NCAA Basketball Picks: UNLV vs. San Diego State

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:21 PM GMT

Where are we looking to place our sports picks when the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and San Diego Aztecs meet in a MWC battle?


The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and San Diego Aztecs have played some close over the years, but I’m going to focus on the total when handicapping this high-profile Mountain West Conference matchup. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Basketball odds for this affair.

Road woes

UNLV may be 3-2 on the road this year, but the program has lost and failed to cover the spread in its last two games away from Sin City, including a 65-60 setback to the New Mexico Lobos as 3.5-point road underdogs a week ago. The Runnin’ Rebels are 0-2 against-the-spread when getting 3.5 to 6 points away from home since 2010, while the UNDER has cashed in both of those contests. 

The Great Escape 

San Diego State may have a perfect 2-0 record in Mountain West Conference play, but those victories over Colorado State and Fresno State came by a combined 10 points, while both went OVER the posted total. The Aztecs have won six straight league games dating back to the 2011-12 campaign, while also compiling a tremendous 21-4 mark in games decided by six points or less in their last 25 opportunities.

Bennett and Moser

Anthony Bennett leads all freshman nationally in scoring, as he’s led the Runnin’ Rebels in that category in 14 of their last 15 games, while Mike Moser ranks fourth on the team in averaging 9.6 points and second in rebounding with 7.2 boards per game. Bennett has scored at least 22 in all three of the team’s wins since Christmas Day, while averaging 13.5 in two losses in that span.

Recent history

Sports bettors need to realize that the Aztecs have won nine of their last 11 meetings against the Runnin’ Rebels when making their sports picks Wednesday night, with both setbacks coming in Las Vegas. San Diego State has won four straight versus UNLV at home, which is the longest such winning streak in program history. The last eight games in this series have been decided by 10 points or less.


Falling short against good defensive teams

The Runnin’ Rebels are 3-12 ATS versus teams that allow 64 points or less after the 15th game of a season the last two-plus years, which could definitely come into play in this spot. San Diego State has held UNLV to 40.9 percent shooting or less form the field in 10 of the last 11 meetings. The UNDER is 12-3 in that situation during that span.

[gameodds]14/217527/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA Basketball picks, as the UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Southern California. The Runnin’ Rebels have also gone below the number in six of their last seven road games dating back to last year.

College Basketball Pick: Under 134