The Nevada Wolf Pack are in Utah looking to stay hot against the Utah State Aggies on Friday night. The Mountain West is a wide-open affair, and two of the best in the conference needed overtime to decide a winner last night. San Diego State pulled away from Boise State in extra time for a 78-66 win. The Aztecs were in control of that game in the first-half, but allowed things to get away in the second-half and out scored 46-34.
You can certainly argue that San Diego State is going to win the Mountain West Tournament. However, the argument could also be made for Boise State, Nevada, Colorado State, and Utah State. San Diego State has taken the lead in the Mountain West, as they moved to 12-3 in the Mountain West and 18-4 overall last night. The Wolf Pack have been playing solid basketball recently, and can’t be discounted in the conference tournament, though.
Nevada goes into Friday night on a four-game winning streak. That includes a sweep of Boise State in Reno, 74-72 and 73-62. Grant Sherfield got hot from the field, as he poured in 29 points and 20 points in the two contests. Nevada is coming off a layoff after most recently having to cancel a game against St. John’s due to Covid-19. That would have been an interesting matchup against the Red Storm, but this matchup against Utah State should be a good one.
There will be some fans in attendance for this game. It will be the first time this season that Nevada has played in front of spectators, though I’m not sure a small crowd at Utah State is going to make much of a difference. Utah State checks into this game with a record of 11-4 in the conference and 14-7 overall. The Aggies are in a tight battle with the Wolf Pack, who are 9-5 and the same at 14-7 on the season. Head below for our free Nevada vs. Utah State pick on February 26, 2021.
Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Utah State Aggies NCAA Betting Odds:
Nevada vs. Utah State Prediction:
Nevada has been hot in recent outings, but we’ll see if the brief layoff hurt them any. If they bring their full potential to Utah on Friday night, then Utah State is likely going to be in for a tight battle. The Wolf Pack don’t really have any glaring holes in their roster. They are a well-balanced team that is consistently effective offensively and defensively. Nevada ranks in the top-100 in the country on defense. The Wolf Pack are 92nd in the NCAA with 67.1 points against per game. If the defense isn’t playing at an optimal level, then the Nevada offense has stepped up in spots.
Overall, Nevada has recorded 73 points per game for 136th. Nothing special, but Grant Sherfield’s presence is certainly enough for Nevada to be a competitive team. In their last five outings, Nevada has scored 79.2 points per game, while conceding 69.8 points per game. They are far from flashy, but their balanced approach should be able to stay in this game against the Aggies. Utah State is 102nd in the NCAA with 74.7 points per game. Offensively, these two are on an even playing field. Nevada and Utah State are both steady on offense. Nothing spectacular, but consistently solid.
The Aggies are coming off back-to-back losses against Boise State, 81-77 and 79-70. That’s a win for Nevada, as the Wolf Pack are fresh off back-to-back wins against Boise State. Prior to those two losses, Utah State wasn’t looking too hot against inferior opponents as well. The Aggies were 59-56 losers against UNLV, though they did manage to respond for a 83-74 win. However, that still wasn’t an overly impressive effort.
Then Utah State pulled away against a bad Fresno State squad, 69-53. If we want to go back further to January 21, before the loss against UNLV, Utah State looked vulnerable in a 84-76 loss against Colorado State. In their previous five showings, Utah State has put in an average of 71 points per game, while conceding 69.2 points per contest. I’m not so sure I would be quick to lay 7.5 points on Utah State right now. Nevada appears to hold the value in this matchup. I’d take the points in what should be a tighter final score than 8 points of separation.