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It’s not a sexy game but I like the Monday Mountain West college basketball matchup between Nevada Wolf Pack (22-7) vs. the Wyoming Cowboys (8-20) from a betting angle.
Nevada has won six of its past seven games and is 6-1 against the spread (ATS). This includes back-to-back victories over San Jose State and Fresno State entering Monday.
Wyoming has six of the past seven games (2-5 ATS) with an active 3-game losing skid. The Cowboys are in the basement of the conference, two games behind Air Force in the win column for last place.
This is a revenge game for Nevada who have lost five straight games outright to Wyoming and seven consecutive meetings ATS dating back to Jan. 2020.
Nevada-Wyoming Betting Board (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Nevada (-230), Wyoming (+195)
- Spread: NEVADA -5.5 (-110), Wyoming +5.5 (-110)
- Total — 138.5 — Over: -110, Under: -110
This handicap is as much of a fade of the Cowboys as it is in support of the Wolf Pack. Wyoming is last in the Mountain West in SRS, per Sports Reference, which blends point-per-game margin and strength of schedule.
The three immediate teams ahead of the Cowboys in SRS are Fresno State, Air Force and San Jose State. Nevada is 3-0 straight up (SU) and ATS vs. those schools on the road with a +9.7 ATS margin.
Furthermore, most casual college basketball fans aren’t aware of how good the Wolf Pack are. Nevada as an outside chance of getting an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.
College basketball guru Ken Pom ranks the Wolf Pack No. 33 in the country in adjusted net efficiency, 133 spots ahead of the Cowboys. The NCAA ranks Nevada 30th in net rankings and Wyoming 191st.
That would make this a “Quad 1” game for the Cowboys who are just 1-5 in Quad 1 games and 0-8 in Quad 2. Whereas the Wolf Pack are 12-0 in Quad 3 and 4 games.
Nevada’s offense struggles on the road but its defense steps up. Per Bart Torvik, the Wolf Pack are 51st in adjusted defensive efficiency on the season. On the road, Nevada’s adjusted defensive efficiency climbs to 9th nationally.
Wyoming on the other hand is atrocious defensively. The Cowboys rank 318th out of 363 schools in defensive effective field goal shooting and 264th in defensive turnover rate, according to Ken Pom.
Finally, the Wolf Pack do the most important thing a favorite in basketball can do: Make free throws. Nevada 28th in offensive FT/FGA rate and have the 2nd-best free throw percentage in the country.
Bet: Nevada -5.5 (-110), up to -6.5
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