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The Aztecs have battled their way to a 7-4 overall record in the Mountain West so far this season, putting them in fourth place in the league standings. Meanwhile, the Broncos aren’t too far behind after splitting their first 12 Mountain West contests. Will the Aztecs put some separation between themselves and the Broncos with a victory at home on Saturday evening?
Broncos lose a tight one on the road vs. Fresno State
Boise State lost for the third time in four games on Wednesday night, falling on the road against Fresno State 65-63 in a game which neither team led by more than six points all night long. Alex Hobbs was the lone Broncos player to score in double-figures on the night, finished with 18 points, but Boise State shot just 3 of 17 from 3-point range to continue their slide down the conference standings.
Alex Hobbs finishes in the lane. Hobbs has five points. pic.twitter.com/eWqFderrYq
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) January 21, 2017
Leon Rice’s squad comes into Saturday’s matchup ranked No. 137 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 6-6 start to the conference season. The Broncos have scored 107.0 points per 100 possessions for the season (108th in the NCAA) and they’ve improved that mark to 111.1 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the Mountain West) through their first 12 league contests. Boise State has turned the ball over on just 15.5 percent of their possessions during conference play (2nd in the Mountain West), while shooting a red-hot 57.2 percent from inside the arc (2nd in the Mountain West) and 75.8 percent from the free throw line (2nd in the Mountain West).
On defense, Boise State relies on forcing turnovers to generate stops, which has led to some easy looks at the basket. The Broncos have limited opponents to just 103.5 points per 100 possessions (170th in the NCAA) for the year and 101.4 points per 100 possessions during conference play (6th in the Mountain West). They have also forced Mountain West opponents to turn the ball over 20.6 percent of the time (2nd in the Mountain West), however, opposing teams have managed to shoot 54.6 percent versus the Broncos defense during the conference season (9th in the Mountain West).
Aztecs pull away late in win over Colorado State
San Diego State continued their recent success on Tuesday night, winning their second straight game 71-60 on the road versus Colorado State. Devin Watson scored 21 points, while Jalen McDaniels added 18 for the Aztecs, who used a big second-half run to pull away and overcome a 16-turnover performance.
Devin Watson right now = 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/seX98aYkjV
— Aztec M. Basketball (@Aztec_MBB) January 16, 2019
Brian Dutcher’s squad enters the weekend slotted at No. 143 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning five of their last six games. The Aztecs have scored 106.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (128th in the NCAA) and an identical 106.4 points per 100 possessions during conference play (7th in the Mountain West). The Aztecs sport an effective field goal percentage of 51.7 percent (7th in the Mountain West) and they’ve turned the ball over on 18.7 percent of their defensive possessions (7th in the Mountain West) during league play. However, San Diego State has been able to make up for some of those lost opportunities by hauling in 30.3 percent of their missed field goal attempts on the offensive glass (3rd in the Mountain West) and sporting the best team free throw percentage in the Mountain West at 77.3 percent.
The Aztecs have also made strides on the defensive end during conference play, where they have been nearly five points per 100 possessions better so far this year. San Diego State has allowed just 99.2 points per 100 possessions versus Mountain West opponents (2nd in the Mountain West) compared to 103.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (171st in the Mountain West).
San Diego St.
- Broncos are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Broncos are 6-16-1 ATS in their last 23 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Broncos are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Aztecs are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Aztecs are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Aztecs are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 vs. Mountain West.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Broncos have covered the number in six of their last eight trips to Viejas Arena, but they have battling through a down year this season. Meanwhile, San Diego State has made strides on defense during league play and they’ve been tough to beat at home during the Mountain West season. Look for the Aztecs to cover the number versus the Broncos in this Mountain West matchup on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pick: San Diego State Aztecs -5
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have stayed under the projected total in each of their last four meetings at SDSU and the Aztecs rank as the second-best defensive team in the Mountain West heading into this matchup. The under is 4-1 in San Diego State’s last five conference games and 16-4-1 in their last 21 games after covering the spread in their previous contest. Meanwhile, the Broncos have stayed under the projected total in nine of their last 13 games after covering the spread in their previous game. Look for this matchup to stay under the projected total in this Mountain West battle on Saturday night.
Prediction: Under 140.5