NCAA March Madness: Missouri vs. Utah State betting preview, odds and predictions

By VSiN Staff  ( 

March 15, 2023 05:10 PM

NCAA March Madness: Missouri Tigers vs. Utah State Aggies betting preview, odds and predictions

In the 7 vs. 10 matchup in the South region of the 2023 NCAA tournament, the Missouri Tigers face the Utah State Aggies with a spot in the Round of 32 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

MORE: Check out the public betting splits for every college basketball game on the VSiN betting splits page

How to watch Missouri vs. Utah State

When: Thursday, 1:40 p.m. ET

Where: Sacramento, California

Watch: TNT

Odds for Missouri vs. Utah State

Spread: Utah State -2

Total: 154.5

(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 12th at 11:00 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

South Region No. 7 Seed Missouri Tigers

The Tigers are as good as anybody in the country when it comes to offense. This team is completely loaded with guys that are comfortable scoring the basketball, and Missouri is capable of going on serious heaters from deep. Keep an eye on Kobe Brown in this tournament, as he’s a 6-foot-8 guard that’s a legitimate jack of all trades. The issue for Dennis Gates’ Tigers is that the team is absolutely miserable defensively. So, when the team goes cold on offense, it really doesn’t have much of a shot at winning games. With that said, Missouri will need to shoot the lights out in order to do any damage.

South Region No. 10 Seed Utah State Aggies

Utah State is a lot better than your average bubble team, as the Aggies were a top-20 team in the country in offensive efficiency during the regular season. Utah State isn’t even terrible on the other side of the floor, so it’s not like this team is doomed if shots aren’t falling at a high clip. The Aggies also happen to be coached by Ryan Odom, who is no stranger to doing special things in March. Odom was the head coach of the UMBC Retrievers team that became the first No. 16 to beat a No. 1. Now, Odom has real talent to work. Look out for guard Steven Ashworth and forward Taylor Funk. Both are phenomenal players for this Utah State team, but the Aggies do have five players that average double digits in scoring. You have to love that balance.

Missouri vs. Utah State matchup analysis

This is one of the best games of the first round on paper and hopefully, it lives up to its potential on the court. Utah State did enough to go from First Four team to 10 seed with two decisive wins over Boise State in the final week of the season and draws a Missouri team that hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2010.

These are two top-notch offensive squads. Missouri checks in 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency per Bart Torvik and Utah State is 14th. Ken Pomeroy also has Missouri 10th, but Utah State 13th. These teams have very similar profiles. Utah State shoots the 3 a little bit better at 38.5% (9th), but Missouri is still solid at 36.1% (70th). The Tigers are a more efficient team inside the arc, but both teams finish well at the rim. 

Defensively, we see the difference between the two. Missouri is one of the nation’s worst defensive rebounding teams and does a poor job of defending the perimeter. On the other hand, Missouri forces turnovers at a top-five rate and Utah State forces turnovers at a bottom-50 rate. The Tigers are not a “bend but don’t break” defense. They are a “we’re taking the ball away or giving up points” defense. That description doesn’t fit Utah State, and one of the reasons why the Aggies made the tournament so decisively is because they’ve been a metrics darling.

This is a Utah State team that ranks over 100 spots higher in adjusted defensive efficiency, even though the two teams played similar strengths of schedule. Three of Utah State’s eight losses have been to San Diego State. All nine of Missouri’s losses have been to Quadrant I opponents. There are so many similarities here that we should be destined for a close game.

This is one of two games where the No. 10 seed is favored over the No. 7 seed, and games like that are always going to get a little extra attention. This one has the potential for some serious fireworks and possibly a lot of points.

MORE: College basketball best bets from VSiN hosts and analysts

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