The New Mexico Lobos step into their third consecutive NCAA tournament by opening their South Region matchup with the Stanford Cardinal on a 14-3 ATS run.
Both teams were in Las Vegas last week for their respective conference tournaments and now open in St. Louis.
After a losing streak in four previous March Madness tournaments, the No. 7 seeds rallied for a 3-1 against-the-spread edge last year against No. 10 schools and New Mexico is favored to keep that trend rolling in 2014.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Lobos opened as three-point favorites; the total was 137.5. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
70.1-66.0 New Mexico
Why pick Stanford to cover the spread
No. 10 Stanford, an at-large pick out of the Pac-12, is dancing for the first time since 2008, when it made it to the second weekend. The Cardinal have plenty to prove and with Duke grad Johnny Dawkins coaching his team in the tournament for the first time in his six-year tenure, Stanford is a dangerous entry.
Why pick New Mexico to cover the spread
The Lobos, seeded at No. 7, arrive as the Mountain West Conference tournament champs. And though they’re just 3-9 against the point spread in the NCAA tournament since 1997, this is a team that could make a run to the third weekend if teams overlook its highly talented frontcourt.
Tournament MVP Cameron Bairstow leads a talented roster that makes it easy to pick the Lobos each time out. They arrive here on a 14-3 ATS run.
Smart betting pick
There’s a reason the Lobos are on an 11-2 under run and that reason is defense. Between Bairstow and 7-footer Alex Kirk manning the paint, and Hugh Greenwood fueling the D on the perimeter, New Mexico will use its physical game to ground the Cardinal.
Stanford is mired in a 1-5-1 point spread slide and has failed to cover five of six tournament games. The Lobos are the smart betting pick against the point spread and the computer has them winning by four points.
Stanford Cardinal: No. 123
New Mexico Lobos: No. 18 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- New Mexico 14-3 ATS run in last 17 games
- Under is 11-2 last 13 New Mexico games
- New Mexico 3-9 ATS in tournament since 1997
- Stanford ended year on 1-5-1 ATS run
- Stanford 1-5 ATS past six tournament games