UNLV’s David Jenkins Jr. (5) shoots against Utah State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
- The Nevada Wolf Pack favored to extend their winning streak over the visiting UNLV Runnin’ Rebels to seven games
- Wolf Pack have lost two in a row, while the Rebels look to rebound from this week’s loss to Utah State, which halted a five-game win streak
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday night’s MWC conference clash at Lawlor Events Center
The Nevada Wolf Pack hope to extend their current SU win streak against Nevada to seven games when they host the Runnin’ Rebels on Sunday as 2-point favorites. The Wolf Pack enjoy a steady run of success against UNLV that dates back to March 2013, posting wins in 12 of 16 meetings during that stretch. The Runnin’ Rebels travel to Reno on the rebound after seeing a 5-0 SU run halted by an 83-74 loss to Utah State earlier this week.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday night’s Mountain West Conference matchup at Lawlor Events Center.
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs Nevada Wolf Pack Odds
|UNLV Runnin’ Rebels||+2 (-110)||+110||O 142.5 (-110)|
|Nevada Wolf Pack||-2 (-110)||-133||U 142 (-110)|
*Odds taken at FoxBet on Jan. 30th
Nevada Riding Two-Game Slide
While they have regularly dominated UNLV, the Wolf Pack enter Sunday’s contest riding a two-game SU losing streak. Both of the team’s recent losses came on the road against Wyoming last weekend, and as betting favorites. Nevada shooters struggled badly in a 71-64 loss to the Cowboys as 3.5-point chalk last Friday night, scoring just 21 points before the break, and shooting just 33.9% from the floor. However, the team showed character while mounting an epic comeback in the second half, erasing a 20-point deficit before seeing the Cowboys bounce back in the final minutes.
Nevada fell short to Wyoming, 71-64 of an incredible comeback, trailing by as many as 20 in the second half. The Pack drop to 10-6 on the year and 3-4 in MWC play. The two foes will close their two-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. PST on CBS Sports Network. https://t.co/538tfDfj8Z pic.twitter.com/iQQqMlpFJs
— Matt Hanifan (@MattHanifan_) January 23, 2021
The Wolf Pack were steadier in last Sunday’s rematch, keeping pace with the Cowboys for the first 38 minutes before eventually falling 93-88. The team’s struggles in Wyoming have dumped them to 2-4 SU in their past six conference outings, and to a middling 5-5 SU against Mountain West opponents this season. That is far short of the pace they set last season, which they closed out with 12-6 SU record in conference play, good for a share of second place alongside the Runnin’ Rebels.
Fun Fact: Nevada has beaten UNLV a record six straight times. The Wolf Pack is 12-4 against UNLV in the last 16 games and 21-18 since 1993-94. UNLV won 41 of the first 50 games between the teams and then pushed out Jerry Tarkanian for some reason.
— Chris Murray (@ByChrisMurray) January 29, 2021
The Wolf Pack have remained steady on home court, going 4-1 SU in their past five including a 3-1 SU mark against conference rivals. Nevada was also a reliable bet before their two recent upset losses to the Cowboys, covering in eight or their previous nine overall. That success has also extended to recent meetings with the Runnin’ Rebels, with the Wolf Pack going 10-5-1 ATS during their current dominant head-to-head run.
Injuries, Lack of Secondary Scoring Concerns for Rebels
The Runnin’ Rebels ran out of gas in Wednesday’s loss to the Aggies as 7-point underdogs. Trailing by just two points at recess, UNLV quickly lost ground to Utah State in the second half. The team shot just 37.5% from the field in the second half before hitting three meaningless baskets in the final 28 second to reduce the lead to nine.
Jenkins Jr drops 33 in loss to Utah State 83-74. Article below. #UNLV #MensBasketball #LasVegas #NCAA https://t.co/RuVw7ozFlt pic.twitter.com/uUdmMpJZ0x
— The Rebel Report (@RebelReportUNLV) January 28, 2021
The one bright spot in the loss was the play of David Jenkins Jr. The junior guard turned in his biggest performance since transferring to Las Vegas from South Dakota State two years ago, scoring a game-high 33 points, and going 5-for-7 on 3-point attempts. However, the rebels have been far from prolific offensively in recent conference matchups, averaging just 69 points per game during a 3-3 SU start to the MWC schedule. That has contributed to a solid 5-2 run for the UNDER in totals betting, and has been enough scoring to keep a steady 6-2 ATS run alive.
#unlvmbb takes a loss against @USUBasketball in their second meeting 83-74.5 players in double figures for USU.Jenkins was great for the Rebels as Bryce Hamilton struggled all night because of the ankle injury sustained a few games ago. Rebels get a few days off before UNR on sun
— The Vegas Fever Podcast (@vegasfeverpod) January 28, 2021
Concerns also linger about the health of leading scorer Bryce Hamilton. Hobbled by an ankle injury that forced him to miss the team’s recent 99-45 rout of the Benedict Ravens, the junior guard looked strong in his return in a 59-56 win that opened the team’s two-game set with Utah State. Hamilton tallied a team-high 14 points in the win, but went a dismal 1-for-12 from the field in Wednesday’s loss.
While the Rebels have enjoyed some solid performances since beginning conference play, their struggles on the road are a concern. And with Hamilton’s health status uncertain, it could be a long night in Reno on Sunday for UNLV faithful.
The Pick: Wolf Pack -2 (-110); UNDER 142.5 (-110)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.