College Basketball Odds: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. New Mexico Lobos

No. 11 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at New Mexico Lobos
Saturday, 2/18/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  New Mexico -5.5
Current Betting Line:  New Mexico -5
Opening Total:  140
Current Total:  141.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The UNLV Runnin' Rebels will face a revenge-minded New Mexico Lobos' squad on Saturday

UNLV is looking to rebound off a disappointing 102-97 overtime loss to the TCU Horned Frogs as 8.5-point road favorites, as the squad has alternated wins and losses over its last four games.  The Runnin’ Rebels were in complete control of the game in leading by 18 points in the second half, but ultimately dropped their fifth road game of the year.  “One of the things we’re not very good at right now is keeping our foot on the pedal,” commented Runnin’ Rebels first-year head coach Dave Rice.  UNLV is 1-8 ATS on the road and the “over” is 5-4 in those games.

The Runnin’ Rebels are currently tied for second place in the Mountain West Conference with the San Diego State Aztecs, sitting just a game behind Saturday’s opponent.  UNLV registered a convincing 80-63 win in the first meeting as 6.5-point home favorites, while going “under” the total for the fourth time in five games.  The program is 28-15 all-time versus New Mexico and has won two in a row at The Pit.

New Mexico is coming off an impressive 77-67 win over San Diego State last time out, with Kendall Williams leading the way with a career-high tying 21-point effort.  The Lobos have won six games in a row since losing to the Runnin’ Rebels, tallying those victories by an average of 20.8 points per game.  Current head coach Steve Alford enters this important affair with a sparkling 52-21 regular-season record against Mountain West foes.  New Mexico is 17-4 ATS as a favorite this year and 43-27 ATS in that role over the last two-plus campaigns.

The Lobos have also fared well under Alford’s leadership against ranked opponents, posting a 9-5 record in such contests.  New Mexico is a very good defensive team and has allowed just 50.6 points per game during its current win streak.  The team ranks ninth nationally in allowing just 57.7 points per game over the course of the entire 2011-12 season.  The program has won at least 20 games in all five of Alford’s seasons on campus.

Bettors will likely back the Runnin’ Rebels due to the underdog being 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in the series, while the Lobos are 3-6 ATS when revenging a road loss versus an opponent.

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