NCAA Basketball Picks: San Diego State vs. Colorado State

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 2:43 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 2:43 PM GMT

The San Diego State Aztecs have the best statistical defense in the country this season, as they prepare to take on the Colorado State Rams on New Year’s Day.
Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Mountain West Conference matchup at Moby Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.
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Getting after it defensively
 
San Diego State is the first major college basketball team to hold three consecutive opponents to less than 40 points, as it now tries to extend a six-game win streak in conference-opening games.
 
The Aztecs are first in the country in allowing 52.6 points per game, with opposing teams shooting just 33.9 percent against them.
 
Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 1-2 SUATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points.
 
A lengthy homestand
 
Colorado State has compiled a 9-4 SU and 1-6 ATS record this season, as it prepares to host the final game of a 10-game homestand.
 
The Rams have compiled a 39-4 SU record at this venue since the start of the 2011-12 season, while it has captured three of its last four home games against ranked opponents.
 
Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 2-3 SU and 0-3-2 ATS against teams with a winning record.
 
Series history
 
College basketball handicappers need to take a long look at the Aztecs in this spot, as they’ve won 14 of their last 16 regular-season match-ups against the Rams.
 
San Diego State has actually handed Colorado State two of its last 12 home losses, but it’s important to point out that each of the last four meetings between the teams have been decided by 10 points or less.
 
Areas of interest
 
The Rams have a chance of pulling off an upset, as they rank second in the country in averaging just 8.7 turnovers per game.  
 
Colorado State also ranks sixth in college basketball in scoring 292 points from the charity stripe, while sitting behind just nine teams in terms of free-throw attempts.

Prediction
 
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Aztecs for their college basketball picks, as they’ve gone 36-17-2 ATS in their last 55 road games.
 
College Basketball Pick: San Diego State Aztecs -4.5
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