Missouri vs. Utah State: 2023 NCAA Tournament Odds, Preview & Predictions

Mar 12, 2023 - 11:03 PM

March Madness is officially here! The 2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket has been announced, and the teams are lining up for the Big Dance. Let’s take a look at the early odds, preview, and predictions for the 2023 NCAA Tournament Round 1 game: Missouri vs. Utah State.

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2023 NCAA Tournament Guide (March Madness)

2023 March Madness Odds, Preview & Predictions: Missouri vs. Utah State

Missouri vs. Utah State Odds, Spread & Match Up Overview

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Missouri 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

With Dennis Gates coming over from Cleveland State for his first season as a power-conference coach, expectations were up in the air for what the new-look Missouri team would bring this season. Entering the tournament, Missouri’s season so far has to be regarded as a success considering the number of growing pains the Tigers went through in the offseason.

Mizzou might be one of the more jekyll-and-hyde teams in the tourney when comparing its offense and defense. Offensively, the Tigers rank in the top 15 in efficiency, scoring from anywhere on the court with a fast pace that makes them thrilling to watch. Defensively, they rank outside the top 150, allowing teams to shoot above average from beyond the arc while surrendering a ridiculously high number of rebounds. A matchup against any team that rebounds effectively will be kryptonite to this Mizzou squad — and we’ve seen the Tigers lose twice to Texas A&M. Outside the SEC, the Tigers really didn’t play anyone, ranking 303rd in nonconference strength of schedule this season and not having played a single neutral-court game the entire regular season.

Historically, teams with extreme differences between their offense and defense have not fared well in the tournament, and the Tigers have one of the worst defenses in the field. The floor is incredibly low for Mizzou, but their high-powered offense does make them an intriguing option for a sneaky tournament run.

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Utah State 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

Coming out of the Mountain West, Utah State’s metrics are a lot better than its double-digit seeding. The Aggies rank inside the top 25 on a lot of analytical websites. Their perimeter-based offense was a big reason they started the year with nine straight wins, with Steven Ashworth being one of the best shooters in the nation.

The Aggies are one of the most consistent teams in the country, ranking in the top 50 in the consistency metric. Utah State is also playing its best basketball right now, ranking in the top 50 in the momentum metric. On defense, the Aggies allow very little inside, ranking in the top 30 in opponents’ near-proximity percentage, and they eliminate second-chance looks. Where they struggle is on the perimeter, allowing teams to shoot above 35 percent from beyond the arc.

If you want to blindly trust the numbers, Utah State is a fair bet for a couple of upsets. But Utah State’s soft strength of schedule and sub-75th-ranked defense make me hesitant to blindy trust the Aggies.

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