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Air Force will be looking for its second win of the season when it travels to Strahan Coliseum to take on the Texas State Bobcats. Air Force enters this game with an undefeated record after defeating a cupcake opponent. Meanwhile, Texas State has not played yet and will be making its season debut at home this Friday.
Nijal Pearson Must Carry Texas State
Last season, the Texas State Bobcats went 15-18 and failed to qualify for any postseason tournaments. This season, the Bobcats are still expected to struggle in the Sun Belt conference but are looking to prove the doubters wrong behind some veteran leadership. The Bobcats had the 27th best scoring defense in the nation last season and will look to build on that defensive intensity this season in pursuit of more victories.
The Texas State Bobcats are led by junior guard Nijal Pearson. Last season, Pearson was fantastic as he led the team in points per game and rebounds per game. Pearson averaged 15.2 points per game while shooting roughly 71% from the foul line. However, Pearson was extremely inefficient as he just shot 39.4% from the floor and 33% from the three point line. Pearson is, by far, the best scoring option for the Bobcats. However, he will need to score more efficiently if this team plans on winning more than half its games or even wins the Sun Belt conference title.
Air Force Faces First Real Test Of Season
Air Force picked up a nice 25 point victory in its first game. However, it was against a non-division one opponent. Now, Air Force will face its first real test of the season as it has to travel into a hostile environment to take on a Texas State team. Air Force is projected to finish towards the bottom of the Mountain West conference but a win here might do wonders for the team’s momentum moving forward.
The Air Force Falcons are led by junior forward Lavelle Scottie. Last season, Scottie was fantastic as he led the team in points per game and blocks per game. Pearson averaged 12.2 points per game while shooting roughly 73% from the foul line and 37.% from the three-point line. However, Pearson was extremely inefficient from the floor, as a whole, as he just shot around 39% on the season. In the team’s first game this season, Scottie was solid as he scored 12 points along with seven rebounds while shooting 62.5% from the floor. If Air Force plans on winning this game, Scottie will need to have another efficient game.
- Bobcats are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Bobcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
- Falcons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Sun Belt.
- Falcons are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Personally, I always lean towards teams with more experience in college basketball. This season, Air Force has already played a game this season while Texas State has not. I think that that matters since Air Force’s roster most likely has more chemistry on the court since the team has already seen some game action unlike Texas State’s roster. Air Force also beat Texas State last season by eight and I simply think that Texas State should not be laying six in this game. I will gladly take the underdog plus the points.
Prediction: Air Force +6
Full-Game Total Pick
Last season, these two teams combined for 132 points. With that amount being the total for this contest, I am somewhat torn. Texas State plays quality defense and lacks significant scoring depth while Air Force is a better offensive team. I expect this game to go slightly under the total since both teams shot over 41% from the floor last season and the total still did not reach 133. I expect Texas State to come out flat offensively as this game will land in the 120s.
Prediction: Under 132