Utah State Aggies vs. Boise State Broncos – College Basketball, February 19, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 19, 2021 8:48 am PDT

This is the second of back-to-back games between these two, and if the Broncos can emulate their last performance, they will become the outright leaders of the conference. The Broncos managed to pick up the victory in a back and forth game which they trailed at halftime in. They eventually pulled away in the final quarter of the game to prevail by nine points.

The games always tend to be close between these two teams. Two of the previous four games have been level at the end of regular time, and each team went on to win one of those games in overtime. To show precisely how tight things have been between them over their last ten meetings, check out each team’s average score. Yes, that’s right, it’s identical, with both teams averaging 73 points.

Let’s look at the betting trends for each team, and then I will provide my Aggies vs. Broncos betting prediction.

Aggies vs. Broncos Odds

Aggies +1.5-110
Broncos -1.5-110
Aggies To Win+106
Broncos To Win-124
Over 140.5 Points-110
Under 140.5 Points-110

Although their games are usually tight, I didn’t expect the betting to be this close given the scoreline the other day. I also think the points total looks a little low and could be worth exploring.

Utah State has only entered two games as the underdogs all season. They won one of those games and lost the other.

Aggies News

After winning nine games in a row, the Aggies are in a spot of bother having lost three of their last five games. They will have accepted the defeats to Colorado State and Boise State, but they uncharacteristically lost to UNLV at the back end of last month. However, they did put things right two nights later by beating the same opponents comfortably.

The Aggies have the joint-best record on the road in the conference, having won seven of their ten away fixtures this season. But again, two of those defeats came in their last four away matches, highlighting that they have struggled recently.

Here are the latest betting trends for Utah State:

  • They have won 12 of their last 15 games against the spread.
  • Four of their previous six games have gone over the betting total.
  • Utah State is 13-3 in their last 16 games.
  • The Aggies have only lost six of the last 19 games against the spread when playing against the Broncos.
  • Utah State is 4-8 in their previous 12 games against Boise State.
  • They have won six of their last nine games on the road again at the spread.
  • The Aggies have a poor record away to the Broncos, having only picked up one win from their last six visits.
  • They have only lost three of their previous 17 games against teams in the Mountain West Conference.
  • Six of their last nine games played in February have gone under the points total.

The most significant piece of information that I have taken from the above data is that while the Aggies haven’t done well against the Broncos, the bookmakers appear to underestimate them in most games.

The Aggies have a good offense that rebounds very well but have struggled to shoot from range at times this season. This could be their biggest downfall against the free-scoring Broncos as they will need to keep pace with them. However, they are the number one passing team in the conference, averaging 16 assists per game.

Their defense is brilliant and sits inside the top 20 in the country. They squeeze the life out of their opponents by not allowing them much room around the basket. This also leads to many steals per game, and they also have the highest average number of blocks per game in the Mountain West.

They are incredibly disciplined, and you have to be the way they play as if one player isn’t doing their job, the whole unit is affected.

Utah State has held their opponents to a 38% field goal percentage this year, which is the country’s ninth-lowest percentage. This improves to 36% when you solely look at the games against teams in the Mountain West Conference.

This superb defense has led them to have an impressive point per game difference of 12.4.

Portuguese Neemias Queta has been the star of the show for the Aggies this season, and he certainly enjoyed playing against the Broncos, even if the rest of his team didn’t. He scored 32 points and made ten rebounds against them. If he can perform like this again and one or two of his teammates can up their game, who knows what might happen.

The Aggies could miss Worster for this matchup as he is currently nursing a foot injury.

Broncos News

The Broncos are sitting at the top of the Mountain (West) alongside San Diego State, who also has an identical record of 16-4 this season. After suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season against Nevada, the Broncos have gone on to win their next three games to put them back in the title picture.

They have a perfect 9-0 record at home, which shows what a tough ask this is for Utah State tonight.

Here are the latest betting trends for Boise State:

  • Ten of their previous 15 games have gone over the betting total.
  • They have only lost three of their last 20 matches.
  • The total has gone over in four of their previous five games against the Aggies.
  • The Broncos have won their last ten games in a row at home.
  • Boise State is 2-4 against the spread in their previous six matches.
  • They have only won one of their last five games against the spread when playing at home on a Friday.

The above data shows you how strong the Broncos are and, in particular, how strong their attack is this season. It also shows us that the bookmakers often overestimate their capabilities which is the opposite of Utah State.

The Broncos have a superb attack that averages 77 points per game. However, like their opponents tonight, they aren’t always the best at shooting from range, so don’t expect to see too many three-pointers made tonight. However, they haven’t needed to be too accurate from deep as they are scoring at 46% this season which is the second-highest percentage in the Mountain West.

They are accurate from the free-throw line, but that might count for nothing playing against the team that has given the least number of personal fouls away in the conference.

Boise State also uses the ball very well, and they never try to force things. If things aren’t working, they will reset and start again. This means that they don’t make many turnovers and can control the game. If they can do that tonight and their offense scores at least 73 points, they have an excellent chance of winning as they have won their last 15 games in a row when they have done so.

Their defense is also excellent and also conceded 64 points per game on average. This reduces to 58 points when you focus on their home games, making them the country’s 20th best home defensive unit.

They also have an awe-inspiring point per game difference of 13.2 that even surpasses that of Utah State. 

Senior Derrick Alston Junior leads all of the scoring stats for the Broncos this season, and he enjoyed his time against the Aggies last time, outscoring 26 points against them.

Boise State could miss Doutrive tonight as he is suffering from a dental problem at present.

Aggies vs. Broncos Betting Pick

Pick
  • Broncos -1.5
    -110

These are two great teams, and this could and should be a fantastic matchup. I don’t want to overthink this one. To me, it seems fairly evident that the pick should be the Broncos, given they have a better record this season, have not lost a game at home this season, have a better record over the Aggies, and beat them comfortably just two days ago.

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