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Colorado State vs. New Mexico Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide

Colorado State vs. New Mexico Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaelen House.

  • Colorado State and New Mexico square off in a Mountain West showdown.
  • Can the Lobos continue their hot start to the season?
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives in with a full preview and a best bet.

Colorado State vs. New Mexico Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 28
9 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Colorado State Odds
-110o / -110u
New Mexico Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Mountain West Conference play begins on Tuesday with the biggest surprise of the nonconference slate in New Mexico hosting Colorado State at The Pit. It's traditionally been one of the best home courts in college basketball, although that's not been quite the case in recent seasons due to the program's struggles.

The Lobos finished the nonconference slate undefeated and notched solid wins against Saint Mary's and Iona. Richard Pitino's squad was primed for improvement with all of its returning production, but even the most optimistic Lobos fan couldn't have foreseen a 12-0 start.

Colorado State has been a bit more disappointing in the nonconference, but Niko Medved's Rams battled a bunch of injuries. Once Isaiah Stevens returned to the lineup, the Rams were much more efficient offensively. This matchup should feature some of the best guard play in the Mountain West, and it might also be time to sell high on the Lobos entering league play.

Colorado State Rams

The Rams ended nonconference play with a disappointing neutral court loss to USC in which they made just 5-of-27 from beyond the arc. The Rams weren't able to overcome the shooting splits from deep as USC made 47% of its 3s.

The biggest issue for Colorado State this season has been the defense on the perimeter conceding too many open jump shots. They haven't been good in ball screens, either, but the Rams rank below average per Synergy in allowing open jump shots from the perimeter. It's why the 3-point defense is just 192nd nationally.

New Mexico can't really exploit that, though, and the Rams offense should be able to find some holes in the untested Lobos defense. Medved's offense revolves around a ton of spacing, motion and cutting. They also love to get Isaiah Stevens in ball screens as much as possible and let him create with shooters surrounding him.

To stop Colorado State, you have to be able to apply ball pressure and disrupt the motion. New Mexico's defense profile on Synergy is poor in two areas — defending cutting actions and defending spot-up shooters. That makes it a poor matchup against the Rams offense.

Colorado State is still an elite jump shooting team that will protect the ball and force New Mexico to make difficult rotations. The Lobos have conceded open shots all year but haven't played an offense the quality of Colorado State to exploit that.

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New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico always projected to improve in the Mountain West this year because both of its starting guards returned from last season. Jamal Mashburn and Jaelen House are two of the best guards in the conference, and now they finally have the required help in the rotation to get more consistent production around them.

The offense is heavily reliant on both pick-and-roll with the guards involved and post-ups. But they are also efficient at operating in scramble mode because of the off the dribble creation ability of Mashburn and House. The offense loves to run in transition whenever possible, and they manage to avoid turnovers as well.

Synergy grades the Lobos pick-and-roll offense in the top 20 percentile nationally and the Rams ball screen defense has been quite mediocre this season. But Colorado State is one of the best teams in the country at forcing you to play in the halfcourt.

The Rams halfcourt defense is beatable, especially on the interior. But Colorado State doesn't commit numbers forward for offensive rebounds and doesn't turn the ball over. That means you have to score in the halfcourt to beat them.

The strength of the Lobos offense is not at all perimeter shooting. New Mexico barely even attempts shots from beyond the arc and won't be able to expose Medved's perimeter defensive holes. Colorado State's defense has also improved in the post-up this year per Synergy.

Colorado State vs. New Mexico Betting Pick

From a matchup perspective, this is a great one for the Colorado State offense to expose New Mexico's defense. The Lobos certainly have advantages in their ball screens and in transition, but it's hard to create those transition looks against the Rams.

In terms of the spot, this is near the peak of the market on the Lobos. Even with the elite home court at The Pit, we are on winter break, and that could limit the student craziness you normally see in this Mountain West home games.

It's time to sell high on the undefeated Lobos, and Colorado State's offense will keep them in this game.

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