Utah State Aggies at Boise State Broncos – NCAAM February 17

Utah State (14-5, 7-2)  at Boise State (16-4, 12-3)

  • Time: 6 PST – 8 CST – 9 EST
  • Place: Extra Mile Arena, Boise, Idaho
  • TV: CBSSN

Opening Tip:

This back-to-back is a showdown for first place in the Mountain West Conference as the second game will take place on Friday evening. Utah State had won two in a row before a covid pause caused postponement of three games over the past two weeks. Boise State is 2-3 over it’s last five games.

Utah State has a 34-16 lead over Boise State all-time and has won four out of the last five in the series. The Broncos have a 12-10 record in Boise and have won four of their last five home games in the series.

Vs. The Spread

Utah State:

  • The Aggies are a hefty 12-2 ATS int heir last 14 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 7 of the last 10 Aggies games
  • USU is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games

Boise State:

  • The Broncos are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games
  • Boise State is 1-7 ATS in the last 8 games vs. Utah State in Boise
  • The Broncos are 10-0 SU in their last 10 home games

Last Time Out:

Neemias Queta had 14 points and five blocked shots as Utah State defeated Fresno State, 69-53, on Feb. 4. The second game of the back-to-back was postponed due to covid protocol.

Derrick Alston, Jr., scored 27 points and coach Leon Rice became the winningest coach in Boise State history as the Broncos edged UNLV, 61-59 on Sunday. Alston nailed six three-point shots and Mladen Armus had eight points and 13 boards to pace Boise State.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Utah State +1½ (-111) +105 O 137½ (-130))
Boise State -1½ (-109) -125 U 137½ (+110)

Advantage, Utah State:

Utah State Aggies LogoThe Aggies put together a 10-game winning streak after their first covid break back in December, so history says Utah State should up to the task in Boise this week. The style and precision of the Aggies three-point offense is what coach Craig Smith is essentially know for; however, this team is the top Mountain West team in defensive field goal efficiency as well as effective field goal percentage. They hold their opponents to 38.5 percent from the field while allowing 61 points per game. The matchup with a more athletic Boise State team will be interesting as the Broncos lead the MWC in scoring at 77 points per game and they are solid from behind the three-point line at 34.9 percent.

Key Aggies Stat:

Utah State is the only MW team three players ranked in the top ten in rebounds in league play as Neemias Queta (9.4 rpg – MW), Justin Bean (7.0 rpg) and Marco Anthony (5.8 rpg) give the Aggies extra possessions on offense and start the transition game with the defensive boards. The Aggies are third in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage with a 20.7 percentage.

X-Factor:

Offensive efficiency is at a peak with this Utah State team as Smith has five consistent starters and seven players averaging between 12.5 points and 6.1 points per game. Queeta (12.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg) is the leader on both ends of the floor as he averages 12.5 points, but also has 58 blocks and 22 steals. Boise State’s 7-footer Mladen Armus has to stay out of foul trouble vs, Queeta on the interior.

Advantage, Boise State:

Boise State Broncos LogoBoise State wants to get the Aggies into a transition game where Derrick Alston, Jr., (17.0 ppg, 42.6% -3) is in the open floor and finding his three-game. Abu Kigab, Marcus Shaver, and RayJ Dennis can give the Aggies matchup problems in pushing tempo and finding gaps and lanes to penetrate. Making Queeta move on the inside is a must and then making the extra pass to hopefully get him out of shot-blocking position. He has a 7’5” wingspan which can dictate opposing offenses.

Key Broncos Stat:

In the last six games where the Broncos have gone 3-3, Boise State hasn’t been as consistent on offense as the Broncos shot 43.3 percent, which is is 3.5 percent less than it’s season average.

X-Factor:

Emmanuel Akot averaged 12.7 points and 3.7 boards of his last four games as he is becoming another figure on game plans for Boise State’s opponents. Akot has made 20-of-38 shots in that run as he had missed five games this season due to injuries.

Winner: Boise State (-1½) 70, Utah State 63

The Bets
Boise State -1½
-109
Boise State
-125
UNDER 137½
+110
Sub Categories:
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.