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SMU vs. Utah State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Friday, Dec. 23)

SMU vs. Utah State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Friday, Dec. 23) article feature image
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Via Ben Solomon/Getty Images. Pictured: Steven Ashworth #3 of the Utah State Aggies reacts during the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Tournament against Texas Tech Red Raiders held at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on March 19, 2021 in Bloomington, Indiana.

  • The SMU Mustangs look to pull a second straight upset in Hawaii as they face the Utah State Aggies on Friday as double-digit underdogs.
  • The Mustangs put up a season-high 85 points yesterday, but can they hang with an elite Aggies offense that leads the country in 3-point shooting percentage?
  • Keg breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

SMU vs. Utah State Odds

Friday, Dec. 23
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
SMU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+12.5
-110
145.5
-110o / -110u
+570
Utah State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-12.5
-110
145.5
-110o / -110u
-850
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head classic had a surprising start yesterday with SMU pulling off the outright upset over Iona as nearly a 10-point underdog. Now the Mustangs will have an even tougher challenge as they face the Utah State Aggies, who have lost just one game this year.

The Aggies won their first game in Hawaii in blowout fashion over Seattle, beating the Redhawks by 28. Will it be another blowout win on their way to the championship for the Aggies, or have the Mustangs figured things out in the Hawaiian Islands?


Southern Methodist Mustangs

SMU’s win over Iona was just its fourth of the season, with all three others coming against teams ranked outside the top 275 on KenPom.

SMU ranks as one of the worst teams in the country offensively, averaging just 68.5 points per game as their Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (100.4) ranks 218th nationally. The Mustangs have shot poorly as they are 301st in Effective Field Goal percentage (46.5%) and 304th in 3-point accuracy (30.5%).

Things have been slightly better on the defensive side of the ball but nothing quite worth writing home about. SMU is allowing teams to rack up 71.1 points per game and post an Effective Field Goal percentage of 48.2%. SMU’s 100.9 Adjusted Defensive Rating ranks 136th in the country.

Turnovers and fouling haven’t been critical issues so far for the Mustangs, but that could change against the Aggies in a hurry. Utah State is 18th in the nation in fouls drawn as they have forced teams into racking up 20.7 fouls per game.

Is there a chance SMU has figured things out with its win over Iona? Potentially, and it’s undoubtedly a major confidence boost for a team that was in dire need. However, I think Iona did more to lose the game than SMU did to win it.

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Utah State Aggies

The Aggies are the fifth-highest scoring team in college basketball (84.4 points per game) as they rank 30th in Adjusted Offensive Rating ( 111.9). They also rank fourth in Effective Field Goal percentage at 58% as they have outscored their opponents by 13.3 points per game.

On the defensive end, Utah State has held teams to 71.1 points per game and is eighth in the nation in two-point shooting defense. Overall, the Aggies rank 64th nationally with a 96.1 Adjusted Defensive Rating. Not to mention the Mustangs offense is already struggling enough on their own against considerably worse defensive units than the Aggies.

The Aggies should also hold a massive advantage over the Mustangs in rebounding. Utah State averages 29.3 rebounds per game, good for fourth in the nation, while SMU is outside the top 300 in defensive rebounds allowed.


SMU vs. Utah State Betting Pick

The SMU upset over Iona came as a result of incredibly poor shooting in the second half by the Gaels. This shouldn’t be an issue for the Aggies as they rank among the top 30 offenses in the country and have the best 3-point shooting percentage (42.3%) in the nation.

I think it’s very likely we see another blowout win from Utah State in Hawaii. The Aggies’ elite offense should make quick work of a Mustangs team that caught the Gaels on a bad game and won’t be able to keep up on either end of the court.

Back the Aggies as 12.5-point favorites with value all the way to -15 on the spread.


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