Fresno State vs Nevada Odds, Prediction: Bet Friday’s Underdog?

Fresno State vs Nevada Odds, Prediction: Bet Friday’s Underdog? article feature image

Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jarod Lucas (2) of the Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team.

Fresno State vs Nevada Odds

Friday, Feb. 10
11 p.m. ET
Fresno State Odds
-110o / -110u
Nevada Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The 11 p.m. ET slot on Friday nights has produced a ton of late-night Mountain West drama for fans and bettors alike.

Fresno State's road trip to Nevada this week isn't the most appetizing the conference has to offer — Nevada is a solid home favorite — but the Wolf Pack are in a difficult spot and could struggle to separate from the Bulldogs.

Nevada is in the midst of a difficult three-game stretch. The Wolf Pack went to New Mexico and won in The Pit on a buzzer-beater. They also have an upcoming conference road trip to Utah State that is critical for the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Sandwiched between those games is a classic letdown home spot against one of the worst teams in the league.

Only Air Force and Wyoming have lower efficiency ratings than Fresno State this season, but you're betting against Nevada at the top of the market in this spot.

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Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresno State has the worst offense in the Mountain West by a wide margin, because the Bulldogs have no way of consistently making shots. They have the lowest effective field goal percentage (eFG%) in the conference, have made just 30% from 3 and 32% during league play.

If you look at the offensive profile, it's a team that would project to have two plus 3-point shooters. It has gotten that level of production from Anthony Holland — a career 38% shooter who has matched that rate this season.

Isaiah Hill's numbers suggest that positive regression is coming for him, though. He shot 37% to 38% each of the last two seasons but has made just 30% from 3 this year.

The Bulldogs aren't a good shooting team, but there is room for them to be a marginally better shooting team if Hill is finally able to find his shot. Hill has scored 39 points in the last two games, both of which resulted in Fresno State victories. So, there are signs he could finally be solving his shooting issues from earlier in the year.

The defense has also allowed conference opponents to shoot 39.1% from 3, despite being an above-average defense and a unit that is average in open 3-point rate allowed. Nevada just had its best shooting game of the season on Tuesday night on the road and probably won't sustain that on Friday.

Nevada Wolf Pack

Nevada hasn't lost a game at home all season long. Given that the Wolf Pack's last three home games are against San Jose State, UNLV and Fresno State, there's a good chance Steve Alford's crew finishes the season unbeaten at the Lawlor Events Center.

The Wolf Pack's offense is centered around the free throw line, where Nevada scores as many points as anyone in the country. Nevada likes to attack downhill, get to the rim and get fouled.

On top of that, the Wolf Pack are one of the most efficient teams in the country from the free throw line. Fresno State has the depth to withstand this, and the interior defense is the strength of the Bulldogs defense.

Fresno State has the best interior defense in the conference since league play began, and it fouls at an average rate. Opponents shoot just 48.1% on 2-point field goals. The Bulldogs feature one of the deeper benches in the Mountain West, so foul trouble is less of a concern for them than most.

Jarod Lucas has been the late shot clock star for the Wolf Pack's offense, and Fresno State has the isolation defensive ability to guard him. The Bulldogs will struggle to guard Will Baker in the post in this matchup, but they have a decent matchup with Lucas.

Fresno State vs Nevada Betting Pick

Fresno State's 3-point shooting numbers on offense and defense have deflated the perception of the team. Fresno State's defense has been quite unlucky on unguarded jumpers this year — the team ranks in the 2nd percentile nationally in opponents making open shots.

On offense, it's a bad shooting team but not as bad as the 30% figure from 3 would suggest. The Bulldogs have two players who can shoot 37% from 3 going forward.

Given that Nevada could also be in a flat spot after its dramatic win on Tuesday, I'd bet Fresno State at +9 or better. The Bulldogs play at a snail's pace, and I still have questions about Nevada's offense in the halfcourt when Lucas isn't making a ton of contested looks.

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Daniel Preciado
Jun 20, 2024 UTC