UT Arlington’s tough road trip will continue when it travels to Utah State on Saturday night. The Mavericks have lost all four of their games against Division I opponents this season. Utah State has rattled off four straight wins since losing its season-opener against UC Davis.
Mavericks seeking offensive improvementUT Arlington is off to a rough start to its 2021-22 campaign. The Mavericks have lost all four of their games against Division I opponents, failing to cover the spread in three of those contests. Their best outing came in their most recent game, as they were able to push San Diego State for most of the game. The Aztecs were 19-point favorites, but they only won by six points. UT Arlington tied the contest with less than nine minutes remaining, but it never led again. The Mavericks could not contend with San Diego State’s 40% shooting from the 3-point line.
The Mavericks are one of the worst offensive teams in college basketball. They rank No. 319 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings and are turning the ball over on nearly 30% of their possessions. UT Arlington is also No. 331 in effective field goal percentage, so it has been a rough start for the offense. The Mavericks are outside the top 230 in average height, so they will be at a disadvantage on Saturday night. Senior guard David Azore leads the team with 12.4 points and 3.8 rebounds, but he is only shooting 34.5% from the floor. He will be facing a Utah State defense that is No. 73 in adjusted efficiency.
Aggies looking to use height advantageUtah State got off to a rough start this season when it lost to UC Davis as an 11.5-point favorite. The Aggies have had quite the turnaround since then, rattling off four straight wins. They have covered the spread in all four games and three of them have been outright upsets. Utah State was a 6.5-point underdog against Richmond and was a 4.5-point underdog against both New Mexico State and Oklahoma. The Aggies were able to win the Myrtle Beach championship with their 73-70 win over the Sooners last Sunday. Oklahoma led for 14 consecutive minutes in the second half, but Utah State came up with bigger plays down the stretch.
The Aggies rank No. 73 in adjusted offensive efficiency and are No. 49 in effective field goal percentage. They are just outside the top 50 in experience, which gives them an advantage over a younger UT Arlington team. Utah State also has more height on its roster. It will be facing a Mavericks’ defense that is No. 200 in adjusted efficiency. Forward Justin Bean leads Utah State with 24.0 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. Forward Brandon Horvath and guard Rylan Jones are both in double figures as well—Jones is dishing out a team-high 4.8 assists per contest.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Utah State has been undervalued in the betting market ever since its season-opening loss. The Aggies have covered in all four of their games since then, with three of those covers coming in upset wins. They have one of the biggest home-court advantages in the country due to altitude, which has resulted in a 17-3 record in their last 20 home games. UT Arlington has only covered the spread in one of its last five games and does not have the talent or experience to match up in this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams rank in the top half of the country in pace of play, sitting around No. 150 in average possession length. UT Arlington has not been good offensively, but it has been almost equally as bad on the defensive end. The Mavericks are giving up more offensive rebounds than just about anyone in college basketball, which does not bode well in a matchup where they are at a height disadvantage. Utah State has been shooting well from everywhere on the court and that should continue in this game.