San Diego State -3 at Colorado State O/U 138
Recommendation: San Diego State
San Diego State makes the trip to Fort Collins tonight in a critical Mountain West showdown. The Aztecs are tied atop the Mountain West standings at 3-0 in conference play and the Rams are just a step back at 2-1. CSU lost its opener at Boise who is also tied in first in the conference but has since put together back-to-back one-point victories. The Rams are led by senior guard John Gillon who has come on of late and is one of the nation’s best free throw shooters at over 92%. Defensively, however, CSU has struggled with an adjusted efficiency in the bottom half of the nation and a steal pct. among the lowest in the country. The San Diego State offense should be able to capitalize on the defensive shortcomings of Colorado State. SDSU is mostly known for all defense and no offense and the statistics bear that out. The Aztecs entered Mountain West play ranked last in the conference in scoring (65.0 ppg), shooting (41.4%), assists (9.8), and second to last in 3-point shooting (31.2%) and turnover margin (-1.1). That’s starting to change. The Aztecs scored 67 points against Wyoming, 70 on the road at Utah State, and then 77 against San Jose State. They shot 50 percent in the first half at Utah State and 51.9 percent in the second half against San Jose State while having three players finish with 17 or more points for the first time this season. Head coach Steve Fisher on his team’s current form: “I think we’re making some progress, which makes me feel good. Our offense is getting better. We need to keep the defense at the level that we’ve had it. But I like the way our offense is starting to resemble a Division I offense. It makes all of us feel good when can score in the 70s instead of grinding out one in the 40s or 50s.” Compared to some of their early seasons performances, even an average SDSU offense is far more capable than the rest of the Mountain West. Reasonable price here to take the road chalk.