Upcoming Match-ups

BYU vs Missouri State Picks and Odds (Dec. 4)

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Dec 4, 2021 · 12:09 AM PST

Gideon George
BYU's Gideon George, left, and Alex Barcello, right, celebrate as they walk off the court following an NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
  • No. 12 BYU is a 2.5-point road favorite against Missouri State on Saturday
  • The Cougars enter after their first loss of the season
  • Read below for analysis and a betting prediction

No. 12 BYU (6-1) is a 2.5-point road favorite against Missouri State on Saturday in Springfield, Mo., at 4 pm ET on the CBS Sports Network. BYU will drop in the next AP Top 25 after its first defeat of the season Wednesday.

Missouri State (4-3) took third place in the Naples (Fla.) Invitational over the Thanksgiving break, with a first-round victory over Long Beach State that included a 23-0 run.

BYU vs Missouri State

Team Moneyline Spread Total
BYU Cougars -146 -2.5 (-110) Over 139.5 (-115)
Missouri State Bears +122 +2.5 (-110) Under 139.5 (-105)

Odds from FanDuel on Dec. 3

The Cougars of the West Coast Conference have beaten Power 6 teams San Diego State, Oregon and Utah in an attempt to bolster their resume for the NCAA tournament committee, which will identify the 68-team field on March 13.

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Being in a league with Gonzaga prioritizes non-conference victories against Power 6 foes, and Missouri State of the Missouri Valley is n the same resume-building boat in this one.

Both teams are coming off overtime losses. The Cougars, who make a point of scheduling the other four NCAA Division I schools in Utah, were upset 72-65 at Utah Valley on Wednesday after tying the game on a basket with 1.7 seconds left. Missouri  State lost to Illinois State 79-74 after leading by nine with four minutes remaining.

BYU Hits a Roadblock

The Cougars ran into one of the best (and least appreciated) big men in NCAA Division I in Utah Valley’s 6’11 Fardaws Aimaq in their loss on Wednesday.

BYU had no answer for Aimaq, who had 24 points and 22 rebounds and had a hand in limiting the Cougars to a season-low 31.9 percent shooting from the field and 7 for 27 from three-point range.

The Cougars made only five field goals in the final eight minutes of regulation and the overtime period, and they committed a season-high 14 turnovers. They are averaging 10.9 turnovers per game.

Fifth-year senior guard Alex Barcello, who began his career at Arizona, leads the team in scoring at 18.3 points per game and is averaging 3.3 assists. Guard Te’Jon Lucas is averaging 11.1 points and a team-high 5.0 assists.

Bears’ 1-2 Punch

All-Missouri Valley players Gaige Prim and Isaiah Mosley are 1-2 in most offensive categories for the veteran Bears, who returned all five starters from a 17-7 team and added a pair of transfer guards who are contributing.

Prim, a 6’8 senior, is averaging 20 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots while shooting 65.4 percent from the floor. He had 27 points and 12 rebounds and was 13 of 15 from the field in the loss to Illinois State in the Missouri Valley opener Wednesday. He is ninth in Division I with four double-doubles and 15th in rebounding.

Mosley, a 6’5 junior, is averaging 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds after leading the Missouri Valley in scoring at 19.8 a year ago, when he finished third in the league MVP voting, Loyola’s Cameron Krutwig was first. Mosley has made 22 of 24 free-throw attempts.

IUPIU transfer off guard Jalen Minnett is averaging 12.8 points off the bench behind Valparaiso transfer starter Donovan Clay and is 18 for 34 from distance, with a made three in 19 straight games.

BYU Suffers a Blow

The Cougars suffered an impactful loss at Utah Valley when starting forward 6’9 Gavin Baxter suffered a season-ending injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He went to the floor without taking any contact midway through the first half and had to be helped off the court.

Baxter was an integral part of the rotation, averaging 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 65 percent from the floor in his return from a season-ending right knee injury suffered in the second game of the 2020-21 season. He played only seven games tin 2019-20 after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

The loss of Baxter further thins a Cougars’ frontcourt that is without 6’11 junior center Richard Harward, who has not played this season because of a cardiovascular issue. Starting junior forward 6’6 Gideon George (5.7 points, 7.0 rebounds) missed the Utah Valley game because of illness.

The Cougars, are 14th in Division I with a plus-10.1 rebound margin, and 6’8 freshman Caleb Lohner. leads the team at 7.7 boards per game. Freshmen 6’11 Atiki Ally Atiki and 6’7 Fousseyni Traore saw 32 minutes after Baxter went down Wednesday. Traore is averaging 6.5 rebounds in 21 minutes a game.

By the Numbers

BYU is 3-3 ATS, 2-3 as a favorite, and it was 4-1 as a road favorite a year ago. Missouri State is 3-4 ATS, 0-2 at home.  The teams have split their two previous meetings, the last in 1987.

The Cougars are 26th in KenPom in adjusted efficiency margin and are one of 19 teams in the top 33 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, a concession that the loss at Utah Valley was not a grand disaster. Missouri State is 73rd in adjusted efficiency margin.

The Bears are looking for their first victory over a ranked opponent since a 76-75 victory at No. 21 Creighton on Dec. 28, 2011. They took No. 6 Wichita State to overtime before losing on Jan. 11, 2014. The matchups favor a close game here.

The pick:  Missouri State +2.5 (-110)

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