NCAA Basketball Picks: San Diego State Aztecs vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

No. 14 San Diego State Aztecs at No. 16 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
Saturday, 2/11/12, 4:00 PM EST, TV:  NBC Sports Network
Opening Point Spread:  UNLV -9.5
Current Betting Line:  UNLV -10
Opening Total:  140
Current Total:  142.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The UNLV Runnin' Rebels will look to snap a six-game losing streak to the San Diego State Aztecs

San Diego State hits the road after capturing home victories over the Boise State Broncos and TCU Horned Frogs, but will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak versus the spread.  The Aztecs know they are in for a fight Saturday, with the last four games in this series being decided by a combined 16 points.  The program came away with a 69-67 win in the first game this year, while going “under” the posted total of 144.5.    San Diego State is 25-10 ATS on Saturdays the last two-plus seasons.

The Aztecs have won a school-record six consecutive meetings with the Runnin’ Rebels, while winning at least 20 victories for a seventh straight year.  San Diego State has also won its last three games with ranked teams and owns the nation’s second-highest winning percentage since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, posting a 54-6 record (90.0 percent) that trails only the Ohio State Buckeyes (55-6).  Offensively, the team is led by three double-digit scorers, with sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin leading the way with 16.0 points per game.

UNLV has won 12 of its last 14 games with the two losses coming by a combined four points.  The Runnin’ Rebels have tallied a perfect 13-0 record inside the Thomas & Mack Center, outscoring opponents by an average of 23.4 points.  “We’re right in the middle of a conference race,” stated Runnin’ Rebels head coach Dave Rice.  The program has three players averaging in double figures offensively, with Mike Moser leading the way in scoring 14.5 points per game.  UNLV is 0-2 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Runnin’ Rebels have outscored all opponents by an average of 14.3 points per game, while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor.  UNLV returned 76.5 percent of its scoring and 70.9 percent of its rebounding from a year ago.  The team is 19-9 all-time in this series when playing at home, including a 13-8 mark inside of Saturday’s venue.  UNLV will need to take care of the basketball to pull off a victory, turning the ball over 14 times and recording just nine assists in the first meeting.

Bettors will likely back the Aztecs due to their 22-7-1 ATS mark on the road, while the Runnin’ Rebels are 1-4 ATS when playing on Saturday.

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