The No. 7 Missouri Tigers and No. 10 Utah State Aggies face off in the first round of the March Madness tournament out of the South Region of the bracket in what is sure to be a wire-to-wire battle.
The SEC has been a dominant conference all season long and Missouri is battle-tested within it, finishing with an admirable 11-7 record (24-9 overall). Utah State has been one of the best small conference programs in recent years and had one of the best seasons in their history this year, going 26-8 overall.
This game should be one of the best of the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and I view it as a must-watch, especially from a betting perspective.
Read on for my Missouri vs Utah State prediction and best bets.
Missouri vs Utah State Odds
Note: CBB odds mentioned in this article for Missouri vs Utah State picks were used from DraftKings Sportsbook, unless otherwise noted, and are current as of 5 p.m. ET on Monday, March 13.
- Moneyline: Utah State (-130) | Missouri (+110)
- Spread: Utah State -2 (-110) | Missouri +2 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 154.5 (-110) | Under 154.5 (-110)
Missouri vs Utah State Pick of the Day
Keep reading for more Missouri vs Utah State betting tips.
Missouri vs Utah State Prediction
Utah State 77, Missouri 72
Utah State is one of the most underrated teams in the entire NCAA Tournament and have a great test ahead of them in the first round with the Tigers. I fully expect the Aggies to come out with fire and handle business to advance.
Utah State’s offense ranked 13th in the NCAA in AdjO, according to KenPom. Missouri ranked a measly 178th in AdjD, painting the picture that it will be very difficult for Missouri to keep up with the Aggies on that end of the floor.
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Missouri vs Utah State Best Bets
Utah State Moneyline (-130) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 units
Utah State is one of the sleeper teams to win the tournament, and it all starts here. While the spread sits at just two points, it makes a lot more sense to back the moneyline in this case with a little bit of juice attached.
Utah State is the better basketball team here and are being laid a great price.
Missouri might have more experience with top-tier teams, but I fully expect their defense to have major struggles against a Utah State team led by forward Taylor Funk.
Under 154.5 Total Points (-110) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
I’m backing the Under in this first-round matchup as a result of how excellent Utah State’s defense is. If they can have any success with dictating the pace of play in this one, it should be a low-scoring affair that largely benefits Utah State.
The Aggies’ final two games of the Mountain West Tournament both sailed far Under the betting total against Boise State and San Diego State, respectively.
Missouri plays a ton of high-scoring games, but this is largely a product of playing in the SEC. Many of the teams in that conference have ridiculous offensive firepower and play up-tempo styles, skewing Missouri’s defensive stats a tad.
The Under is the play here with an expectation that this game is more of a battle for every inch than a barn burner.
Missouri vs Utah State Same Game Parlay
Missouri vs Utah State Parlay (+225) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
- Utah State Moneyline (-140)
- Under 154.5 Total Points (-115)
- Missouri Under 75.5 Total Points (-105)
I have Utah State winning this game with relative ease despite the close score projection. Missouri’s defense is horrific and Utah State’s offense has dazzled all season long, leading me to believe this is the Aggies’ game to lose.
As a result, I like Missouri to stay Under 75.5 points, which is a fairly lofty number.