The New Mexico Lobos will look to get back to their winning ways when they square off against the undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats this Thursday night at Fifth Third Arena. The game is set to tip off at 9 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
The Lobos cracked the AP’s Top 25 with an impressive 12-0 straight up start but quickly retreated from the latest rankings after an ugly 70-65 loss to South Dakota State as 15-point favorites at home this past Saturday. New Mexico is 5-6-1 against the spread and the total has gone 3-3 in games with a posted line.
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Cincinnati has reeled off 12 straight wins to start the season and has climbed all the way to eighth in the latest AP poll after starting the season ranked No.24. The Bearcats are 5-3 ATS overall after covering in three of their last four games. The total has stayed “under” in their last four games with a posted line.
New Mexico vs. Cincinnati Betting Storylines
This game is a golden opportunity for New Mexico to climb right back into the national spotlight with a huge quality win, but it will need a total team effort to pull off the upset. The Lobos are shooting a less-than-impressive 42.1 percent from the field and equally poor 34.3 percent from three-point range. They are ranked 103rd in Division-I in scoring with an average of 71.5 points a game. They will also have to pick up the pace under the boards after averaging just 35.8 rebounds a game so far.
New Mexico has three players scoring in double figures led by Kendall Williams’ 14.8 points a game. Alex Kirk is averaging 10.9 points a game while converting on 49 percent of his shots from the floor. He also leads the team in rebounds with 7.5 a game. Tony Snell rounds out the trio with 11.6 points a game and is one the Lobos best three-point shooters at 35.7 percent.
The big man for the Bearcats this season has been Sean Kilpatrick. He leads the team in points per game (19.2) and is tied for the lead in rebounds (6.3) with Titus Rubles. Cashmere Wright is Cincinnati’s second-leading scorer with 14.2 points a game, and JaQuon Parker is chipping in another 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.
While Cincinnati is averaging a respectable 78.9 points a game, it continues to do most of its damage under the boards with 46.4 rebounds a game. This is currently the second-highest average in the nation. Defensively, the Bearcats have not given up more than 72 points all season and have held opponents to 60 points or less in nine of their first 12 games.
New Mexico vs. Cincinnati Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has opened Cincinnati as a seven-point home favorite with a total line still listed as OFF.
The Lobos are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six nonconference games. The total has stayed under in their last four games against the Big East.
The Bearcats are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS loss and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in four of their last five home games.
New Mexico vs. Cincinnati Predictions
New Mexico brings an impressive record into this matchup, including a victory over then-No.21 Connecticut on Nov.19, but it has yet to be really tested by a quality team. The Lobos will have a hard time against the Bearcats under the boards as well as keeping up with them on the scoreboard. Lay the points and stick with Cincinnati all the way in this one.
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