Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 18-13-1 (+4.30 units)
Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Free NCAAB Pick: Colorado ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Midterms and Christmas break are hot topics of conversation around college campuses this week, and even among the Colorado Buffaloes basketball team as Tad Boyle’s bunch looks towards extended time off following one more big test on Tuesday night in Albuquerque against the New Mexico Lobos.
The Pit should be packed and fully behind the Lobos, who are coming off a pair of lopsided defeats and looking to stop Colorado’s five-game win streak. For New Mexico to accomplish that, it will have to be as the underdog with the Buffaloes small road chalk and the total scratching into the low 170s.
Lobos 1-4 ATS Last 5 Trips To Floor
Colorado will take 11 days off after this game, resuming its slate against Indiana State at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu just before Christmas and then taking another long break before diving into the Pac-12 schedule. The Buffaloes have covered the college basketball odds in four of the five games during this win streak, two of those victories coming against Mountain West schools (Air Force, Colorado State). McKinley Wright IV leads a very deep and balanced group on the floor that is 10th in the country in scoring (85.1 ppg) and 20th in shooting (49.4%).
Paul Weir’s New Mexico group has been run over the last two times out, first in a 100-65 embarrassment at rival New Mexico State and then Friday during the Hall of Fame Classic in Los Angeles where Saint Mary’s put an 85-60 beating on the Lobos. Bookmaker closed New Mexico on +6½ and +8½ lines, respectively, in the two games, and the team shot a combined 31.5% from the field while hitting just 14-of-57 (24.5%) from the 3-point line. The Lobos are still playing without former Kansas forward Carlton Bragg, who transferred to New Mexico in January and won’t be eligible until next week when the team hosts Central Arkansas.
Tuesday’s Outcome Will Break Deadlock In Rivalry
The Buffaloes broke a three-game skid in the series a year ago with a 75-57 triumph in Boulder, leveling the rivalry at seven wins apiece. Colorado broke the game open about midway through the second half with a 12-3 run to easily cover the -7½ line, the final falling well short of a 154-point total. This is the first meeting in Albuquerque since November 2006 when the Lobos routed the Buffs 106-65, with the last three clashes at The Pit going “over.”
This is always a tough venue for visitors, and Colorado has been lousy the last few years covering spreads on the road. Still, I have zero confidence in the Lobos right now and will run with the Buffs in my NCAAB picks.