College Basketball Betting — Utah State Has Tough Task Visiting #6 San Diego State

The San Diego State Aztecs may have hurt their opportunity to garner a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for themselves by losing on the road last week. But when they are on their own home floor, they are very tough to beat.

On Tuesday night they will suit up to take on an opponent that was troublesome to them earlier in the season when they tackle the Utah State Aggies in college basketball betting action that begins at 11 PM ET at the Viejas Arena in San Diego. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Utah State is 15-10 straight-up on the season and has compiled a mark of 14-9 against the basketball odds. San Diego State is 22-2 straight-up and 12-9 against the number. The Aztecs are ranked #6 by the Associated Press and #7 in the latest USA Today coaches poll.

In the college basketball betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at WagerWeb, the Aztecs are laying double digits:

San Diego State Aztecs -10
Utah State Aggies +10

Over 127.5 points -110
Under 127.5 points -110

These are two very well-coached teams. Steve Fisher, who is the head man at San Diego State, is former national champion from his time at the University of Michigan, and he has built a national power in a place where they didn’t have much of that previously. Utah State’s Stew Morrill is one of the most well-respected coaches in the Mountain West and is always known to have teams with exceptional shooting ability.

This year is no exception. The Aggies are hitting 46.6% from the field, which doesn’t necessarily put them among the national leaders but they are also 41.4% from three-point range, which makes them as accurate as the Creighton Bluejays (who are notorious for long-range bombing) in this category.

San Diego State is known among WagerWeb customers for its defense, having surrendered just 37.7% shooting to its opponents. But hat has not always held true on the road. In fact, several teams have shot better than 50% when SDSU has come visiting. One of those clubs was the Wyoming Cowboys, who demonstrated that Laramie could be a real trap for Mountain West opponents, as they hit 58% of their shots and chalked up a 68-62 victory that spoiled the Aztecs’ opportunity to set a school record with their 21st consecutive win.

Utah State had the chance to end that winning streak even earlier. The first meeting took place on January 25, and San Diego State had a very rough time dealing with the Aggies, particularly on the perimeter, where Morrill’s team hit nine of 18 three-pointers and shot almost 53% form the field. It illustrated that the SDSU defensive prowess doesn’t always travel al that well. It was fortunate for the Aztecs that they were able to gain an advantage in the lane, as they were able to get to the free throw line 29 times. Utah State shot only seven free throws and turned the ball over 17 times as opposed to only six for SDSU as the Aztecs won 74-69 and covered as a three-point favorite in the NCAA basketball odds.

So we know that San Diego State finds ways to win, and that Utah State (a +420 underdog to win in the money line at WagerWeb) probably needs to attack the basket a little more. Their long-range shooting most likely won’t work as well at Viejas, where the Aztecs have limited the opposition to less than 22% from beyond the arc. Utah State went cold on Saturday, shooting 34% in a 73-62 loss at home against UNLV.

San Diego State’s last outing got them back in the win column after the loss at Wyoming, but for college basketball bettors, it was not awe-inspiring. In beating Air Force, they played defense, limiting the Falcons to 37.5% from the field, but they shot just 42%, and this illustrates another problem, as they have exceeded that 42% only twice in the last nine games.

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