The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels take on the Utah State Aggies in a Mountain West Conference showdown on February 5, 2020, at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Runnin’ Rebels dropped their third straight game when they lost 77-95 to Colorado State last Saturday. The loss brought UNLV back to 4th place in the conference team standings. They are 11-12 SU on the year and 6-4 in conference play. The Aggies lost to the San Diego State Aztecs 68-80 on Saturday to fall to 5th place in the Mountain West Conference. Utah State is 17-7 SU on the year but only 6-5 SU in conference play.
The Runnin’ Rebels were 6-1 a couple of weeks ago but have lost three in a row to fall to 6-4 in conference play and 4th place in the Mountain West Conference. In their most recent outing, UNLV lost to Colorado State 77-95 despite Bryce Hamilton waxing hot with 28 points scored.
Hamilton leads the Runnin’ Rebels in scoring at 14.8 points per game this season. Cheikh Mbacke Diong leads the team in rebounding at 8.7 boards per contest while Elijah Mitrou-Long is the leader in passing at 3.5 assists per game. Donnie Tillman is coming off a 15-point scoring game against Colorado State.
UNLV is averaging 71.9 points per game while shooting the ball at a 43.1% clip. They are pulling down an average of 39.0 rebounds and issuing 12.7 assists. On defense, the Runnin’ Rebels are allowing their opponents to score 70.9 points per game while also blocking 2.9 shots per contest.
The Aggies were projected to be the top team in their conference this season but
Utah State fell back to 5th place in the Mountain West Conference after suffering their second loss of the season to #4 San Diego State last Saturday. The Aggies are 5-5 in conference play but will have an opportunity to move up with their next three games coming against teams above them in the team standings.
Sam Merrill led the Aggies with 16 points last Saturday. Merrill is the team’s scoring leader at 17.8 points per game this season. Brock Miller added 15 points while Justin Bean scored 11 markers for Utah State. Bean is the team leader in rebounds at 10.1 boards grabbed per contest.
Utah State is scoring an average of 77.3 points per game while giving up only 64.4 points per contest. The Aggies are shooting the ball at a 45.3% accuracy and are collecting 40.5 rebounds per contest. They are also averaging 16.6 assists, 3.1 blocks and 6.3 steals per outing.
UNLV is 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. The Runnin’ Rebels are 1-3 SU in their last four games played on the road, and 4-9 SU in their last 13 February games. Utah State is 4-2 SU in their last six games played. The Aggies are 18-1 SU in their last 19 games played at home, and 15-5 SU in their last 20 games against the Mountain West Conference. Head to head, the Aggies are 4-2 SU in their last six games played against the Runnin’ Rebels.
The Runnin’ Rebels are 2-6 SU on the road this season and they have lost by an average margin of 11.5 points per game. UNLV has lost three straight after starting their conference play with a 6-1 record. In their last game played, they were blown out by Colorado State 77-95.
The Aggies are 11-1 SU at home this season with their only loss coming at the hands of San Diego State. Nine of those 11 home victories were against Divisional I schools with an average winning margin of 24.6 points per game. Utah State played well against unbeaten San Diego State before eventually losing that contest.
The Runnin’ Rebels defeated the Aggies 70-53 last January 1 in Las Vegas but the game should turn out differently this time around with Merrill and Queta back in action for Utah State. The Aggies still have a shot at becoming the 2nd best team in the conference if they finish strong. It has to start against UNLV.
PREDICTION: UTAH STATE AGGIES
The Runnin’ Rebels are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. UNLV is 1-3 ATS in their last four games played, and 1-4 ATS in their last five Wednesday games. The Aggies are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games played. Utah State is 3-1 ATS in their last four games played at home. Head to head, the Aggies are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games against the Runnin’ Rebels. Utah State is also 5-1 ATS in their last six home games played against UNLV.
Utah State has won seven out of their 12 home games this season by 25 points or more. Before their loss to San Diego State last week, they had won three consecutive games by an average winning margin of 21.3 points per game. On the other hand, UNLV has lost three in a row with two of those defeats coming via double-digit margin. The Runnin’ Rebels are just 2-6 on the road this season with an average losing margin of 11.5 points per contest. There are too many points to be given away here but I trust Utah State’s home offense is going to get the job done.
PREDICTION: UTAH STATE -11.5
The total has gone over in each of the last seven games played by UNLV. The over is 5-0 in the Runnin’ Rebels’ last five games played on the road. The under is 5-4-1 in Utah State’s last 10 games played. The total has gone under in 10 out of the last 15 February games played by the Aggies. Head to head, the total has gone under in five out of the last six games played by these two teams.
UNLV and Utah State both average over 70 points per game. The Runnin’ Rebels have scored at least 70 points in five out of their last six games played. The Aggies have topped 70 points in four out of their last six contests and are in the Top 100 in field goal percentage. Utah State is also averaging 85.6 points per game at home this season. I like these teams to hit the over.
PREDICTION: OVER 141
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