College Basketball action on Saturday and a pair of teams from Conference U.S.A will square off as the Rice Owls grapple with the North Texas Mean Green Eagles at UNT Coliseum “The Super Pit” in Denton, Texas. North Texas won the first meeting by a score of 103-87.
The Owls enter this game off a 65-64 road loss to UTEP and they are now 2-3 within Conference U.S.A. The Mean Green Eagles enter this game off a 76-74 road loss to UTSA, which dropped them to 4-1 in league play.
Owls Come Up A Bit Short To The Miners
The Rice Owls have struggled this year with a 7-11 record overall, which includes a 2-3 mark within Conference U.S.A. Rice is currently ranked 272nd in the land by KenPom and they have faced the 178th rated schedule. Their big issue so far has been on the road where they are 1-7 so far and now they will face a North Texas Team that is a perfect 9-0 at home. The Owls have their work cut out in this one, especially since they already lost to North Texas at home by a score of 103-87. In their last game, the fell to UTEP on the road by a score of 64-65 and that is a bad loss as the Miners are one of the worst teams in the nation. The Owls hit 41.9% (13/31) of their shots from long range in the game, but they also hit just 36.7% of their shots overall and missed six of 13 free throws. Leading their attack was Jack Williams (10.1 ppg), who had 15 points and 11 boards, while Robert Martin (12.6 ppg) had 14. The defense was not great as they allowed the Miners to hit 44.6% of their shots overall, including 4.21% (8/19) of their shots from long range.
— Rice Basketball (@RiceBasketball) January 13, 2019
The Owls enter this game ranked 141st in the nation in scoring at 75.3 ppg, while also ranking 225th in shooting (43.7%), 177th in three-point shooting (34.3%) and 202nd in free throw shooting (69.4%). On defense, they are 328th in points allowed, giving up 79.3 ppg, while also ranking 300th in defensive FG% (46.3%) and 241st in three-point defense (35.1%).
North Texas Is Off !st League Loss
The North Texas Mean Green Eagles have had a successful season so far, but we have to wonder if it is the result of a weak schedule. NT checks in at 16-2 on the year, but they are ranked just 118th in the nation by KenPom and that is because they have faced the 340th rated schedule in the land. Could that schedule start to catch up with them? We shall see. The Mean Green Eagles enter this game off a tough 76-74 loss to UTSA on the road, which snapped an eight-game win streak they were on and also dropped them to 4-1 in league play. The defense has been strong all year and while they allowed 76 points, they also allowed the Roadrunners to connect on just 45.2% of their shots from the field overall, including 21.1% (4.19) of their shots from distance. They hope for another strong showing against a better than average Rice offense. NT shot just 40.6% from the field overall, including 27.6% (8/29) from long range, while leading the attack was Roosevelt Smart (11.7 ppg), who had 18.
It's a PARTY AT THE PIT and guess what students?
You get in 🆓!
— University of North Texas Athletics (@MeanGreenSports) January 18, 2019
North Texas enters this game ranked 132nd in the nation in scoring at 75.6 ppg, while also ranking 55th in shooting (47.5%), 49th in three-point shooting (37.7%) and 198th in free throw shooting (69.5). On defense, they are 12th in points allowed, giving up 61.8 ppg, while also ranking 40th in defensive FG% (40.2%) and 48th in three-point defense (30.7%).
North Texas is:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss
- The Favorite is 5-1-1 the last seven games in this series
- 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
North Texas hasn’t taken on a great schedule so far, but they have beaten up on the teams that they were supposed to. They come in off a tough two-point loss to UTSA and that will only make them angrier. The Mean Green Eagles won by 16 at Rice earlier in the year and I look for them to have another huge win in this one. This one will not be pretty for the Owls.
Prediction: North Texas -13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I do not see 190 points being scored like in the first matchup this year, but I can see a game in the 150’s. Rice has not been a bad offensive team as they have averaged 75.3 ppg on the year, but they have been a bad defensive team as they have allowed 79.3 ppg. Rice won’t score 87 as they did in the first meeting, but they should hit the upper 60’s at least, while a very good North Texas offense hangs up 80 plus on the Owls. The Over is 9-3 in Rice’s last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. and 8-0 in North Texas’ last eight vs. a team with a losing straight up record, plus 11-1 the last 12 games in this series.
Prediction: Over 146.5