Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#783 North Texas 138.5 vs.
#784 Arkansas -13
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#783 University of North Texas
#784 University of Arkansas
1-1
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9-19-2
16-18
11-18-1
11-23
69
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The North Texas Mean Green will continue their non-conference slate on Tuesday evening when they travel on the road to the Bud Walton Center for a tough matchup versus the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Razorbacks tipped off the Eric Musselman era with a victory last week and the Razorbacks could be one of the most underrated teams in the country entering the season. Led by a combination of seasoned seniors and talented underclassmen, the Razorbacks will likely find their way into the Top-25 at some point this year. Arkansas plays each of its first five games at home and they won’t really be tested until they travel to Georgia Tech later in the month. Can the Razorbacks take care of business at home against North Texas on Tuesday night?

North Texas nearly upsets VCU on the road

North Texas was unable to open the season with a headline-grabbing win against VCU on Friday, coming up short on the road 59-56. DJ Draper scored a team-high 12 points off the bench for the Mean Green while Zachary Simmons was the only starter to finish in double-figures with 10 points. North Texas turned the ball over 18 times and they were outshot 20 to 8 from the charity stripe in the loss.

Grant McCasland’s squad enters the week ranked No. 163 in the latest KenPom rankings. The Mean Green play at one of the slowest paces in the country (335th in adjusted tempo) but that hasn’t helped them take care of the basketball. Through two games, North Texas has turned the ball over on 29.2 percent of their offensive possessions and they are scoring only 96.5 points per 100 possessions (217th in the NCAA).

On defense, North Texas has surrendered 96.8 points per 100 possessions (119th in the NCAA) and they’ve limited opponents to only 35 percent shooting from inside the arc (16th in the NCAA).

Razorbacks open Musselman-era with dominant win

Arkansas dismantled Rice 91-43 to open the season last Tuesday night. Mason Jones scored a team-high 32 points while sophomore point guard Isaiah Joe added 24 points, seven assists, and five rebounds for the Razorbacks, who held Rice to just 2-for-25 from 3-point range on the night. The Razorbacks managed to run Rice out of the gym despite turning the ball over 21 times, as they forced a whopping 27 turnovers of their own in the win.

Jones was rewarded for his career-high performance this week. The junior guard was named SEC Player of the Week after setting a new career-high with 32 points against Rice. It was his first career SEC honor.

Musselman’s squad enters the week slotted at No. 36 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning their opening game of the season. The Razorbacks come in scoring 108.4 points per 100 possessions (20th in the NCAA) while sporting an effective field goal percentage of 62.7 percent (13th in the NCAA). Thanks to an impressive defensive performance against Rice, they also rank among the NCAA leaders in several defensive categories. Nevada ranks in the top-five in the nation in effective field goal percentage defense (30.4 percent), turnover percentage (32.3 percent), and 3-point defense (8.0 percent).

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Musselman wasted no time making a strong impression in his debut as Arkansas’ head basketball coach and he has a very strong roster in his first year with the program. The combination of Joe and Jones gives Arkansas a formidable 1-2 punch in the backcourt and the Razorbacks are going to play hard on the defensive end of the floor as well. North Texas was surprisingly competitive versus VCU but a heartbreaking loss like that can take a lot out of a team. Take the Razorbacks to cover the number at home in this non-conference battle on Tuesday evening. 

Prediction: Arkansas Razorbacks -15

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This game features a battle of styles, as Arkansas is going to try to push the pace while the Mean Green play at one of the slowest paces in the country. Both teams do try to force turnovers on defense though, which could be another factor in keeping the score down in this game. North Texas’ last game failed to top 120 points so this total seems a bit generous. Take the under in this non-conference battle at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday.

Prediction: Under 140
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.