Nevada Wolf Pack at San Diego State Aztecs – NCAAM January 7

Nevada (8-3, 2-1) at San Diego State (7-2, 1-1)

  • Time: 7PM PST | 8PM CST | 10PM EST
  • Location: Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
  • NAT TV: CBS Sports Network

Series

San Diego State leads the series 19-6 and holds a 7-0 lead at home inside of Mountain West play. The Aztecs swept the season series last year with a 68-55 win at home and an 83-76 win in Reno. SDSU has won six of the last seven in the series and 14 of 17 since Mountain West play began for the two teams in 2012-13.

Vs. The Spread

Nevada is 4-1 ATS in it’s last five games but 2-5 in it’s last seven games against San Diego State when discussing the line. The OVER has been the play in six of the Wolf Pack’s last seven contests and the OVER has been the norm in four of the Aztecs’ last five games. In the last six games in Viejas Arena against Nevada, the total has gone UNDER in all six of those games.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Nevada +13.5 (-110) +700 O 135 (-110)
San Diego State -13.5 (-110) -1100 U 135 (-110)

Last Time Out

With the Mountain West playing the back-to-back format, the Wolf Pack grabbed a sweep of New Mexico last weekend in 68-54 and 84-74 decisions at Lubbock (Tex.) Christian University. Point guard Grant Sherfield averaged 24 points, five assists and four boards in those two games.

San Diego State split it’s back-to-back with Colorado State in a dramatic fashion as the Aztecs blew a 36-10 first half lead in game one which allowed the Rams to take a 70-67 win. SDSU jumped out to a 21-6 lead on Monday night and led all the way in taking a 78-65 decision. The Aztecs shot 67.9 percent from the floor in the first half as senior guard Jordan Schakel finished with 28 points and was 8-of-11 from 3-point range.

Howling Wolves

Nevada Wolf Pack LogoNevada had to replace four starters from last season, but coach Steve Alford did an excellent job of identifying transfers who fit his system and the chemistry between the group has been impressive with the solid start. Point guard Grant Sherfield has seen his game bourgeon from where he was at Wichita State a year go as he leads Nevada in scoring at 17.2 points per game whole dishing 5.2 assists and shooting 43.2 percent in 33.6 minutes per outing. Sherfield runs the attack well with Brown transfer Desmond Cambridge (15.4 ppg) leading the 3-point game with 30 makes. Sherfield, Cambridge, and Oregon State transfer Warren Washington scored 107 of Nevada’s 152 points in the two-game sweep of New Mexico.

Aztec Uprising

San Diego State Aztecs LogoThink Brian Dutcher and the Aztecs, you think about a tough style of half-court defense that intends to turn teams over and get SDSU in transition where the Aztecs often finish at the rim or Matt Mitchell, Terrell Gomez and Jordan Schakel find threes in transition. Nevada is at a (-1.3) in turnover margin while San Diego State is at a (+3.9). Gomez, a CSUN transfer, and his matchup with Sherfield will be a huge key in this game. The Aztecs are currently 15th in scoring defense (60.1 ppg) and 22nd in defensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com.

The guards take care of the ball inside the offense where the Aztecs are one of the top 3-point shooting teams (38.3%) in D-1 hoops. Shackel has been incredible (45.9%) while making 28-of-61 triiples. Trey Pulliam starts on the point, but he and Gomez split the duties which underlines the depth and the versatility that Dutcher has within this group. Leading scorer Matt Mitchell (14.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg) is a matchup issue for the Wolf Pack as a 6-6 athletic Stretch-4.

Nathan Mensah’s (9.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) absence in the paint will provide an opportunity for Nevada’s Washington (8.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Zane Meeks (10.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) to be more dominant inside although SDSU may force Nevada’s hand with a quicker lineup that could take Nevada out of any of it’s game plan in using the bigs inside.

Winner: San Diego State 71, Nevada (+13.5) 64
Over-Under: Take OVER 135

The Bets
Nevada Wolf Pack +13.5
-110
OVER 135
-110
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.