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CBB Predictions: UCLA vs New Mexico Preview/Pick

College Hoops Betting – UCLA (-9) vs. New Mexico St.

BetUS NCAA Basketball Sports Betting Odds: UCLA -9

Here are some of the NCAA basketball betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

NMS has lost six of its last nine games SU
NMS has covered five of its last seven road games

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NMS has lost four of its last five road games SU
UCLA has lost its last five games SU
UCLA has won 17 of its last 25 home games SU
UCLA has lost four of its last five home games SU

UCLA really disappointed us this past weekend when it fell flat in the Wooden Classic, allowing Mississippi State to roll over it on the way to a 72-54 defeat. The Bruins shot just 35% in the game – the third time in the last five outings that they have been less than 37%.

As it turns out, UCLA is hurting in the wake of losing so many players to the pros as they have left early, and when you think about the guys who could still be there now, people like Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday – you know that it is hard to duplicate that kind of thing.

Now add to it the fact that one of its top recruits from last year, who was expected to provide some of the muscle up front, is leaving the program. Drew Gordon, who doesn’t like the pace of Ben Howland’s system on the offensive end, decided, after a loss to Long Beach State, that he was going to transfer. One of the factors was also a two-game suspension Howland hit him with. he was the team’s third leading scorer, but was thought to be a negative in the locker room.

It hasn’t been addition by subtraction, as the Bruins have lost consecutive games to Kansas and Mississippi State since then, bringing their current losing streak up to five, with the only victories coming against Cal State-Bakersfield and Pepperdine.

Is New Mexico State what the doctor ordered? The Aggies have had to make do without Wendell McKines (who averaged a triple-double last season) and Troy Gillenwater (12.1 ppg last season), who have had academic problems and will miss the rest of the season.

The team scored an upset over UTEP on Saturday but only just got word about their ineligibility, and that is almost certain to be a big downer. They could have used some easy baskets from the two most talented front court players from last year.

We’re hesitant with laying this many with UCLA, however, as the Bruins are not particularly potent from the arc (5.3 threes a game) nor do they make their free throws (just 55%). We want to see more from them before taking the plunge. We’ll take the points with New Mexico State, the nine-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA college basketball betting odds.

OUR PLAY: NEW MEXICO STATE +9 **

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