San Diego State vs UNLV Pick & Prediction: Target Total

San Diego State vs UNLV Pick & Prediction: Target Total article feature image

Via Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: (L-R) Micah Parrish #3, Jaedon LeDee #13, Jay Pal #4, Lamont Butler #5 and Reese Waters #14 of the San Diego State Aztecs stand on the court during a timeout in the second half of their game against the New Mexico Lobos at The Pit on January 13, 2024 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Lobos defeated the Aztecs 88-70. 

San Diego State vs UNLV Pick & Prediction

Thursday, March 14
5:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
San Diego State Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Welcome to the 2024 Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. The UNLV Rebels have the pleasure of playing at home during the tournament, and they will face the San Diego State Aztecs on Thursday evening.

The Rebels have been playing exceptionally well as of late as they have won five of their last six contests. Meanwhile, the Aztecs have stumbled a bit heading into the conference tournament after losing their last two regular-season games.

These two teams split the regular-season meetings, so this has the makings of a closely contested matchup as the Rebels enter as the four-seed while the Aztecs are the five-seed in the Mountain West Tournament.

The Rebels have the luxury of a home-court advantage, but will they capitalize on that Thursday?

San Diego State Aztecs

Despite being the favorite to win the Mountain West Conference Tournament, the San Diego State Aztecs have hit a bit of a slump lately. Forward Jaedon LeDee has been a great player but hasn't been enough to secure consistent wins for the team.

Their offense has been mediocre throughout the season, but their defense remains strong, particularly on the perimeter. However, their inconsistent offensive ability makes it hard for me to back them. Like the Rebels, the Aztecs prefer a slow offensive pace and don't run up and down the court.

I do believe their defense will contain the Rebels, but I wouldn't bet on them due to their inconsistency. In their two prior matchups, the Aztecs allowed the Rebels to score just 62 points.

If I had to choose, I would lean toward the Rebels due to their home-court advantage. At the moment, I can't trust the Aztecs' offense enough to bet on them.

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UNLV Runnin' Rebels

The Rebels most likely need to win the conference tournament to punch a ticket to the Big Dance, but they have home-court advantage working in their favor. It has been a bizarre season in the Mountain West Conference as the majority of the top of the league has proven that they can beat one another on any given night.

UNLV enters the game against San Diego State with nearly identically Adjusted Efficiencies on both sides of the floor, ranking 86th or better on both offense and defense. The Rebels do not shoot the 3 well, which is an issue against this elite Aztecs perimeter defense.

The Rebels offense ranks in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories, and they move at a methodical pace on offense. In the previous two matchups against the Aztecs, their best offensive performance was 62 points.

It is not a terrible offense by any means, but the matchup suggests the Rebels will struggle to score. Their defense needs to step up if they want to advance into the next round.

Defensively, they can contain the Aztecs' mediocre 3-point shooting. However, the Rebels' interior defense needs to step up or it could get ugly early.

San Diego State vs. UNLV

Betting Pick & Prediction

I believe betting on the under is the smarter decision rather than relying on either of these offenses. Both teams have a slow pace on offense, and I trust each of their defenses more.

Additionally, neither team excels in 3-point shooting, making defending the interior crucial for the Rebels. If they can maintain that, it will result in wasted possessions for the Aztecs. However, the Aztecs have an advantage in offensive rebounding, which will help them run down the clock.

Expect both of these defenses to put up big efforts in Las Vegas.

Pick: Under 136.5 (Bet to 135)

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