NCAA Basketball Pick: Nevada Wolf Pack +2½ over Fresno State

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, January 19, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

This is a huge game for the underdog Nevada Wolf Pack, as they are off to an 0-2 start in the Mountain West and have five tough games up next. Take Nevada over Fresno State.

The road team may be playing with a sense of desperation on Saturday night when the Nevada Wolf Pack (9-7, 1-5 away) pay a visit to the Fresno State Bulldogs (7-9, 4-4 home) at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA at 10:00 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Nevada as a small underdog for this contest with the current line at +2½ with odds of -108.

This is a huge game for Nevada as it is looking to avoid an 0-3 start in Mountain West Conference play after going a nice 9-5 during the non-conference part of its schedule including a nice road win at Washington out of the Pac-12. The importance of this game becomes even more magnified when looking at the Wolf Pack’s upcoming schedule.

You see, the next five Nevada games in order are vs. San Diego State, Boise State, UNLV, New Mexico and Colorado State. For those of you scoring at home, those are five of the six Mountain West teams currently ranked in the Pomeroy Top 50, a key reason why the conference is ranked fourth in the country as a whole ahead of the major Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

The sixth Mountain West team in the Pomeroy Top 50 is Wyoming, who the Wolf Pack lost to 59-48 last time out while shooting just 29.0 percent from the floor. Now Nevada is not a fantastic shooting team, but it is not as bad as it looked against the Cowboys either as it is at 42.8 percent for the season while averaging 70.4 points per game.

The Wolf Pack are a young club with only one senior playing any significant minutes in Malik Story, but he is the team’s second leading scorer at 15.3 points per game and he is half of a nice scoring duo with junior Deonte Burton, who leads the club at 16.5 points per contest. If those two are on top of there game, Fresno State could have trouble keeping pace as the Bulldogs are one of the worst shooting teams in the country.

The Bulldogs are ranked just 130th overall by Pomeroy, and this could be a letdown spot after a 49-36 upset of Wyoming that probably set basketball back 60 years! An ugly win is still a win though, so at least the Bulldogs have a conference win after an 0-2 start.

Unfortunately, even though they got away with it this time around, ugly shooting by the Bulldogs has become a way of life. Fresno State ranks 327th out o 347 Division I teams in effective field goal percentage at 42.7 percent, ranking 333rd in two-point shooting and 257th in three-point shooting!

That kind of shooting always makes the Bulldogs dicey propositions as favorites, and facing a motivated Nevada team does not help matters either. Take the Nevada Wolf Pack as small underdogs Saturday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Nevada +2½ (-108)

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