and their lead didn’t drop below six the rest of the way. Utah State shot 42.4 percent from the field, including four of 17 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 42-34 in the contest. Justin Bean led the Aggies with 18 points and 14 rebounds in the victory.

The Aggies are putting up an average of 80.2 points per game on the season. Utah State puts up an average of 41.9 rebounds per contest and dishes out 16.4 assists a night. The Aggies are 32nd in scoring defense as they give up just 60.4 points a night. Sam Merrill leads the team with 17 points and four assists a game. Justin Bean (15.1 points, 11.7 boards), Alphonso Anderson (13.1 points, 5.4 boards) and Diogo Brito (11 points, 4.3 boards) are also scoring in double figures this season. Brock Miller and Abel Porter are next up on the offensive food chain for the Aggies. Utah State is shooting 46.3 percent from the floor as a team. The Aggies hit 7.2 treys a night but are hitting 35.3 percent on their shooting from beyond the arc. Utah State is very good at the line as they’re sinking 74.8 percent of their chances on the year.

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Fresno State gave it all they had in their last game but came up short in a double-overtime thriller. The problem for the Bulldogs is that the previous contest was at home against UNLV, a team expected to be in the middle of the pack in the conference at best. Utah State shared the regular season crown last season and won the tournament title while bringing back Merrill, who can make teams dizzy with his ability to make plays on either end. The Aggies are at home here and they are very dangerous in Logan. Utah State should take care of business here to earn a second straight conference victory.

Prediction: Utah State Aggies -12.5

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Utah State has been hard to solve on either end of the floor this season. The Aggies are explosive offensively and tough on the defensive end. Utah State crashes the glass and they are good at sharing the basketball. Fresno State has relied quite a bit on the three-pointer but they don't shoot it overly well. The Bulldogs now have to go against a Utah State team that holds opponents to 32.8 percent from beyond the arc. In addition, the Aggies are very good on the glass so there won't be a ton of second-chance opportunities. Can the Bulldogs make the most of their possessions and steal one on the road?

The over is 5-0 in the Bulldogs' last 5 overall, 4-0 in their last 4 games following an ATS loss and 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning straight up record. Utah State has seen the over go 5-1 in their last 6 home games following three or more consecutive road games. Utah State should get enough offense going in front of the home crowd to help push this one over the mark.

Prediction: Over 136.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.