New Mexico vs. San Diego State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting
Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Mashburn Jr. (New Mexico)
- San Diego State puts its perfect conference record on the line as it hosts New Mexico.
- Meanwhile, the Lobos are 15-2 this season and looking to put a blemish on the Aztecs' record.
- Keg digs into the matchup and offers up his best bet below.
New Mexico vs. San Diego State Odds
|New Mexico Odds
-110o / -110u
|San Diego State Odds
-110o / -110u
The Lobos had one of the best overall non-conference performances by any team this season, going a perfect 13-0. But now fresh off a win over Oral Roberts, it's nothing but Mountain West play for the rest of the season.
And it begins against the second-toughest defense in the conference in the Aztecs.
The Aztecs are 13-3 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in conference. Last time out was their biggest challenge in MWC play so far, as they took on the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Nevada never held a lead in the game, while the Aztecs led by as many as 22 at one point in the second half. In an absolute shocker, though, the Wolf Pack covered +9.5 by half a point after being down 17 at the four-minute mark.
Covering these larger spreads has been an issue lately for San Diego State. In four of its last five, SDSU has been a favorite of more than five, and it's failed to cover in each.
The Aztecs are also just 4-9-2 ATS on the season and have been 1-5-2 at home.
Will covering the spread be an issue once again against the Lobos?
The Lobos were rolling as they came into conference play, and that continued against their first two Mountain West opponents, Colorado State and Wyoming.
But they then dropped a game at Fresno State, which they followed with a seven-point loss in front of a sold out crowd at home.
New Mexico picked up a game against a top mid-major in Oral Roberts to get back on track, which it did by beating the Golden Eagles by seven. But I think that result may hurt the Lobos more than it helped them as they prepare for San Diego State.
Oral Roberts flies up and down the floor. It doesn't force many turnovers and it can't defend the perimeter. There may not be a more polar-opposite team to the Aztecs.
San Diego State is going to pressure the Lobos on every possession. New Mexico has been good about not turning it over, but it hasn't been pressured like this before.
More importantly, the Lobos were able to play freely against Oral Roberts, and this will be completely different.
Against the Aztecs, New Mexico can find success both in the paint, as well as at the free-throw line. The Lobos are hitting 51.6% in the paint and averaging 24.9 free-throw attempts per game. They're also hitting 72.4% at the line.
San Diego State is allowing teams to hit 46.8% in the paint so far in conference play. And while opponents only average 16 free-throw attempts per game against the Aztecs, SDSU has averaged 17 fouls per game and UNM has been able to draw 21.6 per contest.
Getting to the line could be the deciding factor late in this game, something that's cost the Aztecs covering the spread on a regular basis.
San Diego State has long been known for its defense. But this year in particular, there's a clear improvement in its focus and performance on the offensive end — and even more so in conference play.
Matt Bradley is averaging 13.5 points per game on the season, but in conference play, he has kicked it into a different gear. Through four conference games, Bradley is averaging 21.3 points per game while hitting better than 50% from the floor and 3-point range.
He ranks in the 97th percentile since conference play began in effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage.
Regression is coming, though, and it could very well come against a stout Lobos defense. However, New Mexico has allowed conference opponents to cash in 37% from mid-range — the area Bradley takes a majority of his shots.
New Mexico vs. San Diego State Betting Pick
This game will be decided by two things: turnovers and free throws. The Lobos have been elite at limiting turnovers and getting to the foul line.
However, there has been a noticeable drop off in free-throw attempts since conference play began for the Lobos. And San Diego State has been one of the best in the nation when it comes to forcing turnovers.
With all of that said, I think New Mexico knows this is one of its most important conference games of the season. And after dropping games to both Fresno State and UNLV, it needs to be sharp here if it's going to stay in contention the rest of the way.
In addition to that, the Aztecs have struggled to cover the spread. Home court hasn't been much help either, as they are just 1-5-2 at Viejas Arena, which is why I'll be backing the Lobos to keep this one close.
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