The UNLV Rebels and Nevada Wolf Pack will close down a two-game set at Lawlor Events Center in Reno on Tuesday night, so I bring you the best betting pick for this Mountain West Conference showdown along with the latest odds on William Hill Sportsbook.
On the last day of January, Nevada thrashed off UNLV as a 5-point home fave, 89-60. It was the Wolf Pack’s seventh straight victory over the Rebels, and Nevada opened as a firm 5.5-point favorite to extend its streak.
The Rebels are back on the losing path
The UNLV Rebels (6-8; 3-4 Conf.) won five straight games in January, but they finished the month with a pair of losses. Before that heavy defeat to the Wolf Pack, the Rebels lost to Utah State as 7-point home favorites, 83-74, so they are 1-3 ATS over the last four outings.
UNLV is No. 176 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings and No. 139 in the KenPom rankings. The Rebels tally 104.8 points per 100 possessions (114th in the country), and junior guard Bryce Hamilton leads the way with 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Hamilton didn’t play on Sunday due to an ankle injury and is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s clash.
The Rebels rank 179th in defensive efficiency, allowing 102.2 points per 100 possessions, and 295th in opponent 3-point percentage (36.3%). In seven conference games so far, the Rebels allowed their opponents to make a whopping 40.5% of their 3-pointers.
Nevada stopped a two-game slide
The Nevada Wolf Pack (11-7; 6-5 ATS) haven’t been at their best lately, dropping four of their last seven games including a couple of straight losses at the Wyoming Cowboys, 71-64 and 93-88. They were listed as slight favorites on both occasions but couldn’t cope with the Cowboys’ red-hot offense.
The Wolf Pack bounced back with an emphatic win over UNLV, improving to No. 124 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings. They are No. 109 in the KenPom rankings, scoring 105.3 points per 100 possessions (103rd in the country) and allowing 98.9 in a return (117th).
Sophomore guard Grant Sherfield leads the way for Nevada this season, posting 18.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. Junior guard Desmond Cambridge averages 15.3 points and 4.6 rebounds on the season, while sophomore big man Warren Washington adds 9.3 points and 5.7 boards a night.
- 2-4 ATS in the last six road games against Nevada
- 7-2-1 ATS in the last ten games against UNLV
- 7-2 ATS in the last nine games overall
The Wolf Pack dismantled UNLV last Sunday thanks to a tremendous shooting night. They made 56.4% of their field goals and 58.3% of their 3-pointers, but it’s hard to expect them to replicate that performance.
Still, the Wolf Pack should have enough firepower to beat the shorthanded Rebels and cover a 5.5-point spread. Bryce Hamilton is a huge part of UNLV’s game, while Nevada can count on all its key players. The Wolf Pack’s bench accounted for 39 points last Sunday.
Pick: Take Nevada -5.5 at -110
Nevada prefers to play at a fast pace, recording 70.1 possessions per 40 minutes, so the Rebels, who average 68.0 possessions per 40 minutes, have to slow down things as much as they can, especially if they miss their top scorer.
However, both these teams have been pretty much awful defensively so far this season. The over is 10-4 in Nevada’s last 14 games, and it is 5-0 in the previous five encounters between the Wolf Pack and Rebels, so I’m sticking with the betting trends.
Pick: Go over 143.5 points at -110