Rebels quick hits:

Tourney Treats: Special prop bets available for UNLV-Cal game

Plus a look at what the statistical models from Nate Silver and Ken Pomeroy say about the Rebels’ chances in the tournament

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Anthony Bennett laughs after scoring the team’s first 11 points against New Mexico during their Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Checking Bennett is Lobos forward Alex Kirk.

UNLV 2013 NCAA Tournament Practice

The UNLV basketball team has their photo taken by UNLV photographer R. Marsh Starks before practice for their second round NCAA Tournament game against Cal Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

Rebels get a rematch in NCAA Tournament

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The brackets are out and the Las Vegas Sun sports team is here to discuss UNLV's draw as the 5-seed in San Jose, Calif., and a rematch with Cal.

Will Anthony Bennett go over or under 25.5 combined points and rebounds in UNLV’s Round of 64 game against Cal?

That’s one of many prop bets related to the Rebels’ NCAA Tournament matchup that William Hill released Tuesday. No. 5 UNLV plays No. 12 Cal on Thursday at 4:27 p.m. in San Jose, Calif., on truTV.

Other props posted include alternate lines (UNLV minus-10.5 at plus-300) and total 3-pointers made (O/U 10.5, minus-110 both ways). In total there are eight props specifically for UNLV’s game and another on the Mountain West you can find at William Hill or LVH.

Both places posted the league’s win total at 4.5 starting with minus-110 on each side. The total is for all five teams in the tournament, including No. 13 Boise State’s First Four game against No. 13 La Salle on Wednesday night. The action at William Hill moved the under to minus-115.

Here’s the full list of prop bets:

Special Point Spread

Cal +10.5 (-360)

UNLV -10.5 (+300)

Special Point Spread

Cal -4.5 (+250)

UNLV +4.5 (-300)

Total made 3-point FGs in Cal/UNLV game

Over/Under 10.5 (-110 both ways)

First team to score 20 points

Cal +110

UNLV -130

Total points/rebounds for Anthony Bennett

Over/Under 25.5 (-110 both ways)

Total points/rebounds/assists for Anthony Marshall

Over/Under 23.5 (-110 both ways)

Total points/rebounds/assists for Justin Cobbs

Over/Under 25.5 (-110 both ways)

Total points/rebounds for Allen Crabbe

Over/Under 25.5 (-110 both ways)

Total Mountain West victories

Over/Under 4.5 (+105/-115)

If Bennett comes even close to his numbers from the first matchup he'll sail over that points/rebound total. However, the best bet on that list to me is under on Mountain West victories. Boise State's First Four game could actually end up being the difference either way.

Prediction models like UNLV against Cal

When it comes time to make your March Madness predictions, you could do worse than consulting Nate Silver.

The star of this year’s political punditry has a long history in the world of sports and on The New York Times’ website he has a bracket model that displays the percentage chance for each team to advance to each particular round. Silver’s model, much like most regular predictions, has Louisville and Indiana as the most likely teams to cut down the nets, but it’s fun to click through each team and look at their chances.

Here’s how it breaks down for UNLV:

Round of 32	S16	E8	F4	Final	Champ

67.2 percent	36.2	6.6	3	0.8	0.2

On kenpom.com, Ken Pomeroy has a similar model he posts on his blog for every conference tournament, plus the big one. Pomeroy’s log5 equation last year gave No. 6 seed UNLV a 1-in-491 chance to win the title.

Here’s the breakdown this year:

Round of 32	S16	E8	F4	Final	Champ

61.6 percent	23.8	5.8	2.7	0.7	0.2

Although Silver’s model likes UNLV more in the early rounds, they both end up at about the same place, giving the Rebels a 1-in-618 chance to win the title. If the seeds matched Pomeroy’s projection, that would make UNLV a No. 7 seed.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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