Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#785 UAB 122 vs.
#786 Texas -13
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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#785 University of Alabama Birmingham
#786 University of Texas
4-2
6-1
16-16-1
18-19
14-18-1
15-22
70
71
67
66

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UAB will look to play spoiler when it goes on the road to face Texas on Tuesday night. The Blazers are 4-2 on the season, with their most recent outing being a 69-58 loss on the road against No. 9 Kentucky. Texas brings a 6-1 record into Tuesday’s home game, having just escaped with a 73-71 win against McNeese State at home on Saturday. The Longhorns’ lone loss came in an 82-66 decision against Georgetown in the 2K Empire Classic.

UAB looking for repeat road performance

UAB opened the season with a thrilling 76-75 win against Troy and followed it up with a 22-point win against Alabama A&M the following Monday. One of the Blazers’ two losses came in a 66-55 loss against Utah Valley at home. They were 7.5-point favorites in that game and were up by five points at halftime, but were outscored 41-25 in the second half. Since then, UAB has picked up a pair of wins against Mt St Mary’s and Lamar before falling to No. 9 Kentucky last Friday. The Blazers were 8 of 16 from 3-point land in the respectable road loss against one of the best teams in the country.

The Blazers are led by freshman guard Jalen Benjamin, who is scoring 13.5 points per game in his first collegiate season. Benjamin is 10 of 24 from downtown and 19 of 20 from the charity stripe. The youngster had 19 points in UAB’s road loss to the Wildcats last week. Sophomore guard Tavin Lovan is scoring 11.3 points per game and is pulling down 4.8 rebounds per game. He has struggled from the perimeter, shooting just 1 of 8 from beyond the arc. Junior guard Zack Bryant is the only other player in double figures, scoring 11.0 points per game. He has had turnover problems, though, turning the ball over 3.3 times per outing. Junior forward Makhtar Gueye is the Blazers’ leading rebounder with 6.2 boards per game. Outside shooting has not come easy to Gueye, as he is 1 of 18 from downtown.

Texas off to hot start

Texas is off to a hot start this season under Shaka Smart. The Longhorns are 6-1 on the year, with their lone loss coming to an upstart Georgetown team at Madison Square Garden. Texas opened the season with four wins—three of them came against Northern Colorado, Cal Baptist and Prairie View. The other win was different, it was a 70-66 upset victory at No. 23 Purdue in the second game of the season. Texas was a 7-point underdog in that game. After losing to Georgetown on Nov. 21, the Longhorns have picked up wins against California and McNeese State.

The Longhorns are led by junior guard Matt Coleman III, who is scoring 14.7 points per game and leading the team with 5.0 assists per game. He is one of the best 3-point shooters in the country at the moment, connecting on 15 of his 26 attempts from downtown. Coleman is also 18 of 21 from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Andrew Jones is Texas’ other scorer in double digits, adding 11.3 points per game. He has not been nearly as efficient from beyond the arc, shooting 11 of 38 from deep. Jones has come off the bench in all seven games this season. Courtney Ramey is scoring 9.4 points per game and grabbing 4.6 rebounds per contest. The team’s leading rebounder is big man Jericho Sims, who is pulling down 7.4 rebounds to go along with 9.0 points per outing. Junior guard Jase Fabres has been a threat from distance, shooting 18 of 54 from behind the 3-point line.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

UAB has been a team that is growing up quickly this season. The Blazers should be able to cover this big road spread. They have not lost a game by double digits this season, even with the road trip to Rupp Arena. Texas has had problems staying focused against lesser opponents, as evidenced by the Longhorns’ narrow win against McNeese State on Saturday. I like UAB to hang around and cover the number.

Prediction: UAB +12.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

UAB and Texas are two of the slowest paced teams in the country. The Blazers are ranked No. 327 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings, while the Longhorns are sitting at No. 292. UAB prides itself on the defensive end, playing tough, physical defense against its opponents. Shaka Smart has built his brand on tenacious defense, so there’s no reason to think this matchup won’t go under the total.

Prediction: Under 121.5
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.