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Wyoming Cowboys at #3 BYU Cougars

Betting Preview with Score Prediction

3/5/11
 
The third-ranked BYU Cougars (27-3, 13-2 Mountain West) will certainly fall in the rankings and out of contention for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament following a rough 82-64 home loss to New Mexico on Wednesday in the aftermath of forward Brandon Davies’ dismissal from the team for breaking the school’s honor code.  But the Cougars will have an excellent opportunity to bounce back from their only home loss of the season when they host the Wyoming Cowboys (10-19, 3-12) on Saturday.
 
The Cowboys have yet to win a road game this season, going 0-10 straight-up and 2-7 against the spread in those that were put on the board.  They were just clobbered 85-58 at home by #9 San Diego State on Tuesday but covered the 14-point spread in an earlier meeting with BYU, a 69-62 home loss.
 
Wyoming’s defense has been atrocious in the last four games, as the team has surrendered an average of 79 points with the total going OVER three times.  The lone UNDER was a 63-61 victory against Air Force, which is one of the Cowboys’ two wins in the last 13 games.
 
Meanwhile, the Cougars have dropped just two of their last 19 games – both to the Lobos – but might have suffered their biggest loss of the season when Davies was dismissed.  The sophomore forward was the team’s leading rebounder with 6.2 per game and also led the team in field-goal percentage at 52.5 percent while averaging 11.1 points per game.
 
“They played well and beat us,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said after the New Mexico game.  “Now we’re faced with a new challenge and that is to try to respond after we’ve been beat.  This team has found ways to win games all year and I have all the confidence in the world we’ll continue to do that.  We’ll get better.  We’ll find ways to deal with the loss of a player that we’ve relied on.  We found ways to deal with the loss of Chris Collinsworth when he got knee surgery.  We’ll find ways to get around this.”
 
BYU had lost another key forward after beating UNLV 78-64 back on February 5 in Collinsworth, who tried to return from a knee injury but will miss the rest of the season.  Without Collinsworth and Davies up front, the Cougars could become a much more perimeter-oriented offensive team, feeding off All-America candidate and leading scorer Jimmer Fredette (27.5 points per game).

Predicted Score BYU 85 Wyoming 59

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