This is about the last matchup that Colorado State wanted at this point in the season: a meeting in New Mexico with a struggling Lobos squad. At this point, playing the Lobos can only hurt Colorado State’s at-large profile, because facing an 11-14 team isn’t going to do much of anything for their chances.
Unfortunately for the Rams, not only is New Mexico better than its record appears, but it boasts one of the biggest home-court advantages in the nation. Colorado State knows all too well how tough it is to win at the Pit, as the Rams are 3-37 SU in their past 40 visits to Albuquerque and have just one win there since 2007.
Even in a year where New Mexico isn’t much of a threat to play in the postseason, the Lobos are always difficult to beat at home and played Colorado State tough in Fort Collins, losing to the Rams by six. If the Rams are going to keep building their profile with a win, it certainly won’t be an easy task.
CSU vs. UNM Betting Analysis
Opening Betting Odds and Lines
|Colorado State Rams
||New Mexico Lobos
|(20-3 SU, 12-10 ATS)
||(11-14 SU, 15-6-2 ATS)
When: 9 p.m, Thursday, February 17th
Where: University Arena, Albuquerque, N.M.
Betting the Total
The total might seem a little high, given that both teams had to shoot above 50 percent to hit it in Fort Collins, but the Rams tend to shoot that well anyway, regardless of the opponent. Plus, Colorado State’s defense isn’t really traveling very well. The Rams’ past three trips away from Fort Collins have all seen the over cash, with Colorado State having to get its score in the high 70s to get a victory.
That bodes well with New Mexico’s style, as the Lobos like to play fast and will likely try to push the tempo and force the issue in this situation. New Mexico has nothing to lose at this point in the season, so there’s no real reason for the Lobos to slow things down and try to grind out a win. This team likes to run and boasts a genuine scorer in Jaelen House, who has scored 76 points in his past two games. Expect a fair amount of points in this matchup.
Backing the Spread
New Mexico cannot afford to get bludgeoned on the backboards again. The last time the teams met, Colorado State won the rebounding battle 36-21 and only allowed the Lobos two offensive rebounds for the contest.
New Mexico is not a great rebounding team by any means, but the Lobos can hold their own at home, which they did against Wyoming in an upset of the Cowboys.
If they can do that, get House rolling and keep David Roddy from taking over the game, they’ve got a good chance to not only cover, but win outright.
With a 1-10 record in their past 11 visits to Albuquerque, there’s no way I’m laying the points with the Rams here. New Mexico is tough to beat at home and Colorado State isn’t likely to win the rebounding battle as easily as it did last time. Give me the Lobos and the points.
Expert Pick: Lobos +7.5 (-110) & O153.5 (-105)