No. 25 San Diego State Aztecs at Utah State Aggies
Line: Utah State -1.5
Where: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Logan, Utah
When: Wednesday, 2/8 at 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
No. 25 San Diego State will be trying to remain atop the Mountain West standings when it travels to Utah State on Wednesday night.
The Aztecs already picked up one win over the Aggies this season, notching an 85-75 win as 7.5-point home favorites two weeks ago. They have won two of their three games since then, including a 72-52 win against Boise State last Friday.
Oddsmakers opened Utah State as a 1-point favorite on Tuesday afternoon, but that line quickly moved to -1.5. Wednesday night’s total is set at 147, which is two points higher than the total in the first matchup between these squads—that game flew ‘over’ the number, landing on 160 points.
Utah State has been playing high-scoring games of late, cashing the ‘over’ in eight of its last 10 games. The Aggies are the No. 1 3-point shooting team in the country, knocking down a blistering 40.8% of their attempts from the perimeter. They are No. 5 in overall effective field goal percentage (56.7) and have scored at least 70 points in eight straight games.
Their three-game winning streak since their loss to San Diego State has kept them in contention in the conference standings, as they are in a three-way tie with Boise State and Nevada. They knocked down 18 of 39 3-pointers in their win at Colorado State on Saturday, the fourth-most made 3-pointers in program history.
Junior point Steven Ashworth will be looking for a better effort against San Diego State after getting held to eight points in the first meeting. He has averaged 19.7 points in his three games since then, raising his average to a team-high 15.9. Ashworth poured in 26 points against the Rams over the weekend, drilling 8 of 17 from downtown.
Utah State will need to put together a strong showing offensively if it wants to take down a balanced San Diego State squad that is inside the top 30 in adjusted efficiency on both ends of the court. The Aztecs dropped three spots in the polls following their 75-66 loss at Nevada last Tuesday, despite following it up with a 72-52 win against Boise State on Friday after having a players-only meeting.
“Player-driven teams are always better than coach-driven teams,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said. “I told them after the game, ‘You’ll make out of the season whatever you want to make out of it. We’re here to facilitate that, to make it what you want it to be.’”
Backup shooting guard Adam Seiko poured in a career-high 25 points against the Aggies last month, knocking down seven consecutive 3-pointers to open the game. He has gone 6 of 15 from downtown since then, but the team is converting on just 34.4% of its attempts from the perimeter. Utah State has struggled to defend outside shots all season, ranked No. 314 in 3-point percentage (36.7).
Senior guard Matt Bradley leads San Diego State with 12.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Darrion Trammell is scoring 10.8 points and dishing out 3.7 assists, while junior guard Lamont Butler is adding 9.5 points.
San Diego State is 14-6 in the last 20 meetings between these teams, but it has only covered once in its last five games at Utah State. The Aztecs have won seven of their last eight road games, while Utah State is on a five-game home winning streak.
The pick: Utah State -1.5
San Diego State has struggled in its recent trips to Utah State, covering the spread just once in its last five trips to Logan. The Aggies are the type of team worth backing at home, as they are the top-ranked 3-point shooting team in college basketball. They are able to build on their crowd and use the familiarity with their arena to really boost their numbers at home, making this a different matchup than when these teams squared off last month in California. Utah State is 18-2 as a favorite this season, and the Aggies are 7-4 ATS at home.