A lot is on the line when the Aztecs head to Vegas to take on UNLV tonight. We've examined the college basketball odds and think we've got a good read on where to go with our picks.
The Aztecs may be the road team tonight, but they're still getting love from college basketball odds. They're favored by five points here tonight.
We should be in for a defensive slugfest, with the O/U set at 121 for now. Both teams know how to lock in defensively, especially San Diego State, so the low number doesn't surprise us much.
The Rebels have alternated losses and wins over their last four games ahead of tonight, beating New Mexico and Wyoming while losing to Boise State and Utah State. Most recently, however, they got the job done in a 69-57 win over the Cowboys.
Patrick McCaw was the standout, scoring 21 points in 38 minutes of action, with most of those coming from beyond the arc. McCaw hit five threes and was 6-of-10 from the floor overall. Elsewhere, Christian Wood and Cody Doolin also hit double figures in scoring, with Wood haulling in 13 rebounds to boot. The Rebels were excellent defensively, holding Wyoming to under 40 percent shooting from the field overall.
Wood and McCaw have become the team's go-to options with Rashad Vaughn out, with Wood averaging 15.2 PPG and 9.9 RPG and McCaw chipping in with 10.1 points per contest. However, everyone is going to have to step up tonight if UNLV wants to record one of its best wins of the season at home against the mighty Aztecs.
San Diego State Aztecs
Why is it that the Aztecs always seem to fly under the radar? Season after season it seems like they're one of the teams to be reckoned with, and it's been no different in 2015. They're 22-7 overall and have gone 12-4 in conference play, which has them in a dead even tie with Boise State.
That means San Diego State is going to come out with a lot of focus in hopes of finishing out the regular season in style in hopes of earning that number one seed for the tournament. We wouldn't count the Aztecs out come the Big Dance either, as they've made a lot of noise in March over the years.
The thing we like San Diego State is how balanced they are. They don't really have one or two guys that take over games and score a majority of their points, which makes preparing for them difficult. Only Winston Shepard and Aqeel Quinn are averaging in double figures this season, but the level of depth to this team's rotation shouldn't be ignored. That's part of the reason the Aztecs have had so much success defensively, as they've been able to stay fresh and keep the pressure high throughout games.
NCAA Basketball Pick
Though the Rebels seem to get up for big games here and there, we don't trust them enough tonight. We like San Diego State to execute better on both ends of the court en route to a cover.
To put it simply, the Aztecs have been a lot more reliable and have already picked up some very impressive wins this season. They also lost to Arizona by just two points, showing you just how good they can be on their day.
Meanwhile, inconsistency has plagued UNLV throughout the season. As a result, we feel good about backing San Diego State with our NCAA Basketball picks at a relatively short number. They've already beaten the Rebels once this season and we look for them to complete the regular season sweep late this evening.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: San Diego State Aztecs -5 at Pinnacle