New Mexico +4 at UNLV O/U 134.5
Recommendation: New Mexico
This is a true home game for UNLV, and the betting markets are definitely respecting the Rebels strong home court. We’ve seen money pour in on UNLV in early betting action on Friday, respecting UNLV’s perfect 18-0 mark at the Thomas & Mack Center.
But we must remember three things right off the bat. First, the Lobos are very familiar with this venue, playing their third game on this court in the last two months. Second, the Lobos travel extremely well, with thousands of their own fans making the trip to Las Vegas – New Mexico will enjoy plenty of crowd support tonight, even on this hostile floor. And third, right now, New Mexico is the better of these two teams!
The Rebels were nothing short of outstanding in non-conference play, including upset wins over North Carolina and what was a good Illinois team at the time. The Rebels were excellent on their first pass through their Mountain West conference schedule. But once teams got another look at Dave Rice’s squad on their second pass through the conference, the Rebels came up short – very short – repeatedly. The results don’t lie. UNLV is on a 3-9 ATS run, winning and covering only against weaker Mountain West entrants Wyoming (on senior day), Boise and Colorado State. UNLV has been a pointspread nightmare down the stretch, consistently overvalued by the betting markets.
Meanwhile, New Mexico has just gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Unlike UNLV, the Lobos have been an undervalued commodity ever since their very early season struggles against the likes of New Mexico State and Santa Clara. Since those two November losses, the Lobos are on a 20-6 ATS run. They beat UNLV by twenty when these two teams met just three weeks ago, controlling the glass and relegating the Rebels to a steady stream of contested perimeter jumpers. Don’t expect a 25+ point turnaround from that recent meeting in tonight’s rematch!