MWC 1st Round-UNLV Rebels vs. Nevada Wolf Pack - 3/11/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Nevada Wolf Pack (9-21) at UNLV Rebels (17-14)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 5:30 pm (Thomas & Mack Center)
The Line: UNLV Rebels -10 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The UNLV Rebels look to keep their season going with an opening round win versus the Nevada Wolf Pack in the MVC postseason.
USA TODAY Sports
The Nevada Wolf Pack never got going in 2014-15 and their 9-21 record says as much. Conference play was not very kind either at 5-13 with defeats in five of six to conclude the regular season. The Wolf Pack were outscored 67-61 so the offensive side has been an issue especially when the team shoots the ball at around 38% and have issues pushing the score in to the mid 60’s.
I am concerned about the defensive end of the floor because they typically need a shutdown effort and sometimes that wasn’t enough so the key to advancing for Nevada has to be putting the ball in the basket. AJ West is best suited for that job at 12 points and nearly eleven rebounds on 50% marksmanship. It’s score by committee after West with five players adding between 6-9 points but only one shoots better then 40%.
It hasn’t been the kind of season long time UNLV Rebels have seen in the past with the team forced in to a play in game. The Rebels have a 17-14 record but their 8-10 mark in the Mountain West just doesn’t look like it belongs. The Rebels have outscored opponents 68-65 so there is potential at both ends of the floor but they seemed to lose just about every close game.
Christian Wood is the star of the Rebels attack at 15 points and ten rebounds and almost three blocks on 49% accuracy. The problems facing the offense is 18 point scorer Rashad Vaughn is out for the year with a torn meniscus while second leading scorer Patrick McCaw might be out with a concussion. UNLV has six players that average between 5-7 points but that won’t be enough if McCaw is out or less then 100% which looks to be the case.
The Rebels are clearly the better team but with the injuries to two of their top players I wonder how big the gap is now. The Wolf Pack have played tough in this match up but I still have to give the edge to UNLV who play great defense and should control this if Nevada’s offense struggles to find their shot. Not a great betting opportunity to me with the injuries…