Mountain West Betting Picks: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at Colorado State Rams

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at Colorado State Rams
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Moby Arena – Fort Collins, Colorado

Opening Line: Colorado St -3 1/2
Current Line: Colorado St -4
Opening Total: 140
Current Total: 141
Opening Money Line: CSU -150 / UNLV +130
Current Money Line: CSU -175 / UNLV +155

UNLV Is a 4 point underdog at Colorado St Saturday. The Rams have won 23 straight home games.
UNLV Is a 4 point underdog at Colorado St Saturday. The Rams have won 23 straight home games.

The 15-3 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels travel to Fort Collins to meet the 14-3 Colorado State Rams in a key Mountain West  game Saturday. UNLV is 2-1 in conference and Colorado St is 1-1. Both teams are projected to make the NCAA tournament as are 4 other Mountain West teams. Only the Big Ten and Big East have more with 7.

UNLV leads the series 33-10 against Colorado St, including 14-6 in Fort Collins. The two teams split the two meetings last year with each team winning on their own court. UNLV has won 16 of the last 19 against Colorado St, but the Rams won the last meeting in Fort Collins 66-59 last February. CSU has won 23 straight home games, a school record. The Rams are 10-0 at Moby Arena this season.

UNLV is coached by Dave Rice. The Rebels have losses at home to Oregon and at North Carolina and New Mexico. UNLV has key wins against Iowa St, UC-Irvine, Hawaii, Portland, Cal, UTEP, Northern Iowa and Air Force. The Rebels won at San Diego St Wednesday night 82-75 for the first time since 2008. UNLV is 7-10 ATS and the total is 5-5 this season.

UNLV is outscoring opponents 78-65 this season. The Rebels are #28 in scoring nationally. UNLV is shooting 45.5% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The Rebels make 70.3% of their free throws. UNLV averages 42.6 rebounds a game and gives up 29.1 per game. The Rebels are #8 in rebounding nationally. UNLV opponents are shooting 37.8% from the field and 28.7% from 3 point range. The Rebels are #22 in opponents’ field goal percentage and #20 in 3 point defense. The Rebels average 18 assists, 8 steals, 6 blocks, and 15 turnovers a game.

Forward Anthony Bennett averages 19 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Bryce Dejean-Jones averages 9.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game. Guard Katin Reinhardt averages 9.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Guard Anthony Marshall averages 9.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. Forward Mike Moser missed seven games with a dislocated elbow. Moser averages 9.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game.  Khem Birch averages 9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2.3 blocks a game. Justin Hawkins averages 7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.6 steals a game.  Savon Goodman, Quintrell Thomas, Daquan Cook, and Carlos Lopez-Sosa make up the rest of the rotation.

Colorado St is coached by Larry Eustachy. The Rams have losses at Colorado, Illinois-Chicago and San Diego St in overtime. CSU has key wins at home over Montana, Evansville, UTEP, St. Bonventure, and Air Force 79-40 Wednesday night. The Rams have road wins over Denver and Washington, along with wins over Portland and Virginia Tech in a tournament in Las Vegas. CSU is 7-6 ATS and the total is 2-3 this season.

Colorado St is outscoring teams 75-60 this season. The Rams are in the top 50 nationally in both categories. CSU is shooting 45.5% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The Rams make 73.4% of their free throws. The Rams average 43 rebounds per game and give up 24.6 per game. Colorado St is in the top 5 nationally in both categories. Rams’ opponents are shooting 38.3% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. CSU is #28 nationally in opponents’ field goal percentage. The Rams average 14 assists, 5 steals, 3 blocks, and 11 turnovers.

Colorado St forward-center Colton Iverson averages 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. Guard Wes Eikmeier averages 11.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Dorian Green averages 11.6 points, 3.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Greg Smith averages 11.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. Forward Pierce Hornung averages 9.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Daniel Bajarno averages 7.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. Jon Octeus and Gerson Santo also get significant minutes. Guard Jesse Carr is out for the season with a knee injury.

UNLV is 7-15 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-14 against teams after a straight up win, 2-7 after a cover, 1-4 in Saturday games, and against Mountain West teams, 3-14 in road games and against teams with winning home records, and overall. The Rebels are 14-5 ATS in the last 19 against Colorado St. Four of the last five in the series have gone under the total.

Colorado St is 4-0 ATS at home against teams with winning road records, 8-2 against Mountain West teams, 11-3 at home, 9-3 after a cover, and 3-7 against teams with winning records. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

These are two of the best rebounding teams in the country. Colorado St is better on defense, but UNLV scores more. Moby Arena is a very tough place to play because it is very loud and the altitude of Fort Collins doesn’t help either. The Rebels have road wins at Cal and San Diego St, so I don’t think they will be intimidated by a road game at Colorado St.  UNLV will sometimes struggle to score because they rely too much on three pointers. They are at their best when they feed the ball down low to Bennett, Moser, and Birch. If they do that, i like UNLV to pull off the mild road upset.

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