Boise State vs. San Diego State Odds & Pick: Can Broncos Pull a Mountain West Conference Tournament Shocker?


David Becker/Getty Images. Pictured: A.J. Walker

  • The updated betting odds of Friday's Mountain West Conference tournament semi-final meeting between make the Aztecs 9.5-point favorites.
  • The Aztecs enter this game as ranked in the top five nationally, but are they are risk for an upset tonight?
  • Check out our preview of tonight's game, including betting picks.

Eli Hershkovich is an Action Network contributor and produces/hosts the You Better You Bet Podcast on RADIO.COM Sports.

As the mid-major contests roll along, let’s dissect No. 5 San Diego State vs. Boise State — for the right to advance to the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game.

It’s the third meeting between the two programs, with the Aztecs winning both of their two previous matchups by 17 and 18 points, respectively.

San Diego State vs. Boise State Odds

  • Odds: San Diego State -9.5
  • Over/Under: 134
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

I get it. Betting against Brian Dutcher’s crew after the Broncos failed to cover and didn’t lead in either of their meetings vs. the Aztecs is a tough ask.

But there might be value in the No. 5 seed, and it revolves around their perimeter defense.

Boise State boasts the 19th-ranked 3-point defense across college basketball, yielding a 29.4% clip to the opposition. Nevertheless, San Diego State combined to shoot 41.9% in their wins against their conference foe. I’m expecting some 3-point regression in this one, and you should see Boise State switch on ball screens more than its previous meeting to limit open looks.

If the Broncos get that level of effort, their size edge will come into play. Boise State’s tallied the 11th-highest defensive rebounding rate in the country — and it’s No. 1 in Mountain West play. That should allow it to speed up the Aztecs’ defense in transition, as Dutcher’s unit is much more lethal when it’s set up to defend half-court offenses.

Boise will look to attack the rim in fast-break opportunities, as it’s tallied the 79th-highest free-throw scoring rate in the country while San Diego State is bottom-120 in that department. Junior big Derrick Alston Jr. will be critical here, as he’s much more lethal on the run because of his athleticism.

Moreover, Boise State’s transition attack should open up its perimeter offense as well, and the Aztecs are letting up the 91st-highest 3-point scoring rate. Getting Justinian Jessup going vs. UNLV (3 of 6 from downtown) was critical to keep his confidence high heading into tonight, as he represents the Broncos’ top floor-spacer.

If those factors come to fruition, the Broncos should be in a good position to stay within a few possessions of the No. 1 seed.

Pick: Boise State +9.5

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