College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Utah State vs. Wyoming (Tuesday, February 8)
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Drake Jeffries
- Wyoming has been dominant at home and enters tonight's meeting with Utah State as slight favorites.
- The Aggies have been one of the hottest teams in the country and this is shaping up to be a potential Mountain West tournament title game preview.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Utah State vs. Wyoming Odds
|Utah State Odds|
-120o / -102u
-120o / -102u
Two of the hottest teams in the Mountain West square off on Tuesday night as Utah State travels to play the Wyoming Cowboys.
Utah State has had quite the turnaround after starting 1-5 in conference play. The Aggies are on a five-game win streak and have moved all the way up to sixth in the standings. The surge has come via their offensive output, as they are averaging 80.3 points per game over their last three games. They have also posted an astounding +19.3 scoring margin over that same period.
Wyoming, meanwhile, has become the team to beat in the Mountain West. After dropping a game to the current conference leader Boise State, Wyoming has gone on a four-game win streak, which included a win against the Broncos in their second meeting.
The Cowboys have been a balanced team on both ends of the court all season, but their dominance at home is unmatched. Wyoming is posting an average score margin of +17.1 at home so far this season. They have also yet to lose a game on their home court. Will they be Able to keep that up against the Aggies?
The Aggies do lead the all time series 20-18, but in games played in Laramie they are just 5-11.
Utah State has really kicked it into gear over its five-game winning streak. The Aggies are averaging 78.8 points per game and shooting 53.3% from the floor during that span; both would rank first in the Mountain West on the season.
The Aggies have been led by the conference’s fifth-leading scorer, Justin Bean, who averages 18.7 points per game. Bean is also leading the Mountain West in rebounds, pulling down an average of 9.9 per game, as well as field goal percentage at 57%.
As a team, Utah State is the 29th most efficient offense, per KenPom, ranks 18th in effective field goal percentage, and is sixth in 2-point shooting percentage. The Aggies will likely face some challenges around the basket, as Wyoming ranks sixth in the country in average height and is 69th in total rebounds per game.
Wyoming is one of the best in the country at defending 3-pointers, so I don’t expect Utah State to have success from the perimeter. However, the Aggies’ mid-range game and ability to attack the basket should still find them some success offensively.
On the defensive end, Utah State is right behind Wyoming in the Mountain West, giving up 67.2 points per game. Neither team has been noteworthy when it comes to turnovers, but Utah is forcing opponents to give the ball up more than the Cowboys.
Wyoming’s season numbers have been great, but when you look at the consistency the Cowboys have shown on their home court, the numbers are simply astounding.
At home, the Cowboys average 81.4 points per game, compared to 74.6 on the season. They are hitting 3-point shots at 37.8% at home compared to 33.9% on the year. Two-point shots improve from 57% to 61%. On the defensive end, they limit opposing teams to just 64 at home compared to 66 points on the season. The Cowboys are also recording 1.3 fewer fouls at home.
This Wyoming team is operating on another level at home, but Utah State is putting up better numbers over its last five games than any team in the Mountain West has all season.
Utah State vs. Wyoming Betting Pick
These are the two hottest teams in the Mountain West, I won’t be surprised if either team wins. Both are playing their best basketball of the season, but I’m going to ride with the Cowboys to get it done at home, as they’ve done all season.
The Cowboys’ height advantage along with Utah State’s vulnerable 3-point defense is is a big reason why I’m backing Wyoming here. Utah State ranks 278th in opponent 3-point attempts, 264th in opponent made threes and 36% of opposing teams points have come from beyond the arc against the Aggies.
I grabbed the Cowboys at -3 and would back them as high as a -4.
Pick: Wyoming -4 or better
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