Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
UTAH ST -18½ over San Jose St
9:00 PM EST. San Jose STate is a program that’s completely out of its depth in the Mountain West. That’s not just on the court – in the analysis of national basketball budgets, San Jose State is at the second-largest financial disadvantage in the country, relative to the conference’s median spending. It’s hard to expect much of a team that is limited in such a fundamental way, but the Spartans’ recent dismal results have lagged behind even the most tepid of prognostications. Entering his fourth year at the helm, Coach Jean Prioleau is a disastrous 15-77 overall (5-49 in the MWC) and while we are in the buy-low/sell high business, this wager is more about getting behind the Aggies at a deflated price. San Jose St just happens to the Aggies opponent today.
It’s been a tough start so far for the Aggies, dropping two of three games at the Bad Boy Mowers’ Crossover Classic against stiff competition and then falling at home to archrival BYU before a nothing win over Northern Colorado on Friday. A big part of that has been brutal shooting splits from downtown, and opponents’ 81.8% conversion rate at the free throw line, which is entirely unsustainable. The Aggies have tremendous size inside with Neemias Queta, Justin Bean, and Trevin Dorius, helping them rank 5th nationally in defensive rebound rate, and the defense could become quite stout if foes start missing shots at a reasonable rate.
Given the resource limitations, SJSU is perpetually in a difficult position while competing against the rest of the Mountain West and the lack of any true paint presence on either end of the floor has proven to be a crippling flaw. This is a horrible matchup for the Spartans and it comes at a time when the Aggies stock is low.
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UTAH ST -18½ -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)