NCAAB Picks, San Diego State vs. Utah State Odds: Bet on the Aggies?

San Diego State vs. Utah State Odds

Despite all the dramatic finishes Thursday, the two favorites to reach the Mountain West pre-tournament finals won comfortably Friday night to set up a San Diego State-Utah State matchup for the fourth time in five seasons.

The Aztecs swept Colorado State on Thursday, then defeated San Jose State in the first semifinal and are now favored to win the conference title for the second time in three years.

The Aggies had a much tougher road with New Mexico and Boise State, but elite shooting on Thursday and a big second-half run on Friday helped Utah State secure its spot in the NCAA Tournament and now gives it a chance for revenge.

The Aztecs won both regular-season meetings, including a controversial and strangely officiated contest in Logan on Feb. 8.

San Diego State is the best team in the league this season, but the Aztecs have had enough late drama and close finishes to show there isn’t much of a difference in overall quality. On paper, the Aztecs’ physical defense could give the Aggies’ finesse offense problems.

Utah State has shown in its last two wins against Boise State that it can overcome an elite half-court defense by running more in transition and getting space for its shooters. The Aztecs have been very good in close games, and because of that they are a bit overvalued in the market here.

The Aztecs easily defeated the Spartans in the semifinals, but it was a very favorable match for them on paper.

Despite the comfortable victory on the scoreboard, Recording quality evaluated only as a three-point victory. The Spartans forward missed a ton of good shots from both the mid-range and perimeter based on their metrics. Utah State also won the ShotQuality report in both of its wins, against better competition than the Aztecs in both games.

SDSU has also been incredibly good in close games this season despite not necessarily being elite late-game in the half-court offense. He had blowouts against Arkansas and Boise State with a lead, but consider how many narrow wins he pulled out against inferior teams.

SDSU beat Colorado State in overtime in one game and three on Thursday — the Rams had multiple open chances to take a lead in the final minute. The Aztecs won at USU by two, Wyoming by five, Fresno by two and New Mexico at the buzzer.

You have to give them credit for winning on the road in a tough league, but you can also admit that few teams in the country have had better late game results than this team.

San Diego State’s defense is still pretty good, but it has issues in a few areas that the Aggies could exploit on paper. The Aztecs’ pick-and-roll defense against the ball-handler and their off-screen defense have surprisingly poor grades this season. Because of their switch ability, you’d expect the Aztecs to be better at defending these moves than they are.

Steven Ashworth excels at working around and through ball barriers and putting defenders in tough spots for the Aggies. They rank in the 95th percentile in pick-and-roll efficiency and 94th in net without the ball, per Synergy.

One area of ​​potential concern in this matchup is fatigue. The Aggies are ranked in the top 25 nationally in minutes off the bench and expended a lot of energy in the second half to come back against Boise State. While San Diego State has a ton of depth and plays eight or nine guys, the Aggies are closer to six or seven main players in Ryan Odom’s rotation.

The Aggies generally don’t have good rim protection and are vulnerable to dribble penetration from San Diego State’s backcourt.

The Aztecs live in the offensive mid-range, and that’s one area where the Aggies are pretty good on defense. Utah State is in the 72nd percentile nationally in mid-range defense, and the Aggies also defend the pick-and-roll well because they don’t play traditional bigs and have forwards who can defend away from the basket.

For two teams that often run pick-and-roll plays, the Aggies actually have a better mark guarding them.

San Diego State also won’t be able to dominate the glass offensively in this matchup to overcome its inconsistencies in first-down efficiency. The Aggies are 26th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage.

San Diego State vs. Utah State betting picks

The old saying goes that defense wins championships, but the Aztecs offense is enough of a problem in the half court to make me worry about them.

As of February 1, SDSU is fourth in the nation in BartTorvik efficiency. That’s extremely impressive, but the Aztecs are clearly No. 1 in defense and only 89th in offense.

Earlier in the season, SDSU seemed to raise its offensive edge, but the Aztecs have regressed over the past month and are still prone to hitting droughts. Much like how Boise went through a brutal drought Friday night against USU or how the Aztecs finished in Boise 11 days ago, they are vulnerable in any game to do the same

Utah State ranks 14th in the nation in BartTorvik efficiency as of Feb. 1, but the Aggies are a much more balanced team right now. They are committed defensively and remain elite offensively.

This is a true coin toss in my opinion and I will bet the Aggies in anything plus money.

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