Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#757 North Texas vs.
#758 VCU
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Joshua Broom

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W/L
ATS
O/U
PPG
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#757 University of North Texas
#758 Virginia Commonwealth University
1-0
1-0
9-19-2
19-12-2
11-18-1
15-18
69
71
62
61

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Atlantic 10 meets Conference USA Friday as VCU hosts the North Texas Mean Green. Each program topped 20-wins last season, though after a 16-1 start, North Texas lost its last seven contests. Conversely, VCU enjoyed its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years. This season, both the Rams and Mean Green return experienced cores. Marcus Evans (13.6 ppg) leads VCU’s charge as Umoja Gibson (12.6) paces North Texas’ 19-20’ efforts.

A defensive stalwart, VCU begins their year ranked #25 nationally. Strategic maven Mike Rhoades opens his third season as VCU’s sideline leader.

Grant McCasland also begins his third season patrolling North Texas’ sidelines.

According to pregame.com, VCU opens as a -15 point favorite.

VCU opens season in dominant fashion

Picked to repeat as Atlantic 10 champions, VCU returns four starters from 2019 and boasts key supporting pieces. Regulars Evans, De’Riante Jenkins, Issac Vann and Marcos Santo-Silva seek greater success while boosting last year’s #10 ranked NCAA defense (61.9 points allowed). When overhauling a program lacking identity, Rhoades instilled defensive principles among his group and employs a military-style approach to his practices and program regimen.

The Rams displayed those traits while downing St. Francis 72-58 Tuesday. After holding the Red Flash to 32.3 percent shooting, Santo-Silver led all scorers with 21 points. Meanwhile, VCU converted just under 50 percent FG as Jenkins (16) & Evans (12) rounded out the Rams’ leading scorers.

Mean Green seek lost momentum

After an abrupt collapse last season, and the disappearance of Roosevelt Smart (scoring avg. declined from 19.5 to 10.7) North Texas must reclaim its efficiency. The Mean Green returns three starters: Gibson, Roosevelt and Zachary Simmons. Coach McCasland is relying on steady grad transfer Deng Geu to replace productivity lost by Ryan Woolridge’s (11.7 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.9 spg) transfer to Gonzaga. Geu played a major role in NDSU’s recent NCAA Tournament success and similar results are expected from the 6-8 forward at North Texas.

A collective effort boosted NTU’s 79-40 season-opening win vs. Oklahoma Christian. Seven Mean Green added at least five points. Junior Thomas Bell led all scorers with 16 points as Gibson (12) and junior Zach Simmons (14) reached double figures.

Defensively stifling in their own right, North Texas ranked #16 NCAA while allowing (62.9 ppg).

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

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It’s undeniable North Texas has lost momentum since their dominant 18-19’ opening run. The VCU Rams still aren’t likely to beat another major program by 15 points. While each group orients itself around defense, this contest will be settled by the Rams’ superior top-end scoring. That scoring just won’t eclipse a large VCU lean. Expect a Mean Green ATS win here.

Prediction: North Texas

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I’ll take the Under 135 tonight. Again, both teams return players which led top-15 national defenses one season ago. This game will feature hard-nosed effort and plenty of misses as VCU and 250 lb Santo-Silva outmuscle the Mean Green underneath.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.