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San Francisco vs. UNLV Odds, Picks | Saturday NCAAB Betting Preview

San Francisco vs. UNLV Odds, Picks | Saturday NCAAB Betting Preview article feature image
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Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Kruger (UNLV)

San Francisco vs. UNLV Odds

Saturday, Dec. 17
5 p.m. ET
Mountain West Network
San Francisco Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+6.5
-110
145
-110o / -110u
+225
UNLV Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-6.5
-110
145
-110o / -110u
-265
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Rebels look to remain perfect on Saturday afternoon as they host the San Francisco Dons. Despite a 10-0 start to their season, the Rebels are still unranked, likely due to the lack of competition they’ve faced.

UNLV has received votes for the top 25, though, and a win over San Francisco — just the fourth team it’ll face that’s ranked 108th or better by KenPom — could be enough to give the Rebels their first ranking since January of 2013.

San Francisco had a hot start to the season, similar to that of the Rebels. The Dons even earned a win over Wichita State during their 6-0 start.

But in the five games since, the Dons are just 2-3, with all of their losses coming away from home against teams ranked 150th or better.

Does San Francisco have what it takes to not only step up in a situation that has proved too difficult for it so far this year, but also become the first team to take down UNLV?


San Francisco Dons

While their 6-0 start to the season was impressive, the Dons have been average at best.

They also have some critical weaknesses UNLV may be able to take advantage of.

One of the Dons’ biggest issues has been their shooting, San Francisco’s relies almost entirely on the big three of Khalil Shabazz, Zane Meeks and Tyrell Roberts to score the ball. All three are averaging double-digit points per game, while Shabazz and Roberts average 33+ minutes a game.

However, outside of those three, no other player on the team is averaging more than seven points per game. And as a team, the Dons are hitting just 43.1% of their shots, ranking outside the top 200.

If two of their three main scorers have an off night, get into foul trouble or god forbid have to miss an extended period of time, this San Francisco offense will see a massive drop-off.

An even bigger concern against UNLV will be the turnover issues that have plagued the Dons. San Francisco ranks 288th nationally, giving up 14.7 turnovers per game.

The Rebels, meanwhile, have been the second-best team in college basketball when it comes to forcing turnovers, taking the ball away on 30% of opponent possessions and averaging 21.1 turnovers per game.

UNLV Rebels

The Rebels’ 10-0 start to the season has been almost entirely a result of their defense. Through its first 10 games, UNLV has held opposing teams to 62.2 points per game and limited them to just 40.8% from the floor.

Both teams match up evenly when it comes to rebounding, but San Francisco has been amongst the best in terms of limiting offensive rebounds. The Dons rank fourth in the nation, allowing opponents to come down with an offensive rebound on just 20.6% of attempts.

Neither team has relied much at all on second-chance points, but whichever team can control the boards will undoubtedly have the upper hand.

The biggest advantage I expect the Rebels to have against the Dons, though, will be their ability to get to the line and make free throws. UNLV ranks 30th in the nation when it comes to free-throw attempts, with opponents averaging 19.8 fouls per game against the Rebels.

That’s already been a major problem for San Francisco this season, as it’s racked up 18.9 fouls per game on average.

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San Francisco vs. UNLV Betting Pick

This San Francisco offense has struggled enough against defenses much worse than UNLV, and with the Rebels’ ability to force turnovers, I don’t see this being a close game between the two.

The Dons have the ability to find success on the glass, but being physical around the basket will ultimately lead to fouls. And at the end of the day, UNLV will once again have the advantage at the line.

I’ll be backing the Rebels as high as a 10-point favorite on Saturday afternoon.

Pick: UNLV -10 or Better

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