The UNLV Rebels take on the New Mexico Lobos. Our college basketball odds series has our UNLV New Mexico prediction and pick. Find out how to watch UNLV New Mexico.
This game has become a lot more urgent for these two teams over the past week and a half. It was always going to be a big game — and it definitely is in the present moment, right before tipoff — but it’s now a big game in the sense of “we better not lose” for the two sides. Over 10 days ago, it shaped up as a “this could really catapult us to greater heights” kind of game. Let’s explain:
UNLV had just one loss a week and a half ago, but it then lost to San Jose State and San Diego State to start Mountain West play. UNLV was solidly in the NCAA Tournament, and now it has picked up a few losses which have thrown its NCAA tourney prospects into question. New Mexico is still solidly in the NCAA field, but after two very sluggish performances against Wyoming — a narrow win — and Fresno State, in their first loss of the season, the Lobos have to be asking themselves if they are really as good as their 14-0 start indicated. They were the last unbeaten team left in college basketball this season, but no one awards prizes or No. 1 seeds for those kinds of distinctions. If New Mexico loses five straight games, it will be in trouble as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned. This UNLV game is important so that the Lobos don’t fall into a rut and absorb a losing streak which gets them out of rhythm. This is a big one, and both teams are trying to prevent a sustained downward slide.
Here are the UNLV-New Mexico college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel:
College Basketball Odds: UNLV-New Mexico Odds
UNLV Rebels: +5.5 (-110)
New Mexico Lobos: -5.5 (-110)
Over: 149.5 (-110)
Under: 149.5 (-110)
How To Watch UNLV vs. New Mexico
TV: CBS Sports Network
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. PT
*Watch UNLV-New Mexico LIVE with fuboTV (Click for free trial)*
Why UNLV Could Cover The Spread
New Mexico could be on the verge of significant regression to the mean after winning its first 14 games of the season. The Lobos played two teams — Wyoming and Fresno State — which were both 5-8 heading into their recent games against New Mexico last Saturday and Tuesday, respectively. Both games were very close. New Mexico was way off its game in both contests. In the Tuesday loss to Fresno State, star New Mexico guard Jaelen House committed several turnovers and wasn’t the solid floor general he normally is. New Mexico started the game slowly, rallied for a 52-45 lead midway through the second half, and then stumbled down the stretch, missing its last several shots from the field and being locked down in the final four minutes of regulation by a not-very-good Fresno State team. New Mexico is not playing well right now, and UNLV can certainly take advantage of that reality.
Why New Mexico Could Cover The Spread
The Lobos were not good on the road in Laramie against the Wyoming Cowboys, and they were even worse on the road in Fresno on Tuesday, absorbing their first loss of the season. What is different about this game? It’s a home game in Albuquerque. New Mexico loves playing in The Pit, one of the best home-court advantages in college basketball when New Mexico is good. This season, UNM is a good team. A little home cooking and a chance to rest should do wonders for the Lobos’ energy, precision, ball security, focus, and shooting. They just need to get back home and get back to business.
Also, UNLV isn’t playing well. The Rebels lost to San Jose State and look nothing like the team which won its first 10 games of the season. UNLV doesn’t have a clear go-to scorer in late-game situations. The Rebels’ offense bogs down. New Mexico’s pressure defense can roast the Rebels.
Final UNLV-New Mexico Prediction & Pick
New Mexico playing at home, and UNLV lacking a clear go-to guy in big situations, points to a decisive New Mexico victory.
Final UNLV-New Mexico Prediction & Pick: New Mexico -5.5