Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
At least one Las Vegas sports book is not sold on the idea that new coach Bobby Hauck will turn around the UNLV football program in his first year.
Lucky's, which operates the race and sports books at the Plaza and Terrible's, set the over/under wins at four for the Rebels next season. The "over" is listed at a price of -160 (risking $1.60 to win $1) and the "under" is at +130 (risking $1 to win $1.30).
"Their schedule is just brutal," said Jimmy Vaccaro, director of Lucky's sports operations. "It's fairly obvious we're not going to be favored in many games."
Last year, most sports books around town set UNLV's over/under win total at 5.5. Lucky's released its total Monday.
The Rebels went 5-7 and missed making a bowl game for the ninth consecutive year. Vaccaro said he would not be surprised if UNLV was a better team this year, but it would be tough to reflect it with its record.
"I think five wins would be a good year," Vaccaro said. "Six is a monster year. I think four is a fair number. These things play out tricky — (Hauck) will probably win one that he shouldn't and lose one that he shouldn't."
Two of UNLV's five wins last season came in the non-conference schedule, when it beat Sacramento State and Hawaii at home. The non-conference slate becomes much tougher in 2010 with trips to West Virginia, Idaho and Hawaii and home games against Wisconsin and UNR.
The Rebels likely will be underdogs in each of their first three games, which include that home contest against the Badgers and road trips to Utah and Idaho. A Sept. 25 home game against New Mexico probably will be UNLV's first as favorites in 2010.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, it might be one of the last times they are favored.
"We could be surprised and, of course, you want to root for the hometown team," Vaccaro said. "I think they've got some good guys and (Hauck) is going to get a pass to some degree."