Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#635 Nevada -1 vs.
#636 New Mexico 158
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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Nevada will look to continue its surge in the Mountain West Conference standings when it travels to New Mexico on Tuesday night. The Wolfpack have won three games in a row and are sitting in third place in the conference. New Mexico has lost five of its last six games and is in seventh place in the Mountain West. The Lobos lost the first meeting of the season by a score of 96-74 on the road.

Wolfpack surging

Nevada has won three games in a row since losing consecutive outings to Colorado State and Boise State on the road. The Wolfpack’s three-game winning streak has included a pair of blowout home wins against Air Force and San Jose State. Their latest victory was an overtime contest on the road against UNLV last Wednesday night. The Runnin’ Rebels tied the game late in regulation, but Nevada survived in overtime. It was the Wolfpack’s sixth straight win against UNLV.

Junior guard Jalen Harris is leading Nevada with 21.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. He is also dishing out 4.1 assists per contest and has made 36.8 percent of his 155 attempts from beyond the arc. Senior guard Jazz Johnson is scoring 16.3 points per contest. Johnson is the best outside shooter on the team, knocking down 78 of 183 attempts for a 42.6 percent clip. Senior guard Lindsey Drew is also in double figures, scoring 11.0 points per outing. He is the team’s leading distributor and rebounder, dishing out 4.3 assists per game and grabbing 6.7 rebounds per game. Senior guard Nisre Zouzoua is adding 9.7 points per game off the bench.

New Mexico on losing skid

New Mexico has lost five of its last six games after only losing five games in the entire first half of the season. The Lobos have fallen to Nevada, No. 4 San Diego State (twice), Fresno State and UNLV in their recent rough patch. Their lone win during that stretch came against Wyoming on Feb. 8. Saturday’s loss to UNLV was the closest setback. New Mexico jumped out to a 1-point lead at halftime, but a balanced scoring effort from the Runnin’ Rebels proved to be too much in the end.

Senior guard JaQuan Lyle leads New Mexico with 15.6 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game. He is also the best distributor on the squad, dishing out 4.6 assists per contest. Lyle has been the best perimeter option for the Lobos, knocking down 41 of 116 attempts from long range. Senior forward Corey Manigault is scoring 12.9 points per game and is grabbing 5.0 rebounds per outing. The team’s leading rebounder was senior forward Carlton Bragg Jr., who was averaging a double-double with 12.6 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. Bragg Jr. was kicked off the team in mid-January following an arrest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The college betting market can be notoriously inefficient. New Mexico’s loss of Bragg Jr. has been evidence of that principle. The Lobos are a completely different team without a player who filled up the stat sheet on a nightly basis. They are 4-10 against-the-spread in their last 14 games. Nevada is a bad match-up at the wrong time. The Wolfpack are playing well, covering the number at a 7-1 clip in their last eight games. They have been the better side in recent head-to-head meetings, covering in five of the last seven. New Mexico has essentially become a team to fade without Bragg.

Prediction: Nevada -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both of these teams are shaded to the over. New Mexico has been giving up a ton of second-chance opportunities since Bragg was kicked off the team, as the Lobos just do not have the rebounding options they need in the paint. Nine of New Mexico’s last 12 games have gone over the total, while five of Nevada’s last seven contests have gone over the number. The Lobos play at one of the fastest paces in college basketball, ranking No. 27 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings. Nevada likes to push the ball up the court as well, coming in at No. 65 in tempo.

Prediction: Over 158
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.