Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Basketball odds for this non-conference affair at the Thomas & Mack Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.
Scoring at will
Arizona State is averaging 91.3 points in its 3-0 start to open up the 2013-14 campaign, with the team scoring at least 40 in every half this year.
The Sun Devils have compiled a 25-13 record since point guard Jahii Carson made his first appearance on the floor last year, with the offense averaging 73.2 points over that span.
Carson and Penn State graduate transfer Jermaine Marshall are combining to score 34.0 points per game.
Playing at home
UNLV will continue its season-opening six-game homestand, as it comes off a 73-70 victory over Nebraska Omaha as 14-point home favorites last Friday, while going UNDER the betting total of 162.5.
The Runnin’ Rebels are 37-5 SU under head coach Dave Rice at this venue, including a 2-1 start to this season.
It’s important to point out that the program will likely dress up as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points for just the third time since 1997.
Don’t forget about the man in the middle
The Sun Devils will need a huge game from center Jordan Bachynski, who happens to hold the school record with 194 career blocks.
He’ll play a major role in determining the outcome of this game, as he prepares to matchup with UNLV’s Khem Birch in the paint, who was named the 2012-13 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Light on experience
College basketball handicappers will likely be surprised by the number being offered in the market, but the Runnin’ Rebels welcomed back just 25 percent of their scoring and rebounding from a season ago.
UNLV will need to take care of the basketball in hopes of pulling off the upset, as it enters with a minus-3.3 turnover margin, which ranks 11th among Mountain West programs.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Sun Devils with their NCAA Basketball picks, as the Runnin’ Rebels have failed to cover the number by an average of 17.3 points in Rice’s five career setbacks in front of the home fans.
College Basketball Pick: Arizona State Sun Devils -4.5
Also review my free picks for the Texas-Arlington & Kentucky matchup.