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New Mexico vs San Jose State Odds & Prediction: Bet This Underdog

New Mexico vs San Jose State Odds & Prediction: Bet This Underdog article feature image

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

New Mexico vs San Jose State Odds

Friday, Feb. 17
10:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
New Mexico Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
San Jose State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

New Mexico went from 14-0 and ranked in the AP Poll to underdogs against San Jose State. What a fall from grace.

Such is life in the Mountain West, where UNLV is suffering a similar fate.

Speaking of the Mountain West, this game is huge for conference tournament seeding. If the season ended before tip, San Jose State would claim the No. 5 seed and the final first-round bye, while New Mexico would hold the No. 6 seed and be forced to play an extra game.

Seeding could flip if this game goes the Lobos’ way, but they’ll have to snap a four-game losing streak against a Spartans team working on three straight wins.

New Mexico Lobos

Even before dropping four straight, the Lobos were playing with fire.

In the nine games before the losing streak, New Mexico went 4-5 against the spread. In the six games before the win streak, New Mexico went 4-2 SU, but ShotQuality graded it 2-4 SU analytically.

During that run was a game against San Jose State. The Lobos won by 20, but the game was graded as a three-point loss based on the quality of shots taken and allowed.

Photo via ShotQuality.

New Mexico is a two-fold team.

The good: The Lobos are an elite midrange shooting team with a backcourt that can take over a game better than any tandem in college hoops. Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. are so athletic and dangerous in isolation.

Morris Udeze is also a great big man in pick-and-roll sets.

The bad: The Lobos rely on an inefficient style of play (like UCLA, except the Bruins do it 10 times better) and are lackluster defensively. They’ve dropped to eighth in the MWC in defensive efficiency and 11th in 2-point defense.

But you have to think the Lobos will snap this losing streak eventually.


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San Jose State Spartans

This is a good SJSU team by Spartan standards. The Spartans do a lot of things well.

San Jose State has trended way up defensively, defending well on the interior despite dropping off most ball-handlers (362nd in defensive turnover rate).

Meanwhile, nobody rebounds better than the Spartans.

Photo via CBB Analytics.

Those two things are largely influenced by 7-foot center Ibrahima Diallo, who ranks inside the top 80 nationally in offensive rebounding rate (80th), defensive rebounding rate (33rd) and block rate (7th).

Offensively, it’s a mixed bag. The Spartans crash the glass but turn the ball over like crazy and have zero shot makers.

Interestingly, ShotQuality calls for a lot of positive regression on offense and negative regression on defense. The site grades SJSU’s ball-screen offense as great and its ball-screen defense as very poor. I’m not sure if the eye test backs that up.

You have to think the Spartans will see some regression at the charity stripe. They’re 308th in free-throw shooting (67.6%) and 362nd in free-throw defense (78.7%).

New Mexico vs San Jose State Betting Pick

It’s basically impossible not to take New Mexico as an underdog here, even with Jaelen House being a game-time decision.

San Jose State is playing inspired basketball (again, by its standards), but I don’t mind selling high on the Spartans after back-to-back wins.

Meanwhile, the market will never be lower on New Mexico. Again, the formerly 14-0 Lobos are underdogs against San Jose State.

Neither team has a sparkling analytical profile, but ShotQuality is still much higher on New Mexico. The ShotQualityBets model makes the Lobos 8.2-point favorites Friday night.

Diallo and Udeze likely cancel each other out. So, with major conference seeding implications on the line, I’d much rather roll with the most dangerous backcourt in the mid-majors.

I’ll take the Lobos as long as they’re catching points.

Pick: New Mexico +1.5 (Play to +1)

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