Backing Boise State as Small Chalk at New Mexico

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 12:46 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 12:46 PM UTC

It’s never easy to win at The Pit in Albuquerque, but that’s Boise State’s task as small chalk on the NCAA basketball odds Tuesday at New Mexico.

Boise State Broncos at New Mexico LobosFree NCAAB Pick: Boise State -1½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Boise State is having a fine season and enters play Tuesday just a half-game behind Nevada at the top of the Mountain West. Still, Leon Rice knows his Broncos need to enhance the ol’ résumé to get to the Big Dance, and one way to help that cause would be a victory Tuesday in a tough venue like The Pit against the New Mexico Lobos.

A rematch from a little more than a month ago in Boise, this one tips at 10 PM (ET) in Albuquerque with ESPNU on hand to document the affair. Sportsbooks expect it to come down to the final shot with the Broncos favored by 1½ and 148 for the total.

Both Teams Fail To Cover Last 2 Times Out

All four of Boise’s losses occurred outside of Idaho, two of them coming in MWC play at Wyoming in overtime and in Reno against the Wolf Pack in a back-&-forth battle that ended with the Broncos just inside of a +6½ point line. They since bounced back with three wins, but the last two have been anything but easy, a 70-64 victory at Air Force and 93-91 nail-biter this past Saturday at home against a middling UNLV outfit. This is a team that lives and dies beyond the arc, ranking top 50 in 3-point attempts per game (25+) and success (39%).

It was a rough start for Paul Weir in his first season at UNM, the Lobos starting 3-8 with two of the losses against rival New Mexico State in their home-&-home series. It has gotten better since consecutive losses at Nevada and Boise State, the Lobos winning 6 of 8 and beating the NCAA basketball odds at the same clip. They, too, are coming off a narrow victory, a 71-68 final laying 10 at lowly San Jose State. The bench has been a little shorter for Weir the last two games, with both Jachai Simmons and Vladimir Pinchuk questionable Tuesday.

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When these three @BroncoSportsMBB sophomores are on, the Broncos are almost unbeatable in Mountain West play:

— Chadd Cripe (@chaddcripe) February 5, 2018

Rivalry Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Boise State cruised to a 90-62 decision at home in early-January to end New Mexico’s 4-game win streak in the series. Favored by 9, Boise State dominated on the glass and never looked back after scoring the game’s first 13 points. The contest went past a 149-point total, leaving ‘over’ bettors 6-1 in recent years, and a victory tonight would give the Broncos their first season sweep of the Lobos since 2015, which was also the last time they won at The Pit.

That win three years ago on this floor is the only one Boise State has managed in Albuquerque, the other five encounters here ending in defeat. Tonight, the Broncos get their second as well as the cover for my free college basketball pick.

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