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Betting On UNLV New Mexico - New Mexico Fights For Tournament Life Versus UNLV

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 10:29:16 PM

The New Mexico Lobos don’t yet have the kind of victory that would give their NCAA Tournament resume a premium poker chip. They’ll try to get it this weekend at home.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels @ New Mexico Lobos - Saturday, February 18
Sports betting line: No line

Why UNLV Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, you need to realize that New Mexico does not have the go-to scorers it once possessed when it stood atop the Mountain West Conference. Two seasons ago, in 2010, the Lobos won the regular-season conference championship in the MWC because they had meal-ticket scorers on their roster. Darington Hobson and Ramon Martinez gave coach Steve Alford two reliable options in crunch time.

This season (as was the case last year), New Mexico doesn’t have that go-to guy in meaningful situations. As a result, San Diego State was able to go into Albuquerque and defeat the Lobos a month ago. UNLV is every bit as good as San Diego State is – the Rebels played the Aztecs on even terms in two games, splitting a pair of two-point decisions in a home-and-home set – so it’s not controversial at all to claim that UNLV is the fundamentally better team. UNLV’s best game will exceed New Mexico’s best game, and that’s the bottom line in terms of a pure measurement of talent.

Why New Mexico Will Win

The college basketball betting experts who follow the Mountain West know that early tip-offs are very rare in this conference. It’s much more common for a Southeastern Conference, Big East Conference, or Horizon League team to play a morning game on a Saturday. In the Rocky Mountain region, it’s pretty much unheard of. However, this game breaks the mold… and plays into the hands of the home underdog. When UNLV goes to New Mexico this weekend in a crucial Mountain West Conference game for the home-standing Lobos, betting gurus will be quick to point out one very simple fact: This game tips off just after 11 a.m. local time in Albuquerque. Yes, in order to get on CBS television before the network airs a golf tournament later that day, New Mexico agreed to the unusually early start time in order to get a broadcast on a major network.

This is something that’s likely to work in favor of the home team. Any early start time makes it that much more difficult for the visiting team to adjust its body clock, deal with the rigors of travel, and develop the requisite amount of energy needed to play at its very best. This is game New Mexico dearly needs for its NCAA Tournament hopes, especially if the Lobos lose on Wednesday at San Diego State (which is a likely occurrence). Expect New Mexico to play with a lot more energy and grab this win at home before a brunch crowd.

Who Will Win

If this had been a 3 p.m. start, it wouldn’t feel as irregular, and UNLV’s ability to answer the bell wouldn’t be questioned as much. However, the early start is likely to mess with the Rebels’ body clocks, and that small detail will matter in a game like this. It might be worth only three or four more points, but this game should go down to the wire. The Lobos will find a way to scratch out a close one.

College Basketball Betting Pick: New Mexico

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