NCAA Basketball Pick: New Mexico State vs. St. Mary’s

Doug Upstone

Monday, November 17, 2014 9:29 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 9:29 PM GMT

For college basketball bettors who cannot sleep at night because of tough beats or are too excited to sleep because great wins versus the betting odds, this is the perfect contest for you.

As part of ESPN’s kickoff of college basketball with non-stop games, this tip-off will be 2:59 am Tuesday or 11:59 pm local time Monday at McKeon

Pavilion. No matter, the environment will be fun and those generating college basketball picks will have a late night snack to further forecast against the sportsbooks.

 

New Mexico State Seeking Respect
The Aggies were thrust into a terrible situation, left as orphans from the WAC conference as nearly every team was able to find a new home with their football ties. New Mexico State was left with a collection of misfits and they immediately took on the same look despite winning the conference.

The Aggies are going to have issues with better teams because they do not have much athleticism, which was shown in their opening loss to Wichita State 71-54 as 13-point underdogs.

New Mexico State however will not lack in experience being a senior-laden squad as college basketball odds have kept up on, led by WAC Player of the Year Daniel Mullings. The do-everything guard was the team leader in points, assists and steals last season and is the heart and soul of this club.

Fellow guard DK Eldridge is a good mate with Mullings. The best frontcourt player for New Mexico State is 6’10 Tshilidzi Nephawe, who will contribute 10 or more points and 7-8 rebounds a game.

 

St. Mary’s Has Sights on Bigger Season
For the first time since 2007, the Gaels were not one of the top two teams in the West Coast Conference, finishing fourth in the league. That left a mark with coach Randy Bennett who is deeply determined not to have that happen again. St. Mary’s lost three starters from last year’s club, but returns 6’9 center Brad Waldow and sharp-shooting guard Kerry Carter along with several experienced bench players.

Besides this group is a trio of experienced transfers who started numerous games from previous destinations.  Wing player Joe Coleman was a 52-game starter at Minnesota, guard Aaron Bright (54 starts) arrives from Stanford and forward Desmond Simmons (35 starts) comes from Washington. With a few imported big men and a guard the coaches really like in Emmett Naar, the Gaels could be back in the good graces of those making sports picks.

 

Betting Odds and Head to Head Meetings
As of 3:30 pm EST Monday afternoon, there was still no line on this game. Taking into consideration my personal power rankings and combining with a few other sites, St. Mary’s should be favored somewhere between 3 and 6-points is my best guess. The Gaels holds a 2-1 SU and ATS advantage in the all-time series with New Mexico State, most recently winning in December 23rd of 2010, 73-53 as 8.5-point road favorites.

Where will bettors be looking to place their NCAA Basketball pick between New Mexico State vs. St. Mary's?

 

What to Look for Tonight
New Mexico State had more turnovers than field goals in their first game against Wichita State (20 vs. 16) and will have to protect the ball much better to stay in this late contest on the road. The Aggies will have to take their time on offense and try and run it through Nephawe, and have Mullings and Eldridge find open shots from there. St. Mary’s was very sluggish against Division II Cal State Los Angeles, but it did get off on the right foot with a 77-67 victory. Chalk it up to not respecting opponent and not having continuity with so many new parts which have to be ironed just by playing and practicing together. The Gaels have a decided edge in speed and quickness and will want to push the ball at every opportunity and should get numerous open three-point chances.

 

The Winner Is……
St. Mary’s will be a far better team by the middle of January than they are today. I still believe they have too much overall talent for New Mexico State and will win this contest going away by 10-14 points.

Free Pick: St. Mary’s covers up to nine points at BetOnline

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