San Jose State Spartans vs. San Diego State Aztecs – NCAAB, February 10, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 10, 2021 9:26 am PDT

The Spartans take on the Aztecs in a battle of the ages tonight. Unfortunately, the Spartans have shown little fight this season, and therefore this could be a slaughtering just as it was last night. The Aztecs lead the Mountain West Conference, but it is mighty close between them, Colorado State and Boise State. It’s therefore imperative that they win tonight and win convincingly.

The Aztecs have dominated this fixture by winning the last seven meetings between them. The last time the Trojans won a game against the Aztecs was back in 2017. This is the second meeting in as many days between them, and the Aztecs swept aside the Spartans 85-54 in their first encounter.

Over the previous ten meetings, there Aztecs have averaged 17 more points than the Spartans. It must be highlighted that neither team has shot particularly well in these games, with the Aztecs scoring at only 36%!

Spartans vs. Aztecs Odds

Spartans +28.5-110
Aztecs -28.5-110
Spartans To Win+3300
Aztecs To Win-10000
Over 144-110
Under 144-110

The spread is based on their most recent game, which is understandable. Given the average margin between them over the last ten games has been 17 points, there could be some value in taking them with the handicap. The points total looks spot on and offers very little value here.

Spartans Analysis 

The Spartans had picked up their form before they were brutally annihilated by the Aztecs, as they had won their previous three matches. However, those three wins did come against the bottom two teams in the Conference, which is perhaps slightly misleading. This was the first time they had won three games in a row since 2017!

Their away form has been atrocious, and they have only won one of their nine games on the road this season. That was, however, recently against New Mexico, where they picked up a 12 point victory.

Here are the latest betting trends for San Jose State:

  • They have only won four of their previous 18 games against the spread.
  • Eight of their last nine games have gone under the betting total.
  • The Spartans have lost 15 of their previous 20 matches.
  • San Jose State has lost their last eight games in a row on the road against the spread.
  • They have lost on their last nine visits to San Diego State.
  • The Spartans haven’t won a single game from nine attempts in February.

The Spartans have a terrible offense that is scoring at under 40% this season. They don’t move the ball well and often rush their shots, taking them from ridiculous positions across the court. This means they are averaging under ten assists per game, the lowest average in the Conference.

Unfortunately, their defense isn’t any better, conceding on average 81 points per game. They try to press their opponents but often leave glaring gaps for them to exploit. For a team that presses so high, you would be expecting them to steal the ball much more than they do.

They need to play more aggressively and let their opponents know they are in for a game as, more often than not, their opposition turns up brimming with confidence in the knowledge that they’re in for a comfortable night.

It’s therefore easy to see why they have a point per game difference of -15, the worst in the Conference.

The Spartans have a young, inexperienced team, but losing so often can’t be good for their confidence or development.

San Jose State has three players doubtful for tonight’s game as Washington, Hammonds, and Courtney are all doubtful to feature.

Aztecs Analysis 

San Diego State is playing some great basketball right now, having won their last five matches. What impresses me most about those wins is they didn’t ease up winning by margins of 37, 22, 30, 27, and 29.

They have won 11 of their 13 games at home, including the last six in a row. The last team to beat them was the second-placed Colorado State at the beginning of January. However, they exacted revenge three days later by beating them more comprehensively.

Here are the latest betting trends for San Diego State:

  • They have won their last five games against the spread.
  • Four of their last five games have gone over the betting total.
  • This high scoring has not continued against the Spartans as only one of the previous six games has gone over the points total.
  • The total has gone under in five of their previous six games played in February.
  • Five of the last six games they entered as the betting favorite has gone over the betting total.

The Aztecs have a terrific offense that is accurate at shooting from all areas of the court, especially from range. They are almost making as many three-pointers as the Spartans are inside the D.

They pass the ball exceptionally well, making many assists along the way. This also means that they don’t make many turnovers, which helps them to control the game.

They have the tenth best defense in the country, which makes them a formidable force this season. They concede on average just 60 points per game, which takes any pressure off of their attack.

They tend to sit deep and let their opponents shoot from distance, which gives them less chance of scoring and less chance of rebounding. Despite this, they still make a lot of steals, and they have the best average in the Conference.

All these elements combined mean that they have a point per game difference is 14.7. Combine this with the Spartans point per game difference would see them cover the handicap here.

Matt Mitchell has been the star of the show for the Aztecs this season, and he leads a lot of their rankings. He has enjoyed playing against the Spartans throughout his career, averaging a couple of points higher than his career average against them. However, he struggles with an ankle injury right now, which could keep him out of this one.

Dinwiddie Junior is also a doubt as he battles a reoccurring hip injury.

Spartans vs. Aztecs Pick

  • Under 144

There is no doubt that the Aztecs will win this game comfortably, but I can’t bring myself to back them (or any other team’s) to cover such an enormous handicap. Especially when they have beaten tonight’s opponents by an average of 20 points, much lower than the spread here, but that doesn’t mean I will back the Spartans either as there isn’t much I like about them. Therefore, I hope that the Aztecs ease up in this one and that the total goes under the amount set for tonight’s game.



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