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Pick on the total for Southern Mississippi-UNLV on December 22

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Thursday’s college basketball matchup between the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles and UNLV Rebels

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NCAA Basketball: Colorado State at UNLV Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of surprising one loss teams in the UNLV Rebels and Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles look to enter conference play with momentum as the two hook up in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. UNLV Rebels (-8, 142)

The calling card for both teams strong starts has been defense with UNLV ranked 26th in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis and Southern Mississippi 31st..

The backbone of both of these strong defenses has been turnovers with UNLV forcing a turnover on 28.5% of possessions, which ranks second in the country and Southern Mississippi is forcing a turnover on 22.7% of possessions, which is 34th in the country.

Southern Mississippi has the superior offense of the two teams, ranking 16th in the country in points scored on a per possession basis while UNLV is 126th in this category, but just one of their last six opponents have a Division I record above .500, a stretch in which they’ve failed to exceed 80 pints just once.

Both offense have similar deficiencies as each shoot below 69.5% at the free throw line while UNLV shoots 27.7% from 3-point range at home and Southern Mississippi shoots 32.9% from 3-point range on the road.

Both teams have allowed more than 70 points just twice this season and the two will continue to do what has led to their early season success, play tough defense.

The Play: Southern Mississippi vs. UNLV Under 142

Get Peterson’s spread and total lines for every game on the college basketball board.

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