BYU hoops will start out the 2018-2019 season with one of its toughest tests of the year.
After advancing to the Sweet 16 and returning most of its key players along with some impact transfers and a McDonald’s All-American big man, Nevada opens the season ranked 7th in the AP preseason poll and one of the favorites to advance to the Final Four.
Meanwhile, BYU is getting little preseason buzz on the national stage and was picked to finish 3rd in the WCC preseason poll. After three straight years of missing out on the NCAA tournament, BYU will look to break that drought starting with a huge opportunity on the road versus one of the top teams in the nation.
Vegas likes the Wolfpack in this one, as UNR is currently a 14-point favorite over BYU. The point spread started at 12.5 when it opened late Monday morning, but early public money appears to be on UNR’s side. The over/under for the game is at 154.
Ken Pomeroy’s rankings and advanced stats are considered the premier metrics in college basketball. KenPom’s preseason rankings have Nevada ranked #7 and BYU #56. BYU is given a 12% chance to pull the upset with UNR winning by a final score of 85-72.
ESPN’s BPI is a little bit higher on BYU, as they have the Cougars at #41 in their preseason rankings and Nevada at #15. They give BYU a 25.3% chance of winning.
Sagarin rankings are an outlier from the previous two, as they are much lower on Nevada than the national consensus. Nevada comes in at #39 and BYU comes in at #68 in the preseason rankings. Sagarin predicts a 7-point win for the Wolfpack.