Colorado State vs. Nevada Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide

Colorado State vs. Nevada Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Rivera (Colorado State)

  • Colorado State and Nevada face off in a late-night Mountain West duel.
  • The Rams and Wolf Pack will be content to play this game in the half-court with limited offensive rebounds and transition chances.
  • How does that impact a total bet? Anthony Dabbundo has all your answers below.

Colorado State vs. Nevada Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 4
10:30 p.m. ET
Colorado State Odds
-115o / -105u
Nevada Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Colorado State's road victory at Saint Mary's looked like a potential turning point for the Rams after a shaky non-conference start.

As it turns out, it was anything but, as the Rams have dropped three straight games and their first two in conference. They now visit Nevada on Wednesday night.

Nevada still lacks a true signature win on its resume that will impress the tournament committee, but don't let that distract you from the progress made this year for the Wolf Pack.

Nevada has won four straight and began league play with wins against defending champion Boise State and at Air Force.

The market opened this spread at 5.5 and it has taken some overnight Colorado State money to 4.5. The market looks right from the side perspective, but the total seems a bit inflated given the stylistic matchup.

Colorado State Rams

The Rams don't have a great interior defense and haven't in the last few seasons under Niko Medved.

It should come as no surprise that they lack size and are vulnerable at the rim defensively. But what is a surprise is how efficiently teams are shooting the ball against the Rams from the perimeter.

Colorado State is 304th in 3-point field goal defense nationally, which is a major positive regression indicator.

Any time you see a team go from above average to poor defensively in 3-point shooting defense, you can assume that it's a matter of variance and not that the perimeter defense all of a sudden cratered.

Medved's defense makes up for its lack of size and interior defensive strength by trying to flood the middle and take away the paint with numbers. This means that the Rams concede a ton of 3-point attempts.

Last season, the defense was fine against 3s. The market has really downgraded the defense, but the signs are that it's only marginally worse than it was last season, not a full four points per 100 possessions, as KenPom is suggesting.

Colorado State's offense is also a touch inflated when you look at its numbers. The Rams rely on being able to efficiently score from inside the arc, and that's going to be a challenge against the length and interior defense of the Wolf Pack.

CSU won't turn the ball over much in this matchup and Isaiah Stevens is a tough guard for any backcourt, but Colorado State's offense has regressed in the underlying numbers from the high of last season.

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Nevada Wolf Pack

One of the major weaknesses for Colorado State's defense is if you're able to speed it up and make it play in transition.

The Rams don't get exposed in transition often because they don't turn it over and don't commit for offensive rebounds, but a team that wants to push the pace offensively can exploit CSU.

That's not Nevada, though.

The Wolf Pack rank in the 23rd percentile in transition frequency and are mediocre in efficiency there.

Nevada will be more than happy to play this game in the half-court, where it can use ball screens to exploit a mediocre ball-screen defense of the Rams.

Nevada isn't a great jump-shooting team. It's actually improved marginally from last season, but it still finds itself outside the top 150 in efficiency from 3.

So, while Colorado State wants to force Nevada to shoot from deep, the Wolf Pack may have trouble efficiently scoring from there.

The Wolf Pack's defense grades out really well — per Synergy — in defending both screens and cuts, which is a major facet of the Medved motion offense.

They have a ton of size and length, and those types of teams have given Medved's offense problems. You have to be able to switch ball screens to stop Medved's motion, and Steve Alford's team grades out in the top third nationally in guarding ball screens and pick-and-roll, per Synergy.

Colorado State vs. Nevada Betting Pick

When you're betting a college basketball total, you have to look into whether the efficiency of the two offenses or the pace will be different.

In this case, it's a little of both, as Nevada's lack of perimeter shooting can't exploit the Rams' perimeter defense. The market is too low on the Rams' defense because teams have shot really well against them.

But given the nature of the matchup — with little offensive rebounding threats and not many transition opportunities — the number of possessions in this game will be lower than the market projection.

The total is a bit inflated, especially if we get a couple fewer possessions and both offenses are forced to execute in the half-court.

I like the under at 139 or better.

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