Fresno State vs Nevada | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

There’s late-night college basketball action from the Mountain West as two conference contenders face off on national television as Fresno State visits Nevada in their first meeting of the season. The Wolf Pack will be favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Fresno State at Nevada NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 11 PM ET
  • Where: Lawlor Events Center
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Nevada will be favored)

Last Meeting

The schools met just once last season and Nevada won 78-76 at home. New Williams missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for FSU. Jazz Johnson (no longer eligible) scored nine of his 15 points during Nevada’s 16-5 closing run. Fresno State led 71-62 with 6:45 to play. Nisre Zouzoua sparked the game-winning rally with a 3-pointer. Johnson followed with nine straight points and Jalen Harris added four and Nevada led 78-73. The Bulldogs shot 14 of 35 (40%) from the 3-point arc, but missed nine free throws (12 of 21).

The schools play again Sunday at Nevada following Friday’s matchup.

Why Bet on Fresno State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Bulldogs (5-3) have had numerous games canceled due to COVID protocols. They come off an 80-65 home win over San Jose State on Sunday to sweep the weekend series vs. the Spartans.

Fresno State used an 18-6 run early in the first half to take control and the Bulldogs led 41-25 at the half on Sunday. Fresno State built a 29-point lead of 74-45 on Deon Stroud’s final of five 3-pointers with 6:29 remaining.

The Bulldogs made a season-best 13 3-pointers, with 11 of those coming from Fresno State’s bench, who outscored SJSU’s reserves 55-9 (30-2 in the first half). Fresno State also had a season-low 10 turnovers and a tied season-high with 14 assists, which came on 29 made field goals.

FSU shot 44.8 percent from deep, far better than they had been against other Division I opponents this season — counting backward it had hit 26.9%, 33.3%, 31.3%, 20% and 17.4%.

Stroud scored season-high 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including a 5-for-6 mark from beyond the 3-point line. Stroud scored in double figures for the seventh time this season (out of eight games). Stroud has improved over the past five games — playing just an average of 19.6 minutes in that stretch, Stroud has hit 29 of 51 shots, including 9 of 14 from the 3-point line, 56.9% and 64.3%, in scoring 16.4 points.

Orlando Robinson added 11 points, seven rebounds and a career-best six assists while being largely double teamed by San Jose State, which opened up scoring opportunities for Fresno State’s backcourt. Robinson has scored in double figures in all eight games this season.

The Bulldogs have won three games in a row for the first time since a four-game winning streak toward the end of the 2018-’19 season.

“We are getting better,” coach Justin Hutson said. “We are getting some games under our belt and some practices under our belts. We are playing a lot of different guys and finding out a little bit about our team.”

This was Fresno State’s 36th win in Mountain West play by at least 10 points (15th in Hutson’s tenure) and 21st by at least 15 points (eighth in Hutson’s tenure). Fresno State improved to 5-0 this season when allowing under 70 points (28-8 in Hutson’s tenure).

Why Bet on Nevada? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Wolf Pack (8-5) were swept last weekend at a very good San Diego State team. Both games were close, and it was 69-67 on Sunday. The Aztecs’ Trey Pulliam made a runner at the buzzer.

“I just know I had four seconds on the clock,” Pulliam said. “Coach is always talking to us about how many dribbles you can have in the amount of time you have (left), so I had four seconds and four dribbles. I just tried to get it down and get it up on the rim. I knew if I missed, Nate (Mensah) or Matt (Mitchell) would come to try and clean it up, so I just tried to get a shot off.”

Nevada’s Grant Sherfield, who finished with 20 points and nine assists, hit a deep contested 3-pointer to make it 67-all with 4.6 seconds to play. Pulliam took the in-bound pass, raced down court to the left block and kissed a running floater off the backboard and in as time expired.

Sherfield extended his 20-point streak to four. That four-game run is the longest by a Pack player since Jalen Harris’ nine-game streak from Jan. 29-Feb. 29 of last year. Sherfield has also now scored in double figures in 12 of 13 games this season.

Desmond Cambridge, Jr., scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, going 7-for-16 from the field including three triples. Junior forward K.J. Hymes scored a career-high 14 points. Hymes’ 13 points at Colorado State on Jan. 29, 2020. San Diego State took advantage of Nevada foul trouble, getting to the line 20 times.

For the second time in the series, Nevada made more field goals than San Diego State (24-23). The Pack fell to 7-2 in games in which they have made more field goals than their opponent, with both losses coming this series to the Aztecs. The Pack held their opponent to under 70 points for the ninth time this season, but fell to 6-3 when doing so.

Nevada is now 1-3 this season in games decided by five points or less, and 0-3 in such Mountain West contests. Nevada’s three losses in Mountain West play have come by a total of nine points, as the Pack has lost by two, five, and two, respectively.

Expert Prediction

  • Nevada 72, Fresno State 65

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