Utah State vs Missouri March Madness Betting Preview
No. 10 Aggies Favored Over No. 7 Missouri
Utah State vs Missouri is a case where the lower-seeded team is the favorite in the game. No. 10 Utah State is favored by 2 over Missouri and the total is 155. The Aggies are -130 on the moneyline in this South Region game, which will be played at 1:40 p.m. in Sacramento, California. The game will be televised by TNT. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
Utah State: Aggies Can Bring the Offense
Utah State is making its third trip to the NCAA Tournament in five years. But getting to the tournament hasn’t been a problem for Utah State. It’s winning, as the Aggies haven’t advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1970.
Utah State is an excellent shooting team, ranking No. 13 in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Aggies can shoot from the inside or outside, ranking No. 11 in 3-point shooting and No. 36 in 2-point shots. Utah State is also solid from the foul line. The Aggies’ defense gets overshadowed by the offense but is pretty solid. Utah State is especially tough against the 2-pointer.
How They Got Here
The Aggies and San Diego State were both considered safe bets to make the NCAA Tournament regardless of which team won the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Utah State lost to the Aztecs in the championship game. The Aggies are ranked No. 18 by Ken Pomeroy.
Utah State was a solid 21-12 against the point spread this season and were strong down the stretch. The Aggies covered seven straight games before dropping the conference tournament championship game.
How Far Will They Go
The Aggies are unlikely to be leaving California with games remaining on the schedule. The winner of this game has to face No. 2 Arizona, which should bring an end to their season.
Missouri: All Offense, Little Defense
The Tigers the lock for the NCAA Tournament it was in the 1980s and the early 90s, but this is still the third trip in six seasons to the Big Dance for the Tigers. Missouri got here for one reason and one reason only. The Tigers can score.
Missouri is one of the few teams in the nation who can match Utah State offensively, ranking No. 10 in adjusted efficiency. The Tigers are strong from inside, outside and from the foul line. Missouri’s problem is defense, or lack of as the case may be. The Tigers were No. 178 in defensive efficiency.
How They Got Here
Missouri was a likely tournament selection after finishing in a fourth-place tie in the SEC’s college basketball standings. A win over Tennessee in the first round of the SEC tournament left no doubt the Tigers would be in the Big Dance.
The Tigers were inconsistent against the point spread this season, having a few winning streaks and losing streaks. It was only fitting the team finished 16-16-1 ATS for the year.
How Far Will They Go
Missouri is in the same boat as Utah State in that it should plan on being on the road too long. Even with a win here, the Tigers would need to get past Arizona in the second round and that is asking too much for a defensively challenged team.
Handicapping the Game
The Utah State vs Missouri betting odds are pretty telling in this game. A No. 10 seed is unlikely to be favored over a No. 7 seed unless there’s good reason. In this case it appears there is. The Aggies and Tigers are both strong offensively and you can’t give a real edge to one team or the other.
But Utah State is much better defensively than Missouri and that could very well be the difference in the game. The Tigers allowed opponents to hit 35.4% of their 3-point attempts this season. Teams shot 51.7% against Missouri from 2-point range. The offense is capable of picking up the slack, but now it’s facing a solid defensive team.
The Utah State vs Missouri point spread might be a shade low, as you can make a case the number should be Aggies -3. So, Utah State looks like the right side in this one. The moneyline at Utah State -130 is what you’d expect. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
The NCAAB basketball march madness odds on the total is a little on the low side, but Utah State’s defense makes it a tough call on the under in this one.
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