Colorado State was ranked as high as No. 13 in the country but have struggled against the Mountain West this season. Are they in a prime bounce-back spot on Friday night?
Colorado State narrowly avoided a 1-3 start to Mountain West play, rallying in overtime to defeat Air Force on Tuesday, 78-69. The Rams have been profitable to backers this season with a 9-6 ATS record, but conference play has seen shaky performances for a team that was once No. 13 in the AP Top 25.
UNLV heads to Fort Collins coming off an impressive 68-64 road win at Boise State to even its conference record at 2-2. The Rebels have a high-powered offense with a plethora of scorers and are better than their 9-7 record would indicate.
Can UNLV hang with Colorado State on the road? Here’s a best bet for tonight’s conference clash.
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UNLV vs. Colorado State odds, spread and total
UNLV vs. Colorado State betting trends
- UNLV is 8-6 ATS this season
- Colorado State is 9-6 ATS this season
- UNLV is 5-2 ATS as an underdog this season
- Colorado State is 8-5 ATS as a favorite this season
- The OVER is 9-5 in UNLV games this season
- The OVER is 7-8 in Colorado State games this season
UNLV vs. Colorado State how to watch
- Date: Friday, Jan. 19
- Game time: 10:30 p.m. EST
- Venue: Moby Arena
- How to watch (TV): FS1
- UNLV record: 9-7 (2-2 Mountain West)
- Colorado State record: 14-3 (2-2 Mountain West)
UNLV vs. Colorado State key players to watch
Rob Whaley Jr.: The 6-foot-7 junior forward averages 5.1 points per game, but an increase in minutes has led to more production. He’s scored in double figures in each of the last two games and is coming off an 18-point night in Tuesday’s road win against Boise State. Prior to that, he had 11 points against Utah State on Jan. 13. Whaley never played in two seasons at Southern Idaho and is making up for lost time, having scored 10 or more points in four of the last six games and adding much-needed depth to UNLV.
Joe Palmer: Colorado State’s offense already shoots well from beyond the arc (No. 52 in KenPom from deep), and Palmer adds another weapon to the Rams’ lineup when his shot is falling. One of three players for Colorado State with 20-plus triples on the year, Palmer played a season-high 26 minutes against Air Force, connecting three times from the perimeter and finishing with 11 points and 5 rebounds.
UNLV vs. Colorado State prediction and pick
This is a UNLV squad that has some resume-building wins under its belt this year over New Mexico and Creighton. The Rebels have played KenPom’s 24th-hardest strength of the schedule, so its 9-7 mark should be taken with a grain of salt.
UNLV has been profitable in this situation this year, going 5-2 ATS as an underdog. That includes conference play, with the Rebels covering each of their last three games and winning two of them outright vs. New Mexico and Colorado State.
The Rams have not found their groove since dropping out of the top-25. They no-showed against Utah State and Boise State on the road before having to rally in the second half and overtime against a bad Air Force team. Colorado State’s offense is No. 19 on KenPom, but they’ve struggled to connect from the perimeter, going 12-of-40 in the two road losses. UNLV’s offense, despite a tough schedule, is No. 43 in overall efficiency and Colorado State’s defense is not in the top-100 in any major metric.
UNLV has been a live underdog all season long and that continues tonight. Take the points.
Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.