NCAA Tournament Betting: New Mexico State vs. San Diego State

Jeff Grant

Monday, March 17, 2014 5:51 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 5:51 PM GMT

The No. 4 San Diego State Aztecs and No. 13 New Mexico State Aggies have plenty of coaching connections amongst each other, which should benefit the underdog Thursday night. Can NCAA Basketball bettors find an angle worth exploiting with their picks in this matchup?

Let’s take a closer look at the 2014 NCAA Tournament odds for this second round matchup in the West Region at the Spokane Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:57 p.m. ET on truTV.

[gameodds]14/262062/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Emotional letdown

San Diego State will try to avoid an emotional letdown after dropping a 64-58 decision to New Mexico Lobos as one-point favorites in the Mountain West tournament championship game last Saturday. 

The Aztecs captured the regular-season crown over the Lobos by a single game a week earlier, which could lead to a major flat spot in traveling to the Pacific Northwest. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the program is 6-0 ATS in its last six games versus Western Athletic Conference members. 

Coaching angle 

New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies will play a very important role in this affair, considering he spent four years on San Diego State’s staff under Steve Fisher from 1999-03. 

The Aggies have won three consecutive conference tournament championships under his direction, while they were knocked out of last year’s Big Dance by the Saint Louis Billikens. 

It’s important to point out that the team has dropped both meetings against ranked opponents this season. 

River Thames

The Aztecs are legitimate contenders to win it all in the futures market due to their defense, but they’ll need a major performance offensively from senior point guard Xavier Thames to accomplish that feat. 

Thames led the squad in scoring in 22 of 33 games during the 2013-14 campaign—resulting in being named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.

70 is the key number 

Menzies may want to develop an offensive game plan that pushes the pace against one of his mentors, with the Aggies winning 20 of 22 games when scoring 70 or more points. 

New Mexico State junior guard Daniel Mullings will be one of the key players to handicap in this affair, as he earned WAC Player of the Year honors by averaging 16.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. 

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Aggies as one of their college basketball picks, as I developed the Aztecs as 4.5-point favorites. 

New Mexico State possesses a similar roster in terms of size to New Mexico—a lineup that provided San Diego State match up problems this year. 

NCAA Torunament Pick:  New Mexico State Aggies +7

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