UNLV RUNNIN' REBELS (14-3)
at SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (14-2)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 10:00 p.m. ET
Line: San Diego State -4, Total: 134
No. 15 San Diego State tries to run its home win streak to 11 games when Mountain West foe UNLV pays a visit on Wednesday night.
The Rebels are 0-5 ATS in their past five games, losing both of their road trips outright at North Carolina and New Mexico. San Diego State comes into this one having gone 14-1 SU and 7-3 ATS since a season-opening loss to Syracuse on board an aircraft carrier. The only straight-up loss was a one-point defeat on a neutral court in Hawaii on Christmas Day against an Arizona team that had been undefeated until last week. These teams split their season series with a pair of two-point games, and the past five meetings have been decided by a total of 18 points.
Can San Diego State keep its home win streak intact on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have a collective 28-21 ATS (57%) mark in the past seven days, boosting them to 53% ATS (228-205-8) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who sits at 58.4% ATS (52-37) for the season, while StatFox Dave is at 54% ATS (82-70-3) on the year. Dave is also 5-1-1 ATS (83%) since Nov. 24 when he mentions the word "hammer" in his analysis, including 3-1 ATS when he uses the term "Hammertime" for a favorite covering a large spread. StatFox Scott is 51% ATS for the season, after going 63% ATS (10-6) since Jan. 7, and StatFox Brian is 63% ATS (5-3) in the past four days.
UNLV doesn't shoot particularly well (45.0% FG, 106th in nation), but the team scores 77.5 PPG (28th in D-I) with 18.4 APG (3rd in nation) and 42.5 RPG (8th in D-I). The Rebels began MWC play with a loss at New Mexico, and needed overtime to outlast 13.5-point underdog Air Force at home on Saturday. Despite the near loss, many Rebels shined on the offensive end, as SF Anthony Bennett racked up 22 points and 16 boards, PF Mike Moser scored 14 points with 11 rebounds, SG Bryce Dejean-Jones had 18 points in just 22 minutes off the bench, and PG Anthony Marshall dished out 12 assists with just two turnovers. The freshman Bennett is clearly the star of this team with 19.6 PPG (56% FG, 41% 3-pt FG), 9.3 RPG and 1.4 BPG. He has scored at least 10 points in every game this season and has seven double-doubles in his past 10 contests. Moser has been slowed by a dislocated elbow injury this season, but Saturday's game showed that his injury appears to be behind him now. In two games versus SDSU last season, he averaged 14.0 PPG and 10.5 RPG, including a team-high 19 points in a 65-63 home win over the Aztecs last February. Dejean-Jones averages just 9.7 PPG this season, but has 13.0 PPG in his past three contests. Marshall had a strong offensive series versus the Aztecs last season with 15.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 4.5 APG.
San Diego State isn't a prolific scoring team, averaging just 72.1 PPG (83rd in D-I), but the Aztecs hold opponents to 59.0 PPG on 37.9% FG for the season. Do-it-all swingman Jamaal Franklin leads the team in minutes (32.3 MPG), points (17.8 PPG), rebounds (10.3 RPG) and assists (3.5 APG). He doesn't shoot particularly well (42.9% FG, 27.8% threes), but he's averaging 20.3 PPG and 12.3 RPG in three games this month, and is coming off his fifth 20-point effort on Saturday, scoring 23 in the overtime win over Colorado State. He also had 19.5 PPG and 9.0 RPG in two meetings with UNLV last season, making a game-winning layup with 0.3 seconds left in a 69-67 home win over the Rebels last January. Senior SG Chase Tapley (15.1 PPG) has always been an accurate shooter, and he currently owns a career-best 3-pt FG Pct (43.7%) to go along with his 47.1% FG clip. He's scored at least 13 points in nine of the past 10 games, chipping in 19 points in Saturday's win. Tapley also scored 16.5 PPG on 50% FG (5-of-10 threes) in two meetings with the Rebels last season. Junior G Xavier Thames is the team's other double-digit scorer with 10.5 PPG, but he's been struggling to score in his past three games, making just 8-of-24 shots. Both Tapley (flu) and Thames (stiff back) were able to overcome injuries on Saturday, and should be much closer to 100 percent on Wednesday.