Nevada vs New Mexico Betting Odds & Picks: Expect Plenty of Points

Nevada vs New Mexico Betting Odds & Picks: Expect Plenty of Points article feature image
Credit:

Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: New Mexico’s Jamal Mashburn Jr.

Nevada vs New Mexico Odds

Tuesday, Feb. 7
10:30 p.m. ET
FS1
Nevada Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+4.5
-115
150.5
-110o / -110u
+150
New Mexico Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-4.5
-105
150.5
-110o / -110u
-185
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Mountain West Conference is so good, boasting five KenPom top-50 teams.

Nevada and New Mexico are two of those five. However, New Mexico could use this win more than Nevada.

The Lobos are now only 6-4 in conference play after losing two of their last three, including a double-overtime road game against Nevada. Meanwhile, the Wolf Pack find themselves in a three-way tie for second place in the MWC.

This game should be good, so let's check out the odds and my prediction for Nevada vs. New Mexico.


Nevada Wolf Pack

Nevada has it all.

The Pack boast an All-MWC point guard in Kenan Blackshear, who plays active defense (second in MWC in steal rate) while spearheading the nation's 25th-best ballhandling team by turnover rate.

When Grant Sherfield left for Oklahoma, Blackshear stepped up. He's a reliable pick-and-roll guard but is even better at creating his shot, especially with the game on the line.

YOU CAN COUNT ON KENAN BLACKSHEAR!

Nevada beats the 2022 Mountain West Champion Boise State Broncos behind his 20 points, 74-72.

Wolf Pack might be better than their ninth place prediction in the preseason poll. pic.twitter.com/VZ47ph3NHF

— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) December 29, 2022

Although Nevada is led by a star guard, no team in the Mountain West works through the post more than the Pack. Will Baker, a 7-foot center, is a force down low, dropping 13.5 points per game while ranking above the 90th percentile in post-up PPP.

Nevada runs plenty of Blackshear-Baker hi-lo action, but look out for spot-up sharpshooter Jarod Lucas, who leads the team in scoring (17.4 PPG) while shooting over 38% from deep on 6.8 attempts per game.

Nevada has also snuck up to second in the MWC in defensive efficiency, mostly through elite defensive rebounding — Darrion Williams is averaging 7.2 rebounds per game — and active hands.

It's also very relaxing betting on Nevada because the Wolf Pack are Villanova-like from the line.  Nevada is shooting over 80% from the charity stripe in league play.

The only thing Nevada doesn't have?

A Quad 1 win. The Pack are 0-3 in that category.

Nevada is still on the bubble, and a victory Monday would go a long way. Unfortunately, the Pit is not the most welcoming venue.

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New Mexico Lobos

In fact, KenPom projects that the Pit has the seventh-biggest home-court advantage in college hoops. So, it's not hard to believe New Mexico has one home loss this season (UNLV) and has covered eight of its 14 games at home.

It's concerning that New Mexico is only 5-3 on the road, but that's a problem for March. The Lobos are looking for a simple home win over a Nevada team with a 4-5 road record this year.

No team in college basketball is more efficient at attacking the rim. Jamal Mashburn and Jaelen House rim-run downhill more often and aggressively than any tandem in college hoops.

If that doesn't work out, it's usually pretty easy to dump it down to big man Morris Udeze, who is 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds of pure paint scoring.

Last-case scenario, Mashburn or House usually pulls up and hits a jumper. And with how aggressive New Mexico is, the Lobos rank top-20 nationally in free-throw rate.

Image via CBBAnalytics

But there are two problems with Richard Pitino's Lobos.

First, New Mexico is largely worthless on defense. Mashburn is a turnstile, and Udeze isn't the most effective interior defender or rim protector (although he is an elite rebounder).

Secondly, New Mexico's offense has been underwhelming in conference play. The Lobos continue to attack the rim but have fallen to seventh in the conference in 2-point shooting.

Additionally, New Mexico ranks 11th in the conference in 2-point defense. The Lobos' numbers seem buoyed by the second-best 3-point percentage and second-best 3-point defense in the MWC, but that's mostly luck.

ShotQuality projects the Lobos as the conference's ninth-best half-court offense and ninth-best half-court defense. While the Lobos have allowed only 28% from beyond the arc in conference play, the site projects that number should be just over 33%.

The Lobos spend a lot of time in transition, but the overall numbers don't inspire much confidence.

And the eye test backs up those numbers. Air Force outplayed New Mexico for large stretches two weeks ago, and the Lobos followed it up with an uninspiring 11-point loss to Utah State.

The Lobos are 1-3 against the spread in their last four.


Nevada vs New Mexico Betting Pick

Motivation shouldn't be a problem on either side, with New Mexico needing a bounce-back win in front of a raucous crowd and Nevada needing that elusive Quad 1 victory.

New Mexico's looming regression worries me. Moreover, the Lobos probably struggle to stop the Nevada hi-lo.

Whichever big man gets into foul trouble first likely sinks their team. The Baker-Udeze matchup is overly consequential to who will cover the spread.

But that's hard to project because both teams have been solid at drawing and avoiding fouls.

I'll probably be on the over, even if the number is slightly inflated following the double-overtime matchup between these two in late January. But ultimately, it's the best bet here considering the situation.

New Mexico will come out attacking with energy, and the Lobos should impose their lightning-quick pace in front of their home crowd — especially if Nevada is slightly sleepy following a blowout win over Air Force.

But Nevada will impose its will eventually, as there are too many matchup issues.

If this becomes a foul-fest between Baker and Udeze, it'll only extend the game. And these are two excellent free-throw shooting teams.

ShotQualityBets projects the total at 151.7, so there's some value on the over. FanDuel still has over 148.5 (-112) at the time of writing.

I'd look for over 150 or better.

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