An interesting matchup between a power conference team and mid-major conference program will take place on the first Thursday of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The Utah State Aggies and Missouri Tigers will play in Sacramento, with a trip to the second round in the South Region on the line. With a likely matchup with Arizona awaiting the winner, this Utah State vs Missouri game represents a huge opportunity for the team capable of snatching victory from their opponent.
Utah State vs Missouri Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||Utah State -2|
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This game will be played at Golden 1 Center at 1:40 PM ET on Thursday, March 16, 2023.
Why Bet on Utah State:
✅ Both of these teams are exceptional offensively, ranking in the top-20 in offensive efficiency at Kenpom. But Missouri’s defense is a huge concern, as they rank over 100 spots worse in that metric, which will give Utah State the upper hand.
✅ Utah State nearly won the Mountain West title, dropping an incredibly tight game to a ranked San Diego State team. The Aggies were the better team for much of the first half of that game, and they will be riding high coming into this first round contest.
✅ The location of this game benefits Utah State, as Sacramento is way closer to Utah than it is Missouri. On top of that, the Arizona fans in attendance will be cheering for the lower seed from a smaller conference.
Utah State Aggies: Peaking at the Right Time?
The Utah State Aggies lost in the Mountain West Tournament final on Saturday, dropping a five-point game to the San Diego State Aztecs. But it was a huge week for the 10th seed in the South Region in Las Vegas, as they beat New Mexico and Boise State to get to the MWC title game. Now, the Aggies will look to continue their run of solid play to advance past the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
For Utah State, being a more well-rounded team is what could set them apart in this contest against Missouri. While both of these teams have great offenses, Utah State is the only team in this game that defends at a high level relatively consistently.
Missouri Tigers: Can Kobe Deliver Them to a First Round Win?
The Missouri Tigers made it to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, and were competitive for much of that semifinal against Alabama. But the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament pulled away from Missouri in the second half, knocking the Tigers out of the conference tournament. Now, Missouri is tasked with regrouping to try and beat a Utah State team that has flown under the radar for much of the season.
If Missouri is going to advance in this game, Kobe Brown is going to need to continue to lead the Tigers. Brown leads Missouri in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He has shot 55.2% from the field this year as well, and that efficiency will be a must if Missouri is going to get past the Aggies.