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Mountain West Tournament Betting – UNLV Looks Strong In The Upcoming Tournament

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 2:24:13 AM

The NCAA basketball betting perspective on this year’s Mountain West Tournament should be focused on the bottom half of the bracket. With BYU in a newly fragile position due to the suspension of big man Brandon Davies for a violation of the school’s honor code, the tenor of the Mountain West season – not to mention the league’s balance of power – has seemingly changed.

No conference outside the “Power 6” in college basketball has received more attention this season than the Mountain West. With two squads who have remained in the top ten for two consecutive months; the front-runner for National Player of the Year; and a surprising suspension of an important player for unique reasons, various events have put the conference in the forefront of the national college basketball conversation on many occasions. Just how will a banner year in the Mountain West Conference end? All nine squads head to the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, to find out.

Both Brigham Young and San Diego State reside in the top 10 of both major polls. Both squads are in a position to play their way into a favorable seed and set up a nice path for the coming NCAA Tournament. UNLV, which hosts this tournament on a yearly basis, is also destined for the Big Dance after closing the year on a positive streak. The Rebels generally play well on their home floor. The rest of the participants (seeds four through nine) are playing for a chance to secure the Mountain West Conference’s automatic berth by winning the tournament. With the overall strength of the league this calendar year, one could argue that at least five squads have a chance to win the conference tourney.

While BYU, SDSU, and UNLV have seeding to play for, Colorado State and New Mexico (the fourth and fifth seeds at this event) are two teams who must win the tournament to reach the NCAAs. The Rams and Lobos have landed a few punches this season, with Colorado State beating UNLV on the road and New Mexico sweeping BYU. On the other hand, both squads have dropped games to lesser opponents and allowed their chances at an at-large berth to fly out the window. The time is now for Colorado State and New Mexico to put together a sting of wins if they want to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

All eyes will ultimately be fixed upon the top two seeds, BYU and San Diego State. The Cougars ripped the Aztecs by double-digit margins during both regular season meetings; those two results marked the Aztecs’ only two losses on the season. San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher would like nothing more than to get another chance at Cougars. Yes, BYU is again the top seed in Las Vegas. Ironically, though, this isn’t a position which has worked out well for the Cougars in the past. BYU has been the top seed in three of the past four tournaments and has failed to win the tournament in all of those years.

Moreover, precisely because of the suspension to Davies, March Madness betting experts have seen how weak BYU can be on the boards. Both San Diego State and UNLV can exploit this weakness and win a slow-paced slugfest against the Cougars. When all is said and done, the wisest sports betting angle on this tournament is as follows: Pick the San Diego State-UNLV semifinal winner (that matchup isn’t set in stone, but it’s very likely to happen) over BYU in Saturday’s championship game. Because UNLV will be playing at home, take the Rebels over San Diego State and then BYU as well. Yes, the home team will once again lift the trophy; UNLV will be energized more than any other opponent at the 2011 Mountain West Tournament.

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