San Diego State vs. UNLV to go 'Under' for NCAAB Picks

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 3:25 PM GMT

The San Diego State Aztecs and UNLV Runnin’ Rebels both shot poorly in their first meeting this season, as the two teams prepare to close out their regular-season series Wednesday. We take a close look at this matchup and help you decide where to place your NCAA Basketball picks.

Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for this Mountain West Conference showdown at the Thomas & Mack Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 11:05 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.

[gameodds]14/260271/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

A big week 

San Diego State has a lot to play for this week, as it has the opportunity to capture the Mountain West regular season title with a pair of victories over UNLV and then New Mexico Saturday.

The Aztecs have won their last two games, including a 82-67 triumph over the Fresno State Bulldogs as four-point road favorites last time out. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 7-5 SU and 5-7 ATS in March, with the OVER going 6-5 in that situation. 

Shorthanded 

UNLV has put together a two-game winning streak, including a 93-67 blowout victory over the Air Force Falcons as 4.5-point road favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for a third consecutive contest. 

The Runnin’ Rebels will have to play this game without the services of forward Roscoe Smith due to a concussion—a big loss on both ends of the floor in averaging 11.0 points and 11.0 rebounds. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 2-7 sU and 5-4 ATS as underdogs during the 2013-14 campaign. 

Thames looms large 

The Aztecs have two players averaging in double figures, with senior point guard Xavier Thames leading the way at 16.6 points a contest.

It’s important to point out that the last six meetings in this series when played in Sin City have been decided by 10 or fewer points, with each side picking up three wins. 

San Diego State earned a 63-52 win over UNLV as nine-point home favorites in the first meeting on Jan. 18, with both teams shooting under 34 percent from the field. 

Facing elite competition 

The Runnin’ Rebels have compiled a 8-10 SU all-time record when taking on top-10 foes in Vegas, while they’ve covered the number in just six of their last 10 games when revenging a road loss. 

UNLV will need a huge defensive performance from center Khem Birch due to Smith being out of the lineup, but he’s capable of rising to the occasion in blocking five shots in 33 minutes of action in the first meeting.

Shop for and compare the latest NCAA Tournament Future Odds.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their college basketball picks, as the UNDER is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in this series. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Under 129