When and where: November 16, 2018, Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV, 10:00 PM ET
After back-to-back losses, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies are hoping for better luck when they travel to Nevada to take on the UNLV Rebels. They’ll have their work cut out for them in beating a Rebels team that handed UC Riverside a lopsided beating on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Golden Grizzlies are coming off losses to Toledo and Kalamazoo.
Second-half collapse costs the Golden Grizzlies
The Golden Grizzlies had Tuesday’s game against Western Michigan under control at halftime. They were ahead by nine points on a night where shots weren’t falling for the Broncos. Fast forward to the second half of the game and things suddenly snowballed.
Oakland’s defense gave up nearly double the points, and their own offense failed to match Western Michigan’s scoring output. That disappointing meltdown eventually led to overtime, where they were outscored 12-4. Sophomore guard Karmari Newman came off the bench and had a team-high 18 points.
One of the areas that came back to haunt the Golden Grizzlies were the seven missed free throw attempts. The team struggled from the line that night (70.8 percent), as well as from the field (37.3 percent) down the stretch.
Hamilton flawless in UNLV win
After playing for only six minutes and being held scoreless, UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton decided he’d make a splash in Tuesday night’s game against UC Riverside. He ended up making a tidal wave with a flawless shooting performance to help put the Rebels over the top.
The freshman shot 5-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-3 from three-pointer for a team-high 16 points and four rebounds.
— UNLV Men's Basketball (@TheRunninRebels) November 14, 2018
Maybe it was a night where he simply had the hot hand, or it could be more than meets the eye to the California native. The Rebels obviously aren’t expecting him to have perfect shooting performances every night, but he is sure to see an uptick in minutes if he can consistently offer the team some offensive production off the bench.
- Rebels are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Rebels are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Under is 4-0 in Rebels last 4 games after a win.
- Golden Grizzlies are 8-23 ATS in their last 31 games
- Golden Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after an ATS loss
- Golden Grizzlies are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games after a loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Oakland’s defense has been too lackadaisical in recent weeks to give them much of a shot on the road against the Rebels. Western Michigan and Toledo were able to get off high-percentage shots in both games, which ultimately led to back-to-back losses for the Golden Grizzlies.
One great game is all that could be needed to give a young player like Hamilton the confidence to play up to his potential. More importantly, I believe a softer defense will open up opportunities for one of the UNLV seniors—Shakur Juiston, Noah Robotham, or Kris Clyburn—to have their first breakout game of the season.
The big-three have been relatively quiet for the Rebels so far, but Friday’s game should present a chance for them to breakout. Oakland also has a hard time closing out games, as evident in their second-half collapse to Western Michigan. If they can’t get the job done at home, it’s hard envisioning them getting it done on the road.
Prediction: UNLV Rebels (-8)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 4-1 in the Rebels last five games and 10-4 in the last 14 for the Golden Grizzlies. With only a couple games under their belt, the Rebels are only averaging 61 points per game. Oakland is averaging 81.5 points, but I believe being on the road for the first time against a more capable defensive team will bring them back down to reality on Friday.