Basketball Betting: NEW MEXICO LOBOS at UNLV REBELS (1/12)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL — January 12

NEW MEXICO at UNLV
(America’s Bookie Line: UNLV -5.5, Total 146.5) — After suffering three close losses (combined six points) to begin its Mountain West schedule, UNLV has fired head coach Dave Rice, and the replacement is someone who, in the grand tradition of Las Vegas, was “juiced in” to the job, Todd Simon, who is causing at least some controversy at the moment. This upheaval can’t necessarily have a positive effect on this team, as Rice did not exactly lose the locker room. New Mexico, meanwhile, is a pleasant surprise, winning its first three Mountain West games by double digits, and they have the guard who can create matchup problems in Elijah Brown, who not only leads the team in scoring (19.3 ppg) but also pulls down 5.6 rebounds a game. UNLV has struggled to make its free throws (65.4%), and Patrick McCaw, who they were relying on as a big scorer early in the season (20 vs. UCLA, 20 vs. Indiana) has averaged 6.5 ppg on 30% shooting over his last six. And Rice was in the process of shifting him over to point guard when he was fired. Remember that this MWC series has been visitor-oriented of late, with the road team winning the last four meetings straight-up.

PLAY BY JAY: NEW MEXICO +5.5 **

(All information is for news matter only; All games are graded on a scale of 1-4 stars. Lines are subject to change)