The Washington State Cougars are coming off a heartbreaking last second loss to Gonzaga while Fresno State has played well on the road. Take the points with the Bulldogs Sunday.
The road team looks like a bit of an overlay Sunday when the Fresno State Bulldogs (5-3, 3-2 away) pay a visit to the Washington State Cougars (5-4, 5-1 home) at the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum in Pullman, WA at 3:00 ET in a game available on the Pac-12 Network.
The point spread at Bookmaker Sportsbook has Fresno State as a decided underdog for this contest at a current line of +7 at odds of -110.
Fresno State has actually been one of the best ATS teams in the country in the early going as the Bulldogs are 6-1 against the NCAA Basketball odds including a perfect 5-0 ATS on the road! The eighth game on their schedule was a non-lined 84-49 win over Division II San Diego Christian at home in their last game on Thursday.
Fresno State makes the move to the Mountain West Conference this season from the WAC, and the mid-major MWC finished sixth as a whole in the Pomeroy Conference Standings last season, ranked ahead of the major Pac-12. Well, the Mountain West is off to another banner start this season, going a nation’s best 60-16 straight up in early non-conference play so far while going 32-26-2, 55.2 percent ATS in its lined games.
The only non-cover by Fresno State so far came in a home loss to Long Beach State, a loss the Bulldogs avenged by beating the 49ers in Long Beach 64-59 this past Monday. They are playing very good defense right now, ranking 17th in the country in points allowed at 55.9 points per game, a figure that rises only slightly to a still excellent 56.9 points when you factor out the one Division II win.
That defense will always make Fresno State dangerous when getting this many points, as it has yet to allow one single team to reach 70 points. That streak has a very good chance to continue today vs. a Washington State team that is averaging 64.7 points per game. Also take note of Fresno’s 3-2 straight up record on the road with the two losses coming by a combined total of five points, helping explain the 5-0 ATS away mark.
The Cougars are in a huge letdown spot here as they fought then undefeated Gonzaga down to the wire in a 71-69 loss here in Pullman on Wednesday. Remember that Gonzaga is nationally ranked and is an in-state rival, so the 5-4 Cougars exerted a lot of energy on that game as 11½-point underdogs and may not have much left in the tank for this less marquee opponent.
Washington State has not beaten much this season either, as looking at its five wins the highest ranked team on the Pomeroy Ratings that it has beaten is 190th ranked Idaho. Fresno State is ranked higher than that at 113th. Also the Cougars do not shoot three-pointers (ranked 185th) and free throws (160th) particularly well, which could make it hard to get some separation from the Bulldogs especially given this point spread.
The Cougars may win this game playing at home, although even that is not a given, but the Fresno State defense and the Washington State letdown spot has us liking the Bulldogs plus the points on Sunday.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Fresno State +7 (-110)