- Utah State will attempt to sweep weekend series against Nevada Wolf Pack at 7pm ET Sunday
- The Aggies have clinched one of first first-round byes in the league tournament and still have a shot at the regular-season title
- Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below
Utah State (15-7, 12-4 Mountain West) looks to complete a sweep of a weekend series against Nevada when it hosts the Wolf Pack in a Mountain West game at 7 pm ET Sunday. The Aggies are one of four teams still in the running for the regular-season title.
Nevada (14-8, 9-6) trimmed a 21-point second-half deficit to two in the final minute of a 75-72 loss to the Aggies on Friday. The Wolf Pack easily covered the nine-point spread and are a notable 11-2 ATS starting with a victory at New Mexico on New Year’s Eve.
Nevada vs Utah State Odds
|Nevada Wolf Pack||+300||+8 (-110)||Ov 141 (-116)|
|Utah State Aggies||-375||-8 (-110)||Un 141 (-106)|
Odds from FanDuel on Feb 27.
Nevada played Friday for the first time after a 19-day stoppage due to coronavirus issues in its program. The break forced postponement of a pair of two-game series against San Jose State and Colorado State, but the Wolf Pack will make up one game against each next week.
Top Mountain West Players Meet Again
The top candidates for the Mountain West Player of the Year, Nevada point guard Grant Sherfield and Utah State center Neemias Queta, make their cases again Sunday. Both suffered through poor shooting nights in the series opener.
Sherfield, second in the league in scoring at 18.6 points a game, had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting Friday. He was 3-of-7 from three-point range and had six assists, a steal and six turnovers. A 6-foot-2 transfer from Wichita State, Sherfield leads the league with 6.2 assists per game and a 2.4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Queta had 16 points and 17 rebounds, with 10 of his points coming from the free throw line, while shooting 3-of-9 from the field. Queta took over the league lead in rebounding after the game with a 9.6 average per game. Colorado State’s David Roddy at 9.3.
The 7-foot Queta had three blocked shots, equalling his league-leading average. He is fifth in NCAA Division I in blocked shots per game and Sherfield is 12th in assists.
Teams Leaning in Different Directions
Utah State broke a two-game losing streak in the opener Friday but has lost four of seven while also enduring a 13-day stoppage because of COVID health and safety concerns.
Utah State, Oregon, Xavier and even No. 2 Baylor.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) February 25, 2021
Since since opening the conference with a 9-0 start that included a two-game home sweep of title contender San Diego State, the Aggies have split series against Colorado State and UNLV and were swept on the road by Boise State.
Nevada has gone the other way in coach Steve Alford’s second year. The Wolfpack have won six of nine since being swept by San Diego State. Home sweeps of UNLV and Boise State turned the season around preceding its 19-day hiatus.
By sweeping UNLV, Nevada all but guaranteed itself one of five first-round byes in the league tournament. One win in the last three games would do it. UNLV (8-8) has two games remaining.
Utah State and Nevada are 2-3 in the Mountain West in opponents’ field goal percentage, fractions apart at 39.6% and 40.2%, respectively.
Neither shot particularly well Friday — the Aggies made 44.2% and the Wolf Pack made 41.4% — but both were outstanding from distance. Nevada made 13-of-26 3-pointers and Utah State went 11-of-21. Both teams well above their average in makes per game.
Wolf Pack guard Desmond Cambridge (15.6 points per game) was 5-of-11 from distance and has made 61 threes, fourth in the league. Justin Bean, Alphonso Anderson and Brock Miller had three threes apiece for the Aggies. Bean had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) February 7, 2021
Utah State Has Injury Concerns
Aggies wing Brock Miller (9.5 points a game) had 10 points while playing through a back injury that caused him to miss time late in the first half Friday, and freshman point guard Rollie Worster missed his third straight game with a right foot injury. He has no timetable to return, coach Craig Smith said.
Without Worster on Friday, the Aggies started a bigger group, with 6-foot-6 Anderson making his first start. The Aggies had a 38-28 rebounding edge but also committed 16 turnovers. Utah State has a plus-10.4 rebound margin this season.
By the Numbers
KenPom ranks Utah State No. 25 in adjusted defensive efficiency, second in the Mountain West to San Diego State (No. 12) and ahead of Virginia, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas.
Utah State is 5-3 ATS in Mountain West home games and Nevada is 5-3 ATS in league road games. After covering 10 in a row, the Aggies have failed to cover five of their last seven and are 0-2 ATS at home in that stretch.
Both teams are 5-2 ATS in the second game of a Mountain West weekend series, so there is that. But now is hardly the time to get off the Wolf Pack train.
The pick: Nevada +8 (-110)
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