Multiple times each week, Bally Sports’ resident action seeker, Brad Evans, will attempt to bang the ‘books with his favorite selections on sides, totals, props, teasers or parlays. As always, fade or follow Brad’s picks — fading is encouraged — but that’s up to you.


New Mexico's Jamal Mashburn Jr. drives past Air Force guard Marcell McCreary during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Albuquerque, N.M., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. New Mexico won 81-73. (AP Photo/Eric Draper)

Nevada vs. New Mexico -3.5 (-110, BetMGM)

Game of the year in the likely four-NCAA-bid Mountain West Conference? It’s in the running and you know the tequila is fully stocked at Casa de Evans. Why? This always willing bettor undeniably loves tossing coins at any and all MWC matchups. Though both teams are chasing conference front-runner San Diego State by at least one game, the winner will stay within striking distance. No doubt, sounds bellowing from The Pit will rattle eardrums.

When it comes to shooting the rock, the Lobos are blessed with the accuracy of a supersonic heat-seeking missile downing a Chinese balloon. Jamal Mashburn Jr., point man Jaelen House and indispensable off-the-bench contributor KJ Jenkins each swish better than 38.0% from distance. New Mexico is beatable off the bounce, evidenced by its dead-last conference standing in 2-point percentage defense, but its combativeness on perimeter D means it’s not completely rotten guarding the opposition. Breathtakingly fast in their style of play, the Lobos will continuously throw punches, especially in transition.

Nevada is on an upward trek on the latest Bracket Big Board. Steve Alford has a viable tourney-qualifying team, one that defends tenaciously. Away from Reno, the Wolf Pack rank top-30 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Scoring, however, has proven quite problematic. In its nine road matchups, Nevada checks in at a disgusting No. 293 in effective field-goal percentage offense, netting a vomit-inducing 46.3% from two and 30.2% from three. Seven-footer Will Baker should operate undeterred, but his teammates are no lock to contribute meaningful numbers.

The first matchup between the familiar foes was a spectacular double-overtime 97-94 win for Alford’s Wolf Pack. The rematch will be hotly contested, but look for Richard Pitino’s bunch to levy a knockout blow down the stretch. Sitting at a near untouchable 13-1 in The Pit this season, the Lobos, who shoot 38.3% on 3-pointers in MWC play, exact their revenge.

NCAAB season record: 13-5-1, +7.65 units

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