UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Nevada Wolf Pack Pick – NCAA January 31, 2021

Back for more NCAA basketball predictions on Sunday for a UNLV vs. Nevada pick. We have a rivalry game in Seattle tonight between the Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies. A little later in the night, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and Nevada Wolf Pack will square off at Lawlor Events Center in Reno for another rivalry game. These meetings don’t carry the same hatred as the football programs, but the players most certainly want bragging rights.

Elsewhere on the college hardwood, there is a lot of small conference basketball on Sunday, with only two ranked teams scheduled to play. Michigan State will travel to Columbus for a clash with the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes, while the No. 6 Houston Cougars host the SMU Mustangs. Both games are expected to tip-off at 1:00 p.m. EST.

If you like betting on college basketball, then you can’t complain about what’s on the Sunday card. There are currently nine games cancelled on the list. Nine games in the NBA off the board would wipe out an entire card, but when it comes to NCAA basketball, it doesn’t even put a dent in the schedule. That’s kind of what happens when there’s around 350 teams versus 30 in the NBA.

UNLV leaves Las Vegas looking for better fortunes in Reno in this one than their last outing. The Runnin’ Rebels are coming off a 83-74 loss against Utah State at home on Wednesday. A 59-56 win in a totally different type of game preceded that one for the Runnin’ Rebels. UNLV are winners in five of their last six games. Those five wins?

They were against St Katherine, New Mexico twice, Benedictine Mesa, and Utah State. The Utah State win is their only good win on that list. They’ve certainly been in better form than Nevada recently, though. The Wolf Pack go into Sunday after back-to-back losses against Wyoming, 71-64 and 93-88.

They played San Diego State tough in 65-60 and 69-67 losses, and then followed up with two wins over Fresno State, 73-57 and 79-65, before coming up empty in Wyoming. Nevada will be glad to be back home in Reno at the Lawlor Events Center on Sunday evening. Head below for our free UNLV vs. Nevada pick on January 31, 2021.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Nevada Wolf Pack NCAA Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • UNLV +2 (-110)
  • Nevada -2 (-110)
Moneyline:

  • UNLV +110
  • Nevada -130
Total:

  • Over 142.5 (-110)
  • Under 142.5 (-110)

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UNLV vs. Nevada Prediction:

The Wolf Pack should feel great about getting back home to welcome their rivals to Reno. They didn’t look interested in Wyoming, and I’m sure they will come out with a lot more energy tonight. Nevada owns a record of 10-7 heading into this matchup. They’re back home where the Wolf Pack have felt a lot more comfortable.

Overall on the year, Nevada has posted a record of 5-2 at home in 2020-21. All of their last four losses have been on the road as opposed to at home in Reno. I will give Nevada credit for what they did in San Diego. The Aztecs are a tough out, but Nevada held strong on the road against them in a 69-67 and 65-60 loss.

I wouldn’t fault Nevada for coming up just short against a quality San Diego State team there. However, their effort in Wyoming is a different argument. Nevada has to be better, and I think after going through the motions, expect Nevada to fire back in this one in a game that will get their attention.

This has been a lopsided series in favor of Nevada since 2018. It isn’t much of a rivalry when one side is dominating. Note that the Wolf Pack have won six straight outings against UNLV, beating them by an average of 13.5 points per game. Nevada has also been good at bouncing back. Following a loss, Nevada has gone 4-1 ATS in their next outing.

The one exception was against the Cowboys as a 5.5-point favorite last week. Their defense has been stronger at home than on the road, with 64.9 points against per game. Conversely, UNLV has conceded 71.7 points a game on the road. The offenses are about even between the Runnin’ Rebels and Wolf Pack. I lean with Nevada in this spot.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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