Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#711 Troy vs.
#712 Texas A&M
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#711 Troy University
#712 Texas A&M University
1-3
2-1
10-17-1
15-16-1
15-13
11-20-1
72
70
74
71

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The Troy Trojans will travel to Reed Arena in College Station, Texas on Wednesday evening as they get set for an early-season non-conference showdown against the Texas A&M Aggies.

Both of these programs feature first-year head coaches who are trying to right the ship for their respective schools. The Scott Cross-era has gotten off to a slow start at Troy. Cross, who came over from fellow Sun Belt-rival UT-Arlington, lost the first three games of his tenure with the Trojans and is still seeking his first D-I win of the season. Troy will get their second crack at a quality win this season in what will qualify as a Tier-A contest for them against the Aggies. Meanwhile, the Aggies will be trying to rebound from Buzz Williams’ first loss at Texas A&M. Can the Aggies get back on the winning track against a struggling Troy squad on Wednesday night?

Troy struggling in first year under Cross

After opening the season with three consecutive losses, Troy was able to temporarily stop the bleeding on Monday with a confidence-building victory at home against NCCAA Carver College. Zay Williams and Davion Thomas scored 14 points apiece while KJ Simon and Darian Adams each added 11 points for the Trojans, who won handily despite shooting just 3-for-19 from 3-point range on the night.

Cross’ squad enters the week slotted at No. 297 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 1-3 start to the season. Troy has been dismal on both ends of the floor, ranking outside the top-250 in several major statistical categories. The Trojans come in scoring only 94.4 points per 100 possessions (267th in the NCAA) while allowing 105.3 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (318th in the NCAA). Opposing teams have been able to get just about anything they’ve wanted against the Trojans’ defense. Opponents own an effective field goal percentage of 56.8 percent (322nd in the NCAA) against Troy’s defense, which has also struggled to clean up on the defensive glass. Troy has allowed its opponents to haul in 37.7 percent of their total missed field goal attempts (333rd in the NCAA) so far this year.

On offense, Troy does a good job of moving the ball to get good shots but they have been unable to convert, especially from inside the arc. The Trojans have assisted on an impressive 66.2 percent of their made field goals (14th in the NCAA) but they have shot just 42.7 percent from 2-point range (282nd in the NCAA) and only 49.2 percent from the free-throw line (349th in the NCAA) through four games. Instead, they do most of their damage from beyond the arc, as they have shot 41.8 percent of their total attempts from deep (85th in the NCAA) and connected at a rate of 34.2 percent (118th in the NCAA) from the 3-point line.

Aggies twill try to rebound from blowout loss to Gonzaga

Texas A&M suffered its first loss of the Buzz Williams-era on Friday, falling on the road to No. 8-ranked Gonzaga 79-49. Jay Jay Chandler scored a team-high 14 points while Josh Nebo added 11 points off the bench as the only other Aggies’ player in double-figures on the night. Texas A&M shot just 30.4 percent from the field and 3-for-20 from 3-point range while turning the ball over 18 times in the loss.

Williams’ squad comes into Wednesday’s matchup slotted at No. 81 in the latest KenPom rankings following their first loss of the season. Texas A&M has scored 102.4 points per 100 possessions (93rd in the NCAA) despite ranking outside the top-200 in several major offensive categories. The Aggies own an effective field goal percentage of 46.3 percent (237th in the NCAA) and they have turned the ball over on 21.8 percent of their offensive possessions (245th in the NCAA). Through three games, Texas A&M has shot just 25.5 percent from 3-point range (305th in the NCAA) and 63.1 percent from the charity stripe as a team (284th in the NCAA).

On defense, Texas A&M has limited its opponents to only 93.3 points per 100 possessions (69th in the NCAA) while forcing them to turn the ball over 23.7 percent of the time. They have also limited them to just 28.2 percent shooting from deep (81st in the NCAA) and a free throw rate of only 14.1 percent (5th in the NCAA) so far this year.

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The Aggies are fresh off of a 30-point drubbing to Gonzaga but they get the benefit of facing a Troy team that looks to be among the worst teams in the country. The Trojans haven’t done much of anything well this season and they rank outside the top-300 in several major defensive categories. Troy was blown out by 38 points in their only road game of the season and they are fresh off of shooting 3-for-19 from deep against Carver College. Take the Aggies to cover the spread in this non-conference tilt on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Texas A&M Aggies -17

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Both of these teams have struggled at times on offense to start the year, so this could be a low-scoring game. Texas A&M has struggled to shoot the ball from deep and they have shot only 63.1 percent from the charity stripe as a team. Meanwhile, Troy has shot only 42.7 percent from 2-point range and 49.2 percent from the free-throw line as a team through four games. Take this matchup to stay under the projected total on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Under 139
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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.