Pro Edge Sports and its group of expert handicappers have spent countless hours analyzing two games in the Big Sky Conference Thursday: Weber State at Montana and Idaho State and Montana State. While Weber State is the class of the league with an 11-3 conference mark, the Wildcats will have their hands full tonight against an underachieving Montana squad. Meanwhile, Montana State and Idaho State are both .500 in conference play (7-7), but the Bengals are coming off an impressive overtime win over Weber State.
Montana (-1.5) (-110) over Weber State
Weber State is 92-65 ATS versus teams with a winning record, including 40-13 ATS versus opponents with a win percentage between .501 and .600 so the knee-jerk reaction would be to take the Wildcats plus the points tonight. However, it is important to acknowledge the fact that Weber State is a money-burning 3-7 SU and 4-5 ATS on the road this season where the Wildcats have suffered two recent upsets against Sacramento State (78-75) and Idaho State (78-75).
Weber State is 0.4 points per game worse than average offensively (73.0 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 73.4 points per game) and 3.3 points per game better than average defensively (65.6 points per game to teams that would combine to average 68.9 points per game). The greater problem for the Wildcats is the fact that they are averaging just 68.2 points per game on the road, while yielding 72.2 points per game.
We expect Montana to exploit the Wildcats road deficiencies as the Grizzlies are 7-3 at home where they are averaging 77.5 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field and 40.8% from beyond the arc. Let’s also note that coach Wayne Tinkle’s squad is averaging 77.8 points on 47.9% shooting from the floor and 38.5% from three-point territory over their last five games. Finally, in what could be a very competitive game, Montana is making 74.4% of its free throws this season, including 74.7% at home and 78.9% over the last five games. Pro Edge expects Montana to avenge its earlier-season loss with a convincing win in Dahlberg Arena tonight.
Montana State (-3) (-110) over Idaho State
Idaho State is coming off a 78-75 upset win over conference-leading Weber State Monday and, based upon that overtime win, the Bengals apply to a negative 23-69-3 ATS road letdown situation. The letdown factor is only enhanced by the fact that Idaho State is just 34-57 ATS versus teams with a losing record, 11-25 ATS off an upset win over a conference foe, 6-20 ATS off a close win by three points or less and 20-45 ATS after covering the point spread in two of its last three games.
Montana State should have success on the offensive end of the floor as the Bobcats are 7-4 at home where they are averaging 73.8 points per game on 48.9% shooting from the field and 37.9% from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Idaho State is 2-10 on the road where the Bengals are yielding 75.5 points per game on 48.0% from the field and 40.1% from three-point territory. Pro Edge expects Montana State is avenge its earlier-season loss to the Bengals and move above .500 in conference play with a big win tonight.