Mountain West Showdown Wednesday: Aztecs vs. Aggies Odds

Written By Derek Wagner on February 8, 2023
College Basketball Best Bets

Closing out a stacked college basketball odds board on Wednesday evening, the No. 25 San Diego State Aztecs hit the road to visit the Utah State Aggies. A win for the Aggies would put them in a two-way tie for the Mountain West lead with the Aztecs. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets.

San Diego State vs. Utah State Odds

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Why Utah State Can Cover

Utah State has quietly been one of the most impressive mid-major teams in the country this season. Its strength is its perimeter attack, shooting 39.6% in conference play. Aggies coach Ryan Odom utilizes a four-out, one-in offense, with his team knocking down 9.8 threes per game (No. 13 in DI).

Not only does Odom’s squad possess the 12th-rated adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom), but it’s also led by Steven Ashworth, the third best 3-point shooter in the nation (47.5%). Ashworth was hounded by Lamont Butler, one of the country’s best on ball defenders, the last time these two teams faced off. Butler held Ashworth to only 3-of-10 from the field and limited him to a mere eight points.

I’d expect head coach Utah State to run plenty of screens in their rematch — in an attempt to free up Ashworth. When Ashworth knocks down three or more triples at home in conference play, the Aggies are 4-0. Whether or not Lamont Butler & Co. can lock up Ashworth will likely determine the overall efficiency of Utah State’s offense.

In addition to their elite shooting, the Aggies have another edge via their size. Although the Aztecs collected 12 offensive rebounds that resulted in 17 second chance points last month, Odom should be able to make adjustments to limit Nathan Mensah, Jaedon LeDee, Keshad Johnson on the glass this time around.

Related: Final Four Longshots, Including Indiana

Why San Diego State Can Cover

San Diego State should have an abundance of open looks Wednesday evening. Utah State has been abysmal on the defensive end this season, ranking 208th in the country in scoring defense, allowing over 71 points per game. It also ranks No. 138 in opponent field goal percentage, failing to contest jump shots and pick up cutters.

Furthering their defensive woes, the Aggies are allowing opponents to shoot 36.7% from behind-the-arc, which ranks 314th in the nation.

The Aztecs are well-equipped to take advantage of Utah State from the perimeter, as senior guard Adam Seiko is shooting 50.6% from deep. In fact, in their last matchup, Seiko dropped 25 points on Utah State while shooting 7-10 from behind the arc. The penetration that the Aztecs guards are able to create should open up the floor for Seiko to have a big game once again.

Moreover, the Aggies’ defense does a poor job with forcing turnovers. They’re racking up just 10.9 takeaways per game, the second lowest in the Mountain West. Hence, there is little reason to believe that Utah State will slow down a San Diego State squad that boasts a top-30 adjusted offensive efficiency.

College Basketball Best Bets: Conclusion

At this point, the Aggies’ showcase a clear-cut identity. They rely solely on their offensive proficiency via their 3-point marksmen.

Some bettors may be skeptical as to whether or not Utah State’s offense is enough to knock off San Diego State. I’m not skeptical. Look for Utah State to pick up its second Quad 1 victory of the season. The best available line is currently Utah State . Best of luck with your own college basketball best bets.

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