Daily Sports Pick ’Em 1/21 — Take the Under In Mountain West Showdown
The San Jose Spartans and New Mexico Lobos will duke it out at 3 p.m. EST Thursday from Dixie State University.
Things have not been going well for either of these teams, and that’s putting it lightly. These two squads combine for a record of 6–18 overall, and neither squad has won a conference game (both teams are 0–8 in MWC play).
San Jose State has lost just one game in conference play by single digits. Outside of not turning the ball over frequently, the Spartans have not been able to muster up anything positive offensively. As a team, they are shooting 29.9 percent from deep, 39 percent from two, and 67 percent from the line. Richard Washington is by far the best player on the team, pouring in 22 points a night. The Spartans average just under 70 points per game, largely because they play at the 14th fastest pace in the country.
What’s more concerning is that San Jose State is even worse defensively. The Spartans come into today’s matchup 333rd in defensive efficiency according to Bart Torvik. They allow opponents to shoot 56.2 percent from inside the arc and do not do a good job crashing the boards. The Spartans are allowing 86.3 points per game, which ranks fourth-to-last in all of Division I.
New Mexico has not fared much better than the Spartans this season, especially on the offensive end. The Lobos have dropped eight of their last nine games and have won two games this season against non-DI opponents. The Lobos are 344th in the country in effective field goal percentage and are shooting just 25 percent from the outside. The only offensive facet the Lobos have excelled at is offensive rebounding, which gives them a glaring advantage over a SJSU team that struggles to rebound.
Senior guard Makuach Maluach is the team’s only player scoring in double figures, averaging 13.2 points per game. The Lobos look to bounce back after posting their worst offensive performance of the season last time out. In their 53–46 loss to UNLV, New Mexico posted an offensive rating of 76.8 and turned it over 19 times. New Mexico has shot over 40 percent as a team in just five of their 12 games this season.
It’s hard to trust a San Jose State game to go under given how fast they play and how poorly they defend, but both of these offenses have been terrible. San Jose State has gone under 65 points in each of their last four games, while New Mexico plays at a crawling pace and has gone over 55 points in one of their last five contests. This game will be ugly, but at least someone will emerge victorious for the first time in conference play.
PICK: Under 146.5