Boise St. Presents Dog Value For Our NCAA Basketball Picks When Meeting UNLV

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 7:22 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 7:22 PM UTC

Boise State are second in the Mountain West and face UNLV tonight. Interesting odds make Broncos an intriguing road underdog. Don't miss our NCAA basketball picks for this game.


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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Boise State +3½
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


It may be worth staying up late Wednesday night for a Mountain West Conference battle where the underdogs appear to offer nice value as those Boise State Broncos (15-5, 10-8 ATS), second in the conference with a 6-1 mark, pay a visit to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (12-8, 11-8 ATS), who own a losing 3-4 MWC record, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV at 11:00 ET in a game televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle has Boise State as a modest road underdog for this contest with the current line at +3½ on the NCAA basketball odds board at odds of -103.


Disappointing Rebels
The Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV had high expectation entering this season and they had an encouraging non-conference performance going 9-4. However, the Rebels starting Mountain West play 0-3 with losses to three bottom tier teams in the conference in Fresno State, Colorado State and Wyoming, leading to an early firing of former coach Dave Rice in favor or interim coach Todd Simon.

UNLV seemed to respond by going 3-0 in its first three games under Simon before another disappointing loss at Nevada on Saturday. Thus, the Runnin’ Rebels are 3-4 in conference play despite not yet facing an upper echelon team from the Mountain West, and that changes here with back-to-back games vs. the top two teams in the league this week with this game vs. Boise State (6-1) followed by a meeting with San Diego State (8-0) this Saturday.

The only conference loss for Boise State came vs. those first-place Aztecs by just three points, and they have been fairly easy winning NCAA basketball picks in their other six MWC games with only two of the wins being by less than 10 points. Most recently the Broncos won by that exact margin on the road 81-71 at Wyoming on Saturday, the same Wyoming team that nipped UNLV in Laramie earlier on.


Experience Helps with Ball Protection
Boise State is a very well coached team under Leon Rice, who has guided the program to 21, 21 and 25 wins respectively over the past three seasons prior to the current 15-5 overall mark, and the Broncos are also experienced ranking 45th in the country in that category averaging 2.16 years per player. This is a team that will not beat itself, and considering the two double-digit wins since the San Diego State loss, it is also a resilient team.

The Broncos are 57th in the country in offensive efficiency and they lead the Mountain West Conference in that category during league play, with that success keyed by their veterans not turning the ball over with Boise ranked 26th nationally in offensive turnover percentage at just 15.5 percent vs. a national average of 18.5 percent. Furthermore the Broncs are only turning the ball over 13.5 percent of the time during MWC play, which is easily tops in the conference.

Having such poise will almost certainly come in handy here vs. a UNLV team that generates much of its offense in transition off of turnovers.


Will UNLV Have Same Turnover Success?
In fact, the Runnin’ Rebels are 40th in the country in defensive turnover percentage at a very good 21.2 percent, which has led to a lot of easy transition points that have helped UNLV average 76.7 points per game and shoot 51.1 percent on two-point attempts, mostly at the rim. However, what would happen if the Runnin’ Rebels do not turn this solid Boise State team over as much as they have their admittedly weak opponents inside the conference so far?

Well, we feel that the results will not be pretty as despite the scoring average and two-point percentage, UNLV is still a dismal 232nd in the country in offensive efficiency. That is because when the Rebels are not getting easy buckets, they are a poor perimeter shooting team as evidenced by the 33.6 percent three-point percentage and they are also sloppy, ranking 289th in offensive turnover percentage at 20.3 percent.

Much of that has to do with youth with UNLV ranked only 278th in experience averaging 1.39 years per player, but we do not expect the Runnin’ Rebels to suddenly mature overnight here, especially following the tough loss to Nevada in Reno.


Head-to-Head ATS Success for Broncos
Finally, Boise State has had good head-to-head success betting wise vs. the Rebels going 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings overall. The Broncos are also 4-0 ATS in their last four road games and 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games vs. teams with winning records.

A strong case can be made that Boise State is the better team here, and with the experienced Broncos probably not prone to caving in vs. the UNLV defensive pressure, we recommend taking the points in Las Vegas late Wednesday night.

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