College Basketball Betting Picks: #15 New Mexico Lobos at San Diego St Aztecs

#15 New Mexico Lobos at San Diego State Aztecs
Saturday, January 26, 2013, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports Network  

Viejas Arena – San Diego California
Opening Line: San Diego St -4 1/2
Current Line: San Diego St -4 1/2
Opening Total: 127 1/2
Current Total: 130
Opening Money Line: SDSU -175 / New Mexico +155
Current Money Line: SDSU -175 / New Mexico +155

San Diego St is a 4 1/2 point favorite at home against New Mexico is a crucial Mountain West game.
San Diego St is a 4 1/2 point favorite at home against New Mexico is a crucial Mountain West game.

The 17-2 New Mexico Lobos are 4-0 early in the rugged Mountain West Conference schedule, Every other team in the conference has at least two losses including the 15-4 San Diego St Aztecs who are 3-2. The Lobos travel to the Aztecs Saturday afternoon. New Mexico would put a stranglehold on the rest of the conference with a win, and San Diego St would get back into the conference race if they won.

This is the 73rd meeting between New Mexico and San Diego St. The Lobos lead the series 40-32 overall, but the Aztecs are 21-12 in San Diego. New Mexico won the season series last year 2-1. Each team won on the road in the series, and New Mexico won 68-59 in the conference championship game in Las Vegas. One or both of these teams has won the last 6 Mountain West regular season titles or at least a share.

New Mexico is coached by Steve Alford. The Lobos won their first 12 games, but then lost 2 of their next 3 games. New Mexico lost at home to South Dakota St and at St. Louis. New Mexico has key wins over Davidson, George Mason & UConn in a tournament in the Virgin Islands, Portland, Indiana St, USC, Valparaiso, New Mexico St twice, UNLV, Fresno St, and Colorado St 66-61 Wednesday night, along with road wins at Cincinnati and Boise St . The Lobos are 10-7-1 ATS and the total is 4-8 this season.

New Mexico is outscoring teams 69-62 this season. The Lobos are shooting 41.3% from the field and 34.3% from 3 point range. New Mexico makes 73.7% from the free throw line. New Mexico averages 35.9 rebounds per game, and gives up 29.8 to opponents. Lobo opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. New Mexico averages 14 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 13 turnovers.

Guard Kendall Williams averages 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Tony Snell averages 12.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Center Alex Kirk averages 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Forward Cameron Bairstow averages 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Guard Hugh Greenwood averages 7.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Chad Adams, Demetrius Walker and Jamal Fenton make up the rest of the rotation.

San Diego St is coached by Steve Fisher.  The Aztecs have losses to Syracuse on an aircraft carrier, and against Arizona in a tournament in Hawaii along with a home loss to UNLV and at Wyoming. The Aztecs have key home wins over UC-Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Colorado St. SDSU has road wins over Missouri St, USC, Fresno St and Nevada 78-57 along with neutral site wins over UCLA in Anaheim, and San Francisco & Indiana St in Hawaii. The Aztecs are 8-6 ATS and the total is 7-3-1 this season.

San Diego St is outscoring teams 71-60 this season. The Aztecs are #50 in points allowed. SDSU is shooting 44.2% from the field and 33.3% from 3 point range. The Aztecs make 67.8% of their free throws. SDSU averages 37.1 rebounds per game and gives up 31.4 per game. Aztec opponents are shooting 38.7% from the field and 30.4% from 3 point range. The Aztecs are #32 in opponents’ field goal percentage. SDSU averages 13 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 12 turnovers per game.

Guard Jamaal Franklin averages 17.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. Guard Chase Tapley averages 14.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Xavier Thames averages 9.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1 steal per game. James Rahon averages 6.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. Deshawn Stephens averages 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. J.J. O’Brien  averages 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1 steal per game. Winston Shepard, Skylar Spencer, and Dwayne Polee II also get significant minutes. Guard LaBradford Franklin is out indefinitely due to personal reasons.

New Mexico is 5-1 ATS in road games, against teams with winning home records,  4-1 in Saturday games, 8-2 against teams with winning records, 20-6 against Mountain West teams, 28-10-1 after a straight up win, 65-29-6 after a cover, and 34-16-2 overall. The road team is 16-5 ATS in this series recently, and the Lobos are 9-1 ATS in San Diego.

San Diego St is 4-1 ATS after a straight up win of 20 points or more,  45-19-1 in Saturday games, 39-19-1 against teams with winning records, 2-6 at home, 1-4 after a cover, and against teams with winning road records. The over is 12-4-1 in the last 17 games in this series.

Although Viejas Arena and the Pit in Albuquerque are two of the toughest places to play in the country, the road team in this series has done very well recently. New Mexico would like to win this game, but with a 2 game cushion they really don’t have to win. SDSU has to win this game though because they will be 3 games behind New Mexico in the conference. That would be a tough hole of which to dig out. I like San Diego St to win at home.

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