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BYU vs San Francisco Picks and Odds (Jan. 15)

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Basketball

Jan 15, 2022 · 6:59 AM PST

Alex Barcello arms out defending
BYU guard Alex Barcello defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Gonzaga, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
  • The San Francisco Dons are 4.5-point home favorites over the BYU Cougars in an NCAA men’s basketball game scheduled for Saturday, January 15
  • The winner will claim second place in the West Coast Conference
  • BYU is ranked #30 in the NCAA NET ratings. San Francisco is ranked #31 – see who we like below

Statisically speaking, you couldn’t get a much closer matchup than Saturday’s showdown between the BYU Cougars and San Francisco Dons.

BYU (14-4, 2-1) sits at No. 30 in the NCAA’s NET rankings. USF (15-2, 2-0) is right behind the Cougars at #31.

The winning team in this game will claim hold on second place in the West Coast Conference. BYU was sitting atop the conference prior to Thursday’s 110-84 loss to perennial WCC champion Gonzaga.

It’s the hometown Dons that oddsmakers are going with as 4.5-point favorites over the visting Cougars.

Interestingly, BYU has never lost back-to-back games under current head coach Mark Pope. He took over as coach in 2019.

BYU vs San Francisco Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
BYU Cougars +162 +4.5 (-110) O 142 (-110)
San Francisco Dons -196 -4.5 (-110) U 142 (-110)

Odds as of January 15th at FanDuel.

Tipoff for Saturday’s game at War Memorial at the Sobrato Center is set for 11pm ET. The CBS Sports Network is carrying the broadcast of the game.

As a 4.5-point pick, the Dons are 5-7 against the spread this season when favored by that margin or greater. The total is set at 142 points. San Francisco is 3-2 on the over/under in games with a total of that level or higher. Set as -196 favorites in the moneyline, that gives the Dons an implied probability of victory of 66.22%. The Cougars are set at +162 underdogs, offering BYU an IP of winning at 38.17%.

BYU Are Liking The Total

This is the third time during the season that BYU will be playing a road game with a total of 142 points or higher. So far they’ve gone over both times. That includes Thursday’s game at Gonzaga.

In fact, six of the last seven BYU-USF games have gone over that 142 total. The Dons are 3-2 on the over/under this season when the total is set at 142 or higher. Seven of the last 10 BYU games have seen the total go over.

The Zags became the first team to shoot over 60% against the Cougars since 2005 en route to handing Pope his largest defeat at BYU.

Freshman forward Fousseyni Traore has 23 blocks in 17 games this season. That’s the 10th-most by a freshman in program history. Traore also leads BYU in rebounding, grabbing 7.8 boards per game.

Senior guard Alex Barcello is leading the Cougars in scoring. He’s averaging 16.8 points per game. Barcello has a Bayesian Performance Rating of 39.0 according to EvanMiya, which combines offensive and defensive efficiency.

Spread Is A San Francisco Treat

The Dons are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games against the Cougars. Consistency is proving to be a USF trademark so far this season. The Dons have sent out the same five starters in all 17 games.

Junior guard Jamaree Bouyea is the leading scorer for USF with 17.8 ppg. Bouyea ranks in the top 25 nationally in 3-pointers (11th) and field goal percentage (22nd, 52.8%). He’s scored in double figures in 14 games this season.

Graduate student forward Yauhen Massalski has pulled down a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game. He’s recorded four double-doubles this season.

Overall, the Dons currently rank 17th in the nation in total three-point field goals made (158), 20th in three-point field goal defense (28.1), 24th in field goal percentage (48.5) and 25th in three-point field goals per game (9.9).

Cougars vs Dons Prediction

BYU is 12-3 straight up against the Dons in their last 15 games, including three straight wins. In their last meeting on February 25, 2021 in Provo, Barcello set a school record. He went 7-of-7 from 3-point range as the Cougars won 79-73. The Cougars are 8-6 SU at San Francisco and 20-9 SU overall when facing the Dons.

While San Francisco is 15-2 SU this season and 11-0 SU in the school’s last 11 home games, the Dons are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games and 3-7 ATS in the last 10 contests against WCC opposition.

Pik: BYU Cougars +4.5 (-110)

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