My math model only favors New Mexico by one point and the Lobos apply to a very negative 21-56-3 ATS tournament letdown situation of mine that is predicated upon their success in the Mountain West Conference tournament. Meanwhile, Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins is an impressive 16-16 SU and 20-12 ATS versus .801 or greater opposition so he is more than capable of preparing the Cardinal for their matchup against the 27-6 Lobos. Let’s also note that Stanford is 9-2 SU and ATS in its last eleven games versus Mountain West opponents, including a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS the last four.
From a fundamental standpoint, Stanford is averaging 73.5 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.9 points per game, thereby making the Cardinal 4.6 points per game better than average offensively. With New Mexico being 5.3 points per game better than average defensively (66.4 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.7 points per game), the Cardinal are at a slight disadvantage at the offensive end of the floor.
Stanford enters the NCAA tournament in excellent form on the defensive end of the floor where the Cardinal are limiting opponents to just 64.8 points over the last five games. Overall, Stanford is 3.8 points per game better than average defensively this season (68.6 points per game to teams that would combine to average 72.4 points per game), which gives the Lobos a nominal advantage on the offensive end of the floor.
Stanford’s best opportunity to win this game is to shoot a larger than normal amount of three-pointers in order to exploit New Mexico’s week perimeter defense. The Cardinal are making 37.1% of their 3-point attempts so they are more than capable of taking advantage of the perimeter in this game. Take Stanford plus the points and invest with confidence.