NCAA basketball on Wednesday night and we will see the San Diego State Aztecs travel to Las Vegas to take on the UNLV Runnin Rebels. The game has a start time of 11:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBSSN. Vegas odds have the Aztecs listed as 2.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 129.5.
Analysis: The Aztecs come in at 25-3 overall and 12-2 in the MWC, with both losses coming on the road at New Mexico and Wyoming. After an embarrassing 58-44 loss at New Mexico, San Diego State has bounced back in a big way beating San Jose State by 26 at home and Fresno State by 15 on the road. The Aztecs are not a great offensive team as they come in averaging just 69.4 ppg overall and 69.8 ppg on the road. Xavier Thames leads the offense with 16.6 ppg, while Winston Sheppard is the only other player to average in double digits for the Aztecs at 12.4 ppg. JJ O'Brien is 3rd on the team in scoring at 6.5 ppg, while Josh Davis leads the team in rebounding at 10.0 rpg and is also 4th on the team in scoring at 8.5 ppg. Defense is what fuels this team as they come in allowing just 57.2 ppg (4th in nation) on just 38.3% shooting (9th).
The UNLV Runnin Rebels come in on a two game win streak to push their record to 19-10 overall and 10-6 within the Conference. The Rebels ave not been great at home, as they have just a 12-6 record at the Thomas & Mack. UNLV Averages a modest 72.3 ppg on the year, but will be a bit shorthanded tonight with the loss of 3rd leading scorer, Roscoe Smith, who is out with a concussion. Bryce Dejean-Jones leads the offense with 13.7 ppg, while Khem Birch (11.6 ppg) and Kevin Olekaibe (10.6) are the remaining active players that average double digits for the Rebels. The Rebels will miss Roscoe Smith on the boards as he is the leading rebounder on the team at 11 rpg. Defensively, the Rebels have been solid this year, allowing just 65.1 pg overall on 39.9% shooting.
Pick: The Aztecs put up 90 and 82 points in their last 2 games, but that is not their normal style of play, plus it was vs San Jose State and Fresno State. Now they face a UNLV team that has played good defense at home this year, allowing just 64.7 ppg on their home floor. San Diego State knows about playing good defense as they have allowed just 57.2 ppg which is 4th in the nation. On the road the Aztecs have allowed just 63.1 ppg and they allowed UNLV just 52 points in an earlier matchup this year. This time UNLV will be without its 3rd leading scorer (Rosco Smith, 11 ppg), so they should struggle on the offensive end, especially vs this defense. The Aztecs are a mediocre offensive team that averages just 68 ppg on 42.6% shooting away from home and they did score just 63 points in the earlier matchup vs the Rebels. Both teams will look to their defenses to win this game and in what should be a fairly slow paced game we should get a game in the low 120's at best.
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