NCAAB Odds, Picks for Nevada vs Utah State

NCAAB Odds, Picks for Nevada vs Utah State article feature image

Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Odom (Utah State)

Nevada vs Utah State Odds

Saturday, Feb. 18
8 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Nevada Odds
-110o / -110u
Utah State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Utah State is on the periphery of the NCAA tournament field and needs more quality wins to make an impression on the selection committee.

The Aggies will be favored in each of their last four games and need at least three wins — plus a solid MWC Tournament — to grab an at-large bid in Ryan Odom's second season as head coach.

One of the Aggies' last best chances for a big win comes on Saturday night as Nevada makes the trip to Logan.

The Wolf Pack have won four straight games and are pretty safely in the field. They beat the Aggies on their home floor by 15 points last month, too.

If things break right for the Wolf Pack, they could even find themselves winning the regular season league title.

The spread opened at five, a clear shade toward Utah State given the situational spot and desperation situation at home.

Nevada Wolf Pack

Nevada has closed games better than anyone in the MWC and almost anyone in the country this season.

Whether it was the last-second victory against New Mexico, the late charge to upset San Diego State or pulling away against Utah State, the Wolf Pack have thrived late in games.

That's a sign of a well-coached team, but it's also a sign that the Wolf Pack might not be as good as we think.

They are elite at the free-throw line — which is important to closing games — but Nevada has also run unsustainably good in close games this year.

The Wolf Pack won't be able to live at the foul line in this game — like they are on most nights. Utah State has the lowest foul rate in the MWC and is top-100 defensively nationally.

Nevada is also on the road, where it hasn't been nearly as good compared to at home. I think at least part of that is some of the whistles not being as friendly.

The Wolf Pack will have an advantage attacking the rim in this matchup, which is the weak point of the Aggies' defense.

They're unlikely to shoot 59% on 2s again though, which they did in the first meeting.

Utah State Aggies

Utah State's motion offense and elite sharpshooting makes it one of the most entertaining watches in the entire country offensively. It's all about pace and space, and the Aggies force you to extend your defense to guard their shooters.

Only Colgate has made a higher percentage of 3s this season, and the Raiders face significantly less athletic and physical defenses in the Patriot League.

The Aggies rank inside the top 25 in both catch-and-shoot 3s and off-the-dribble 3s, per ShotQuality.

Utah State ranks 13th in the country in PPP on catch-and-shoot attempts and that's a solid matchup against this Nevada defense. Nevada's defense is 209th in PPP allowed on catch-and-shoot defense.

The Wolf Pack are also 247th in percentage of unguarded jump shots, so that should enable Utah State to get plenty of open looks from the perimeter.

The Aggies also have a major advantage they can exploit in transition. Nevada doesn't let teams run on it often, but it's in the 14th percentile in transition defense, per Synergy.

This could become a rout if Nevada is missing shots.

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Nevada vs. Utah State Betting Pick

The first meeting was more competitive than the final score would suggest. Nevada actually trailed with 10 minutes to go, but it closed the game on a 25-8 run to win by 15.

The opening line of five took some Nevada money and has dipped to 4.5 at most books as of Friday evening.

I thought we'd get a four, and I would want four or better to bet the Aggies given the spot and the matchup.

These two teams are about even for me, but you're paying a bit of a spot tax and a must-win tax on Utah State to win this game.

At the current number, I wouldn't bet Utah State, but I would continue to monitor the market and wait for a potential four to pop. If it doesn't pregame, Utah State is a very high variance team because of their 3-point shooting, so you should be able to get a live number under four points.

Nevada is so good in late-game situations — Jarod Lucas' shotmaking is a major reason why — and is excellent at the free- throw line. Every half point counts.

Pick: Utah State -4 or Better (Look to Play Live)

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