Colorado State Plus Lots of Points is Best Play at Nevada

Willie Bee

Sunday, February 25, 2018 12:58 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 12:58 PM UTC

Wolf Pack fans should enjoy the final home game of the season today against the Rams, who are double-digit underdogs. But is the point spread too big to back the hosts? 

Sunday College Basketball: Colorado State vs. NevadaFree NCAAB Pick: Colorado State +17Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Nevada (24-5 SU, 15-11 ATS) is trending upward in the polls and also enjoying a little northward movement according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, who puts the Wolf Pack on a No. 7 line in his latest projections. Eric Musselman knows it’s still too early to think about those things, especially since the Wolf Pack still have two tough road games next week and have yet to earn the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Tournament.

They can at least guarantee themselves a share of the conference crown when the Colorado State Rams (11-18 SU, 8-15 ATS) visit Reno today at 4 p.m. ET for the Wolf Pack’s home finale. Nevada is a 17.5-point favorite on the college basketball odds board, and the total is 156.

'Over' Bettors Cash 9 Of Past 11 Meetings

Nevada owns a four-game win streak in the rivalry and has taken an 11-9 lead in the series. The Wolf Pack covered three of those triumphs, but were unable to beat the point spread when the schools met in Fort Collins a little more than three weeks ago. Favored by 12, Nevada pulled away in the second half for a 76-67 decision. The underdog cover by Colorado State stopped a seven-game ATS streak in the series by the favorites, and the final fell short of a 154-point total to end a 3-game "over" run.

That contest came just after Colorado State put Larry Eustachy on administrative leave while the school investigated his often-volatile conduct, and things haven’t gotten much better under interim coach Jace Herl. The Rams have lost three of four since dropping that game to Nevada, and recently were blown out at home by Boise State. The only real highlights of the campaign came in mid-January when CSU recorded back-to-back upsets at Wyoming and Utah State, winning just once since then.

Rivalry History, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

The Wolf Pack have reeled off four consecutive wins since dropping a home game to UNLV, and they will get a chance to avenge that defeat next week when they travel to Las Vegas to meet the Running Rebels before closing the schedule at San Diego State. Ranking 21st in the country in scoring (83.0 ppg) and 20th in 3-point shooting (39.9 percent), Nevada is led by juniors Caleb Martin (19.2 ppg) and Jordan Caroline (17.0 ppg), while senior Kendall Stephens is sixth in the nation, sinking more than 3.5 shots per game from beyond the arc.

With this being the final home game, and with the game in Sin City on deck, I expect Musselman to turn things over to backups at some point. The Wolf Pack are a far superior group, but with my NCAAB picks I'll take the Rams plus the points.

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