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New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Odds – Depth will carry Rebels to season sweep of Lobos

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/9/2010 2:05:38 PM

NCAA Basketball Odds: Pick UNLV

Online betting players remember the old UNLV teams in the late ’80s that culminated in the 1990 national championship, and the Runnin’ Rebels are working hard to reclaim their place among the powerhouses of the country. They can take a big step towards that when they host New Mexico, who has struggled in Las Vegas recently. Their troubles will continue in the desert as they don’t have the depth to hang with UNLV, who will take another step towards their third straight conference title.

WHAT: NCAA basketball betting
WHEN: Wednesday, February 10, 11:00 PM ET
WHERE: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

KEY STAT: New Mexico has dropped nine of their last 10 at UNLV

The Storyline: New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Odds
Along with No.17 BYU, these two are tied at the top of the Mountain West, and both are on winning streaks right now. The No.15 Lobos (21-3, 7-2) has won seven in a row since losing at UNLV to the No.23 Runnin’ Rebels (19-4, 7-2), who have taken five straight from their opponents. Both also created some space at the top of the conference by beating teams looking to catch up to them: New Mexico survived an 88-86 overtime thriller against San Diego State at home, while UNLV rolled BYU 88-74.

Offensive Matchups: New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Odds

Darington Hobson leads a perimeter-based offense as the Lobos rank in the national top 50 in terms of three-point field goals and percentage. The Lobos take good care of the ball, and it would be nice if they had a dependable inside player, but they have Hobson, who started MWC play slow but has since bounced back, dropping 30 on San Diego State.
This could be a game of explosive scorers as Tre’Von Willis went off for a career-high 33 against BYU, and he also had eight assists with no turnovers. The Runnin’ Rebels also don’t turn the ball over much, coming in 22nd in that category and just one spot behind New Mexico. Also, the Runnin’ Rebels don’t go inside much, but Matt Shaw has three straight games in double figures, even though he doesn’t get that much time.

Betting Edge:

Defensive Matchups: New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Odds

The Lobos struggled against San Diego State, especially from outside as the Aztecs hit 12 three-pointers against New Mexico, whose 86 points allowed was one off their season high. But the Lobos work hard on the glass, coming in 40th in the country in boards and they have active hands on the defensive end of the floor. But still, they’d love to have a player who scares teams from coming into the lane, and 6’8” A.J. Hardeman doesn’t really do that.
The Runnin’ Rebels are 29th in field-goal defense, which is why they may have the edge in the MWC in your sportsbook. They’re very physical and sometimes go into foul trouble, but coach Lon Kruger wants them to be as aggressive as possible on that end of the floor. Like UNLV, New Mexico isn’t a big team, but they’re scrappy and that may serve them well come Tournament time.

Betting Edge: UNLV

Coaching Matchup: New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Odds
Steve Alford has pushed the program forward in his three years here, but after two years in the NIT, Alford wants to take his team dancing. It’s likely that’ll happen as New Mexico has beaten Texas A&M, Texas Tech and California when they were ranked, but a strong finish in conference play would be a big boost.
Kruger has gone backwards, and last year’s first-round exit in the NIT had to be disappointing. But the Runnin’ Rebels have done very well against the other top teams in the conference like New Mexico and BYU, and that could pay dividends on Selection Sunday.

Betting Edge:

Betting Prediction: New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Odds
UNLV has won seven of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry, and nine of the last 10 in Las Vegas. The Rebels held the Lobos to 36% from the field in January 9th’s 74-62 win at New Mexico, and UNLV did a great job on New Mexico’s perimeter players, forcing them to go 4-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Rebels have more depth than the Lobos, and it showed in a 25-4 edge by their bench players, led by 21 from Derrick Wallace. This depth will make the difference as they can tire New Mexico out by the second half for a season sweep of their rival.

Washington’s Pick:

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