The Portland Pilots (6-7) will attempt to snap the eight-game winning streak of BYU when they head to Marriott Center to square off with the Cougars (11-2). BYU opened as an 18-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 143 points. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 28, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN Full Court.
Portland Pilots at BYU Cougars Betting Preview
In the Pilots last outing, they were victorious over the Sacramento State Hornets, 80-75. Josh McSwiggan was Portland’s leading scorer with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Portland played a nearly flawless game. They had a superb turnover percentage of 9.6 (better than their season average of 16.1) and a free throw rate of 0.190 (matching their season average). Sacramento State was 15.8 and 0.158, respectively, for those same stats.
The Cougars come in on a high note after blowing out the Texas Southern Tigers in their last matchup, 73-52. BYU rallied around Yoeli Childs, who was the top scorer from either team with 19 points on 7-for-16 shooting. BYU dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a solid turnover percentage of 8.8 (better than their season average of 16.4) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.476 (below their season average of 0.556). For those same stats, Texas Southern recorded marks of 22.6 and 0.410, respectively.
A focal point for the BYU offense is getting to the free throw line. The Cougars rank 25th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.313), but Portland is among the best in the NCAA at keeping opponents away from the charity stripe (ranking 33rd by yielding a FTA rate of 0.174). Moreover, the Pilots rank 323rd in offensive rebounding percentage (23.2 percent), while the Cougars rank 30th in defensive rebounding percentage (75.7 percent).
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Portland games have gone over 62.5 percent of the time, while games featuring BYU have finished under 60.0 percent of the time. The Cougars have the better straight up (SU) record (11-2 vs. 6-7), but both teams are close to the .500 mark against the spread (ATS).
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year, after the Cougars won both games last season. In the most recent matchup, BYU won 97-78. BYU had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (50.0 vs. 17.6). Portland, meanwhile, did a terrific job of converting from the charity stripe (32-43; 74.4 percent).
Portland Pilots vs. BYU Cougars Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – BYU, ATS Winner – BYU, O/U – Over
- The Pilots rank 43rd in steals allowed per game (5.4) while the Cougars rank 74th (5.9).
- Portland and BYU rank 50th in blocks allows per game (2.8).
- Portland is 3-2 ATS on the road with 4 overs and 1 under.
- BYU is 2-3 ATS at home with 4 overs and 1 under.
- BYU ranks 54th in three pointers allowed per game (19.5) while Portland ranks 257th (27.5).
- The Cougars rank 30th in rebounds allowed per game (31.4) while the Pilots rank 211th (37.8).
- BYU averages 16.1 assists per game, which ranks 59th in the NCAA. Portland ranks 195th in assists allowed per game (15.5).
- BYU is 2-2 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Portland is 2-1 ATS with 2 overs and 1 under.
- The Cougars average margin of victory in their last five games has been 13.0, up from 9.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Pilots have scored an average of 72.8 points per game (4.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 72.4 points per game (2.4 below their season average).