MWC Betting Notes
March 10, 2014
By Marc Lawrence
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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
March 12-15 -- All games at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV (home court of UNLV)
PROJECTED FINAL FOUR: NEW MEXICO, SAN DIEGO STATE, UNLV, BOISE STATE
THE WAY WE SEE IT:
Last year the ever-improving Mountain West sent five teams to the Big Dance. As a result, it matched the Big 10, the Big 12 and the Big East as the only conferences to send at least half of its members to the NCAA tournament. NEW MEXICO returns as the two-time defending champion. The Lobos were the preseason pick to win the conference and bring the nation’s #11 ranked team in Defensive Field Goal Percentage into this tourney. A 6-0 SUATS mark the last two seasons makes them the team to beat.
Steve Fisher’s SAN DIEGO STATE squad has been a member of the MWC each of its 15 years of existence and are 9-2 SU in this tournament the last four years. Like New Mexico, the Aztecs play sticky ‘D’ (#12 Defensive Field Goal Percentage). The razor-thin edge separating the two best teams in the league comes down to altitude. The Lobos play in it while the Aztecs are a sea-level team who are just 6-12 SUATS in their last eighteen games at altitude.
UNLV hosts the tourney for the 8th straight year. The up-and-down Rebels will rely on the power play of former UConn transfer Roscoe Smith, their leading scorer and rebounder. Like New Mexico and San Diego State, UNLV plays a salty brand of defense as well (#25 Defensive Field Goal Percentage).
BOISE STATE has gone one-and-out in its first two years in the MWC tourney. Five returning starters from last year’s 21-win unit will be dead serious about making amends. A 12-2 SU mark at press time versus sub .590 opponents overrides the Broncos’ ridiculous 5-12 ATS conference spread record this campaign.
THE SLEEPER: WYOMING
The ‘Mountain’ is down considerably this season as opposed to last, and as a result nary a ‘sleeper’ team stands out. The Cowboys come closest to filling the bill, sporting a nifty 7-1 ATS mark in games versus .650 or greater opponents this season. A 4-1 ATS dog log in this event against #3 or lower seeds means we actually may be calling their name.
KEY TOURNAMENT BEST BET: PLAY ON THE NO. 2 SEED IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Like Avis, apparently No. 2 tries harder when it comes to cutting down the nets in this tourney. That’s confirmed by the fact that these seeds are 7-0 SU and 6-0-1 ATS all-time in MWC title tilts.
EXTRA TOURNEY TRENDS & NOTES
AIR FORCE: 3-0 ATS off DD ATS win, 3-0 ATS w/revenge off SU win, 5-1 ATS as dogs 12 < pts, 0-4 ATS as favs, 0-3 ATS vs opp w/revenge, 2-14 SU all-time
BOISE ST: 3-1 ATS vs opp of BB SU losses, 5-2 ATS as pick or dogs 4 < pts, 0-5 ATS vs #2 seed, 2-5 ATS vs opp w/revenge
COLORADO ST: 5-1 ATS as #6-7 seed, 4-1 ATS as dogs vs opp off SUATS win, 1-5 ATS dogs < 4 pts, 1-4 ATS vs #1 seed, 1-3 ATS L4 as favs
FRESNO ST: 8-1 ATS off SU loss, 7-2 ATS w/revenge, 3-8 ATS off DD ATS win, 2-9 ATS off SU conference tourney win
NEVADA: 7-1 ATS as favs vs opp off BB SU wins, 0-6-1 ATS vs opp off BB SU losses, 0-5 ATS L5 as dogs, 1-6 ATS off DD ATS win, 1-6-1 ATS vs #3 seed or higher
NEW MEXICO: 5-0 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 3-0 ATS vs opp off DD SU loss, 6-1 ATS off DD SU win, 6-1-1 ATS dogs < 7 pts. 1-4 ATS vs #6 or higher seed
SAN DIEGO ST: 6-1 SUATS dogs 4 < pts, 3-1 ATS off DD SU loss, 0-3 ATS vs #3 seed, 1-7 ATS favs > 4 pts. 1-4 ATS off SUATS win vs opp w/revenge
UNLV: 5-0 ATS vs #1 seed, 5-1-1 ATS as pick or dogs, 8-3 ATS 2nd game, 5-2 ATS off DD SU win vs opp w/revenge, 0-4 ATS L4 as favs < 10 pts, 0-3 ATS as DD favs vs opp off BB SU losses
UTAH ST: 6-1 ATS as dogs off SU win, 5-2 ATS vs opp w/revenge off DD SU win, 0-3 ATS as favs < 7 pts, 1-3 ATS off BB SU losses
WYOMING: 4-0 ATS as #7 seed, 3-1 ATS as dogs off ATS loss, 1-5 ATS L6 as favs, 2-5 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 1-4 ATS vs opp off DD SU win
-- Dogs off BB SU losses are 18-8 ATS and 8-2 ATS as DD dogs
-- Teams w/revenge are 43-21-2 ATS and 10-2 ATS off 3+ SUATS losses
-- Favorites off a DD SU loss are 1-5 ATS
-- Teams off BB SUATS wins are 3-7 ATS vs opp off SU loss
-- #1 seeds are 9-22 ATS and 3-12 ATS off SUATS win
-- #2 seeds are 10-1 ATS vs opp off SUATS win
-- #3 seeds are 7-16-1 ATS and 1-9 ATS vs opp off SU loss
-- #4 seeds w/revenge are 5-0-2 ATS
-- #7 seeds are 7-1 ATS as dogs 10 < pts
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