Utah State vs. Air Force Odds, Expert Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Tuesday, Jan. 3)

Utah State vs. Air Force Odds, Expert Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Tuesday, Jan. 3) article feature image

Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Dan Akin (Utah State)

  • Air Force is attempting to avoid an 0-3 start to Mountain West league play by taking down Utah State at home on Tuesday.
  • The Aggies have an advantage in terms of their strength of schedule so far this season.
  • Will that help them in this road affair? Keg breaks it down and makes a best bet.

Utah State vs. Air Force Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 3
9 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Utah State Odds
-110o / -110u
Air Force Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Utah State Aggies will hit the road for their first conference away game of the season after opening up Mountain West play with an impressive 13-point win over Fresno State.

They'll head to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Falcons, who after going 9-4 in non-conference play, are on a two-game skid to open up league play.

The Falcons lost in blowout fashion to San Diego State, but did cover the 17-point spread. The same couldn't be said in their loss to Nevada, as they were defeated by six as a 3.5-point underdog.

Utah State and Air Force are two of the top three 3-point shooting teams in the Mountain West. However, Air Force has been much better when it comes to defending on the perimeter.

Can the Falcons do enough to limit the Aggies from deep and avoid an 0-3 start to conference play?

Utah State Aggies

Utah State's offense has been one of the best in the nation, as it ranks 12th in scoring while averaging 82.1 points per game. The Aggies are also fourth in effective field goal percentage.

The high-powered Utah State offense has been led by the third best scorer in the Mountain West, Steven Ashworth.

Ashworth is averaging 17.1 points and 3.9 made 3s per game. No one in college basketball has been better in terms of 3-point percentage (53.5%) than Ashworth.

The Aggies also rarely make mistakes, turning the ball over on only 17% of possessions.

On the defensive side of the ball, Utah State has held opposing teams to an effective field goal percentage of just 46.9%. However the Aggies have allowed teams to rack up 70.4 points per game.

Utah State is also outside the top 200 when it comes to defending 2-point shots.

And while Utah State has already struggled when it comes to fouls per game — averaging 18 per contest — it could be an even bigger issue for it against Air Force.

The Falcons are 52nd nationally, having forced opponents into racking up 19 fouls per game. Utah State has been better though, drawing 20.4 fouls per game.

Air Force Falcons

The Air Force offense moves at one of slowest paces in college basketball, ranking 345th in Adjusted Tempo.

The Falcons are also outside top 200 averaging just 69 points per game.

However, the Air Force offense rarely misses and its defense has been even even better than its offense.

Air Force has posted an effective field goal percentage of 55.8%. The Falcons are 19th in the nation in 2- point percentage and 61st in 3-point percentage.

On the defensive side of the ball, Air Force has held opposing team to just 63 points per contest.

And the Falcons have been among the best when it comes to defending the perimeter. The Falcons are 14th in the nation, having held teams to just 27.6% from 3-point range.

Against Utah State nothing could be more important, as the Aggies boast the best 3-point shooter in the country.

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Utah State vs. Air Force Betting Pick

Both of these teams have been elite when it comes to scoring, specifically from 3-point range.

And while Air Force has been better defending the 3, I think there's something much more important than that when it comes to  betting on this game.

Air Force has played a non-conference schedule that ranks as the second easiest in the nation. Utah State, meanwhile, has not only gone 12-2, it's done so against the 83rd-toughest non-conference schedule in all of college basketball.

Utah State faced Fresno State in its first Mountain West game, a team that's been impressive in its own right defending from 3-point range (31.6%).

The Aggies have been the better team, and they've done so against tougher competition. That's why I'll be backing Utah State as high as a nine-point favorite over the Falcons.

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