BANKER (Fresno State vs. Weber State)
Weber state is a mid-major out of the big sky conference who is likely the favorite to win the conference. They have gotten off to a solid start this year with a 9-3 record and their only losses coming to Utah state, Washington state, and BYU so they’ve played solid competition. Weber state is a team who is going to win with offense as they are top 100 in the country in nearly every offensive metric and just outside of the top 100 in adjusted offensive efficiency.
They face a Fresno state team who is the exact opposite and really struggles to score the ball. Fresno state comes into this game with an identical 9-3 record, but their wins have essentially come against bottom feeders minus Santa Clara which is probably their most impressive win. Fresno state really struggles to score as they have only averaged 57 points in their 3 losses so far this season. I believe this line is close to a pickem simply because Weber state is a relatively new mid major on the scene and Fresno state is an experienced squad who typically plays very well out of the mountain west. I expect this game to be close until the 2h and hopefully the explosive Weber stage offense will be able to pull away late.
Weber state has been struggling lately but not on the offensive end. Their defense has been letting them down and now they face a Fresno state team who really struggles to score so I think this is a very good matchup for Weber state to take advantage of. If Weber state plays fast and is knocking down outside shots, I just don’t think Fresno state has enough firepower to keep up. Weber state should speed the game up and play as fast as possible because Fresno wants to slow the game down. If Weber state controls the tempo and is hitting shots, I think they come away with the win. Score Prediction: 72-63 Weber State.
BYU is a team who has played very well to start the season. BYU is off to a 10-2 start with their only losses coming to Creighton and Utah valley. They have also tallied impressive wins over San Diego state, Oregon, Utah, Utah state, Missouri state, and Weber state so they’ve played a tough schedule to this point and have still played very well. BYU is multidimensional and can win games with either their offense or their defense. They scored 89 against Weber state in a double-digit win and then they just held south Florida to 39 in another double-digit win, so they are solid on both ends of the floor.
They face an improved Vanderbilt team but vandy has struggled this year any time they have faced a good defensive team as they lost to VCU, Loyola Chicago, and Temple. I think BYU will stifle Vanderbilt on the defensive end and Barcello and company should be able to knock down enough shots to get another win for BYU. Score Prediction: 75-66 BYU.
Liberty is a solid mid major team who is off to another good start this year as they come into this game with an 8-4 record. They’re playing very good ball at the moment as they notched wins over east Carolina and northern Iowa over their last 2 games which I think will help them momentum wise in this matchup with Stanford. Stanford is a team like Fresno state, who really struggles on the offensive end. Stanford doesn’t have a true number one scorer as they don’t have anyone who averages over 13ppg but have 5 players that all average at least 7ppg so they score by committee.
Liberty plays very solid defense and I think they will be able to shut Stanford down on offense. Darius MvGhee for Liberty is a big-time scorer and I think he can take over this game for Liberty down the stretch. Score Prediction: 61-55 Liberty.