The Las Vegas Club deserves a pat on the back for helping out the UNLV foundation financially, while not suffering any loss at the ticket window.
Mel Exber, part owner of the downtown hotel/casino donated a gift, valued at $100,000 as an endowment to UNLV. The action caused the Las Vegas Club to stop taking bets on Rebels sports events in order to erase a possible conflict of interest.
“Mel felt is was healthy for us to separate ourselves from gaming as far as UNLV was concerned,” said Tony Nevill, the casino’s director of race and sports. “We weren’t doing much action on UNLV anyway.”
The sad fact is UNLV has been a dud as far as injecting life into local college basketball wagering. The Las Vegas Club seized the right moment to present an honorable gift without absorbing a hit.
“After the football team lost the first couple of games, I think the enthusiasm slowed appreciably,” Nevill said. “Basketball not made much of an impact all year. It’s just not as exciting at UNLV as when (Jerry) Tarkanian was here.”
Time to change the pace. We will choose the top game of the day each week and dissect it from a betting angle starting with tonight’s best.
Ole Miss at Kentucky (ESPN): The visiting Rebels come off a big win against Mississippi State and now must get up emotionally again for the trip to Rupp Arena. The Rebs are 1-2 ATS in the SEC, including an 82-76 loss at Tennessee as a 4Â½-point underdog. Kentucky is 5-1 ATS in its last six home games. The miss was the last game in Lexington against Georgia. Take KENTUCKY and lay the points.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
DePaul at Cincinnati (ESPN): This contest boils down to whether Cincinnati can cover. The Blue Demons are 1-3 ATS away from Chicago and have been held to 63 points or less in four of their last five games. Cincy coach Bob Huggins is noted for his aggressive style of defense. The Bearcats are 9-0 SU at home and have held opponents to 52 points. Take CINCY and lay the points.
Thursday, Jan. 17
Maryland at Duke (ESPN): The most eagerly anticipated game of the season. Duke has rebounded nicely from its stunning loss at Florida State, but is just 1-4 ATS at Cameron Indoor Arena. Maryland is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS, but won at Duke last year. The Terrapins come into Durham confident. Take MARYLAND as a dog.
Friday, Jan. 18
Memphis at So. Miss (ESPN): John Calipari brings Memphis into Hattiesburg with a 13-4 overall mark, including 9-5 ATS. Southern Miss has struggled this year, going just 6-7 SU and 3-6 ATS. Television should help the Golden Eagles fans get fired up for Calipari, who likes the big screen. Take SO. MISS and the points.
Saturday, Jan. 19
Oklahoma at Kansas (ABC): The surprising Sooners are 8-3 ATS and winning by an average margin of 22 points. However, Oklahoma’s is outscoring its opponents by just two points on the road in three outings. Kansas is 7-0 SU at home, but just 1-2 ATS. This is a big test for the Jayhawks, who did not look good in a loss to UCLA. The Okies won at Connecticut and can win in Lawrence. Take OKLAHOMA and points.
Sunday, Jan. 20
Villanova at St. John’s (MSG): The Red Storm have used both Madison Square Garden and Alumni Hall to their advantage, going 8-0 SU and 5-0 ATS. Villanova is also undefeated (2-0) against the spread, but this number comes on the road. The Cats won at Notre Dame as an 11Â½-point underdog. Take VILLANOVA.
Monday, Jan. 21
Wyoming at San Diego St. (ESPN): Two evenly matched teams square off in a key Mountain West matchup. The Aztecs rate the edge on the strength of a 7-0 SU and 3-1 ATS home mark. Wyoming is just 2-4 both SU and ATS on the road. The Cowboys have been outscored by an average of four points on the road. Take SAN DIEGO STATE.