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The Lobos have battled their way to a 5-7 record in the Mountain West so far this season, while Fresno State enters this matchup tied for second place in the league standings after racing out to a 9-3 record in league play. Can Fresno State push their current winning streak to three games with a victory on the road against the Lobos on Saturday evening?
Bulldogs edge Boise State on late 3-point play
Fresno State edged Boise State 65-63 on a late three-point play by Braxton Huggins on Wednesday night. Huggins finished with a game-high 26 points to lead four Bulldogs players in double-figures on the night, while Nate Grimes added 13 points and 15 rebounds to help Fresno State keep pace in the Mountain West standings.
— Fresno State Men’s Basketball (@FresnoStateMBB) February 6, 2019
Justin Hutson’s squad comes into Saturday’s matchup slotted at No. 63 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning nine of their first 12 conference games. The Bulldogs have scored 108.4 points per 100 possessions for the year (86th in the NCAA) and 108.1 points per 100 possessions during conference play (5th in the Mountain West). Hutson has given his team the green light from beyond the arc and they have taken advantage of their offensive freedom by shooting 48.5 percent of their total field goal attempts from 3-point range (1st in the Mountain West). They have connected on 38.2 percent of their attempts from long-range during league play (3rd in the Mountain West), while sporting an effective field goal percentage of 54.5 percent (3rd in the Mountain West). However, they have been hampered by the fact that they have turned the ball over on 19.1 percent of their offensive possessions during Mountain West play (8th in the Mountain West).
On the other end of the floor, the Bulldogs rank among the best teams in the country at defending the 3-ball. Fresno State has surrendered just 97.3 points per 100 possessions for the season (61st in the NCAA) and 99.3 points per 100 possessions versus Mountain West opponents (3rd in the Mountain West) so far this year. They have also limited Mountain West teams to an effective field goal percentage of only 48.6 percent through their first 12 league contests (2nd in the Mountain West).
Lobos starting to gain momentum in league play
New Mexico won of the second time in their last three games on Wednesday night, taking down San Jose State 92-60 behind 20 points from Keith McGee. Corey Manigault added 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Anthony Mathis came off of the bench to chip in 16 for the Lobos, who shot 14 of 27 from beyond the arc en route to their most efficient offensive performance versus a DI-opponent this season.
— Lobo Basketball (@UNMLoboMBB) January 6, 2019
Paul Weir’s squad enters the weekend ranked No.172 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 5-7 start to the conference season. New Mexico has scored 103.1 points per 100 possessions for the season (192nd in the NCAA) and 101.0 points per 100 possessions during league play (8th in the Mountain West). The Lobos play at one of the fastest paces in the country, but that tempo has caused them to turn the ball over on 19.6 percent of their offensive possessions during conference play (9th in the Mountain West). They also sport an effective field goal percentage of only 50.1 percent during conference play (9th in the Mountain West), while shooting only 49.4 percent from inside the arc through their first 12 league games (6th in the Mountain West).
On defense, New Mexico has given up 103.8 points per 100 possessions for the year (174th in the NCAA) and 100.6 points per 100 possessions in league play (4th in the Mountain West).
- Lobos are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Lobos are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Lobos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win.
- Bulldogs are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Bulldogs are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The favorite hsa covered the spread in each of the last five meetings in this series and Fresno State is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven matchups versus the Lobos. Fresno State defends the 3-ball better than any other team in the Mountain West and nearly half of New Mexico’s field goal attempts come from long-range, so this is simply a bad matchup for them. Take the Bulldogs to cover the number on the road in this spot on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pick: Fresno State Bulldogs -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have gone over the projected total in each of their last five meetings in New Mexico and five of their last seven meetings overall. The Lobos have gone over in five of their last seven games versus a team with a winning record and these teams rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in 3-point shooting frequency. Look for this game to go over the projected total on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Over 149