Nevada vs. New Mexico: Game Preview, Odds, How To Watch
Nevada and New Mexico square off in respective conference openers
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Both teams had their original conference matchups postponed
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (6-5, 0-0 Mountain West) vs. New Mexico Lobos (7-6, 0-0 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, January 1st – 6:00 PM PST / 7:00 PM MST
WHERE: Lawlor Events Center – Reno, NV
STREAMING: FS1 (Subscription Required)
SERIES RECORD: Nevada leads, 10-7
LAST MATCHUP: January 2, 2021 – Nevada won, 84-74
ODDS: Nevada -11
OVER UNDER: 155.5
Reno, NV – The Nevada Wolf Pack and the New Mexico Lobos are set to kick off the new year in Mountain West play on Saturday January 1, 2021 at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, NV.
The 10 point line favoring the Wolf Pack (just a point shy of their 12 point average margin of victory last season over the Lobos) demonstrates both the sharp favorability of the Wolf Pack and the lack of confidence in one of America’s younger college basketball teams, which has yet to show a consistent level of success, especially defensively.
Nevada is coming home off an 88-61 defeat at the hands of #6 Kansas inside Phog Allen Fieldhouse, a game that was quickly scheduled as both teams conference opponents required a reschedule to to COVID-19-related issues within their programs. Nevada was originally slated to play San Jose State.
New Mexico is coming off a victory over Norfolk State in Albuquerque, and like Nevada, searched for an alternate opponent (albeit without success) after their December 28th conference opener against favorite Colorado State was postponed due to COVID-19-related issues within the Rams program.
In that game (arguably New Mexico’s best defensive outing this season), New Mexico held Norfolk State to just a 31.7% field goal percentage and a 21.7% three-point percentage. In that game, Jaelen House finished with 16 points, 6 assists and 4 steals and 3 rebounds and shot 50% from the floor, while returning wing/forward Emmanuel Kuac added 11 points and 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Notably Jamal Mashburn Jr., the Lobos leading scorer, experienced a rare game of inefficient offense.
Similarly, in their game against the #6 ranked Jayhawks, Nevada’s leading scorers Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge struggled to find an efficient offensive rhythm. But Norfolk State isn’t Kansas. And though New Mexico may have (at times) the guard play to keep up with the likes of Cambridge Jr. and Sherfield, the team simply doesn’t have the size to match up with Nevada’s 7’0 duo in Will Baker and Warren Washington.
To win, New Mexico will need to rely heavily on small ball principles. Good ball movement, sharp shooting, pesky defense and fast pace to compete, while Nevada’s experience and size will give them the best chance to start the conference season 1-0.