Some of the most profitable college basketball betting trends are hiding in the smaller conferences, and one of the best ATS teams in the nation takes center stage on Friday night as the Nevada Wolf Pack face the Utah State Aggies.
Both of these teams are jockeying for position in a very competitive Mountain West Conference and a win would go a long way towards a coveted spot in the NCAA tournament next month.
Here are our best free Nevada vs. Utah State picks and predictions for NCAA basketball action on Friday, February 26, with tipoff at 9 p.m. ET.
Nevada Wolf Pack at Utah State Aggies betting preview
Utah State: None.
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Betting trend to know
The Wolf Pack are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Nevada vs. Utah State.
NCAAB sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
FanDuel opened Utah State 7.5-point chalk late Thursday night, then late this morning moved the Aggies to -8 and onto -8.5, where the line remains at 6 p.m. ET. However, the betting splits run counter to the line movement, with ticket count and money both 2/1 on Nevada. The total opened at 141 and spent a few minutes this morning at 140.5 before returning to the opener, with 52 percent of bets and 74 percent of money on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Against the spread (ATS) pick
The Wolf Pack are 14-7 SU and 15-5 ATS this season but will need to shake off the rust, having not played since February 7 after their last two series were canceled. The last time they played was a two-game set against Boise State which they won outright as underdogs.
The Wolf Pack are led by guard Grant Sherfield and his 18.9 points and 6.2 assists per game. They've put up 79.2 points per game over their last five contests, shooting 48.3 percent from the field over that span.
They're also excellent on the defensive end of the floor, where they hold opponents to just 40 percent shooting on the season.
Utah State is even better defensively, limiting foes to 39.5 percent shooting. That said, the Aggies are coming off back-to-back losses to Boise State and are 2-4 SU and ATS in their last six games.
Even with Nevada coming off a lengthy break, 8.5 points is too much to spot a strong squad that is 5-0 ATS as an underdog this season. Take the Wolf Pack with the points.
PREDICTION: Nevada +8.5 (-110)
Both of these programs are solid on the offensive end of the court, with Utah State ranking fifth in the Mountain West Conference with 74.7 ppg and Nevada one spot behind them with 73 ppg.
However, it's been on defense where they have really shined. The Aggies are ninth in the country in defensive efficiency, holding foes to 88.2 points per 100 possessions.
Utah State is led by center Neemias Queta who averages 9.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game and was just named a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist.
Meanwhile, Nevada is holding foes to 66.4 ppg in conference play and has allowed 65 or fewer points in six of its last eight contests. While the Wolf Pack might have some early hiccups on offense as they shake off the rust, they should be their usual stingy selves when it comes to defending.
With the Mountain West Conference Tournament beginning in Las Vegas in just two weeks, expect a playoff atmosphere with defensive intensity from both sides and bet the Under.
PREDICTION: Under 141 (-110)
Nevada vs Utah State betting card
- Nevada +8.5 (-110)
- Under 141 (-110)
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