Tonight the San Diego State Aztecs will travel to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas to take on the UNLV Runnin Rebels in the Quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBSSN. Current Vegas betting odds have the Aztecs listed as 5.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 121.
Analysis: The San Diego State Aztecs have lost just twice in their last 11 games, but both losses have been to Boise State, who is the top seed in the MWC Tourney. The Aztecs still had a very good year as they went 24-7 overall, including 14-4 in the MWC. SDSU has gone 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games, but just 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 Thursday games. The Aztecs have been a poor offensive team this year, ranking 292nd in scoring (62.4 ppg), 262nd in shooting (42.0%), 290th in 3 point shooting (31.6%) and 341st in FT shooting (62.5%). Defensively the Aztecs have been excellent this year as they come in ranked 2nd in points allowed (53.4 ppg), 6th in defensive FG% (37.6%) and 15th in 3 point defense (29.8%).
The UNLV Rebels have been an inconsistent team all year and really didn't finish the regular season all that strong with losses in 5 of their last 9 games overall, but they did start off the MWC conference with a solid 21 point win over Nevada. The Rebels are now 18-14 overall, which includes a solid 13-4 at the Thomas & Mack. UNLV has gone 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU win of more than 20 points, but just 8-20-1 ATS in the last 29 games in the series. The Rebels have been an average offensive team this year, as they come in ranked 158th in scoring (68.3 ppg), 123rd in shooting (44.4%), 70th in 3 point shooting (36.9%) and 261st in FT shooting (66.8%). Defensively the Rebels have been decent as they come in ranked 118th in points allowed (64.3 ppg), 30th in defensive FG% (39.4%) and 173rd in 3 point defense (34.1%).
Pick: I will look at the Under in this game. The Aztecs are a very slow paced team that plays excellent defense and just don't play a whole lot of games in the 120s. The last 5 games for San Diego State have averaged just 113.8 ppg, while their road games have put up just 119.8 ppg. UNLV is not a great offensive team and their defense is playing much better of late as the have allowed just 60.8 ppg in their last 5 games and they will be taking on a San Diego State squad that has averaged just 61.8 ppg on the road this year. The Teams have met twice this year and 118 and 100 points were scored in the two games. I expect this one to fall somewhere between the two numbers.
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