NCAA Basketball Pick: Wyoming -3½ over Fresno State

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Wyoming is now 14-1 after a nice road win at Nevada last out where it held the Wolf Pack to 29.0 percent shooting, and the Cowboys should have no problem containing Fresno State.

The visiting team looks to have the substantial edge over a conference newcomer in Mountain West play on Wednesday night when the Wyoming Cowboys (14-1, 5-0 away) pay a visit to the Fresno State Bulldogs (6-9, 3-4 home) at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA at 10:00 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Wyoming as a modest road favorite for this contest with the current line at -3½ with odds of -105.

Do not look now, but the mid-major Mountain West Conference is the fourth ranked conference as a whole on the Pomeroy Ratings, ahead of three major conferences in the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC, and the 14-1 Wyoming Cowboys are one reason why!

Wyoming began this season at 13-0, beating a ranked Colorado team and winning at a rather difficult road venue at Illinois State as an 8½-point underdog along the way. That has helped propel the Cowboys to 27th on the Pomeroy Ratings overall right now, making them the second highest rank MWC team behind only 23rd ranked San Diego State.

Wyoming’s first loss came by only two points at home to Boise State, but the Cowboys then continued to prove that they are not just an afterthought in the Mountain West this year by going on the road and defeating Nevada 59-48 in their next game this past Saturday, limiting the Wolf Pack to 29.0 percent shooting (18-for-62) while remaining undefeated on the road this season.

The Cowboys are a solidly balance club that ranks 43rd in the country in offensive efficiency and 41st in defensive efficiency. Wyoming runs a very methodical offense, ranking 330th in the nation  with a tempo raring of 61.7 possessions per game, but it has been very adept at finding the best shots at the end of those possessions, ranking excellent 14th in effective field goal percentage and an outstanding second in the entire county in two-point shooting at 56.9 percent!

Furthermore, Wyoming knows how to get to the foul line with it aggressive inside play, ranking fourth in the land in FTA/FGA percentage, and the Cowboys shoot 74.4 percent from the foul line once they get there. They are also 25th in two-point defense allowing just a 41.6 percent success rate from inside the arc.

Fresno State is in its first year in the Mountain West, making the jump from the WAC, and it has had a tough go of it this season while ranking just 163rd overall on Pomeroy. The Bulldogs simply look to be outclassed on both sides of the ball in this contest.

It has been a struggle for the Bulldogs offensively all season, as they rank 251st in offensive efficiency and a horrific 331st out of 347 Division I teams in  effective field goal percentage, thanks to ranking 342nd in two-point shooting at a miserable 39.6 percent. Now Fresno State grades out better in defensive efficiency at 83rd overall, but the components of that efficiency do not help the Bulldogs much here.

That is because Fresno State amazingly ranks sixth in the nation in three-point defense, which does not really figure to come into play vs. a Wyoming team that does not rely on the three much anyway. However, the Bulldogs rank 210th in two-point defense at 48.5 percent, setting up a mismatch vs. the Cowboys’ second ranked two-point offense!

With all of that in mind, look for Wyoming to remain unblemished on the road with a handy win on Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/217526/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Wyoming -3½ (-105)