College Basketball Betting Preview: A Look at Colorado-New Mexico

Las Vegas Classic, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Colorado Buffaloes vs New Mexico Lobos
Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 10:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS College Sports
Opening Line: New Mexico -4 1/2
Current Line: New Mexico -4 1/2
Opening Total: 148 1/2
Current Total: 147 1/2
Money Line: UNM -200 / Colorado +170

New Mexico and Colorado face off in the Las Vegas Classic. New Mexico is a 4 1/2 point favorite.

The Colorado Buffaloes are 7-3 on the season but haven’t won a game yet away from home. They have 3 losses against Georgia, San Francisco, and Harvard. The Buffs have won 5 straight at home but mediocre Oregon St and Colorado St were the toughest teams they played during the homestand. New Mexico is 9-1 with their only loss coming  at Cal last month. Since then the Lobos have gone on a 7 game winning streak. The Lobos haven’t really played anyone besides Cal. UNM’s best victories are over a rebuilding Arizona St team and the Lobos swept a home and home series against in state rival New Mexico St. The winner of this game will play the winner of Northern Iowa-Indiana in the championship game. All four of these teams are talented but haven’t beaten a good team yet this season. They all have gaudy records at the expense of inferior competition. This will be a good test four all four teams before conference play starts in a couple of weeks. Colorado is 3-11 ATS in the last 3 seasons in non-conference road games, though this is technically considered a neutral site game rather than a road game.

Colorado is outscoring opponents 85-70 on the season, but on the road the numbers are almost completely flipped. They are being outscored 83-74 in road games. This could be that they aren’t playing tough competition at home, or the decided advantage that playing in the altitude of Boulder gives them.  Colorado is shooting 49.4% from the field, and 40.8% from 3 point range. The Buffaloes make 77% of their free throws. Colorado averages 35.4 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +3.1. The Buffaloes average 16 assists a game and 10.6 turnovers a game. They also average 8.4 steals and 3.3 blocks a game. Sophomore guard Alec Burks leads the scoring with 19.8 PPG. Burks also averages 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Cory Higgins is second in scoring with 17.1 points a game and leads the team in assists with 3 a game. He also averages 1.5 steals and 3.6 rebounds a game. Levi Knutson and Marcus Relphorde also average double figure scoring. 6’7″ guard Andre Roberson leads the Buffaloes in rebounds (7.6) and blocks (1.3).

New Mexico is outscoring opponents 77-62 on the season. They are shooting 48% from the field and 34.6% from 3 point range. They are only making 66.3% of their free throws. They average 37.8 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of  +5.3. They average 17.2 assists and 13.5 turnovers a game. New Mexico averages 8.1 steals and 3.8 blocks a game. Four Lobos average double figures in scoring led by Phillip McDonald with 13.1 PPG. He also leads the team in rebounding with 6.4 a game. Point guard Dairese Gary averages 12.5 PPG and 5.8 assists. Kendall Williams and Drew Gordon also score in double figures.

These 2 teams have played 12 times in history and the series is tied at 6. New Mexico has won the last two games in the series, but they haven’t played since 2007. Both of these teams are very similar statistically. They both force a lot of turnovers and are comfortable playing in the high 70’s. New Mexico must avoid looking ahead to a possible clash with coach Steve Alford’s alma mater Indiana in the championship.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot this season. Don’t miss out on any more winners this year.

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