Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#871 Texas State 133.5 vs.
#872 UT Arlington -1.5
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s a battle of teams from the Lone Star State on the parquet floor in a Sun Belt clash. The Texas State Bobcats are on the road as they make the trip to face the UT Arlington Mavericks Friday night. Texas State comes in off an 86-76 home victory over Georgia State Saturday in their previous game. UT Arlington was clobbered 81-61 at home by Georgia Southern in their last game Saturday. The Mavericks lead the all-time series 40-33 and have won the last five meetings, including a 64-62 home win in the first matchup this season on January 25 as a four-point underdog.

Texas State Bobcats Seek 20th Win of Season

Texas State has had a pretty solid season coming into this contest as they search to maintain their late-season momentum. The Bobcats are 19-10 overall and 12-6 in the Sun Belt, leaving them second, 1.5 games behind Little Rock for the top spot. Texas State opened the season 6-2 with their lone losses to Baylor and Air Force in that stretch. The Bobcats followed that up with six losses in their next eight games, including dropping four of their first five conference games. Since that point, Texas State has won 10 of their last 12 games coming into this contest.

The Bobcats are putting up an average of 72.9 points per game so far this season. Texas State pulls down 33.9 rebounds per contest while dishing out an average of 13.8 assists a night. The Bobcats are sound defensively as they are 37th by allowing 63.7 points a contest. Nijal Pearson leads the team with 19.5 points plus 5.2 rebounds per contest. Mason Harrell, Alonzo Sule, Isiah Small, Eric Terry, Caleb Asberry and Martin Davis each average at least 5.8 points a night for the Bobcats. Texas State shoots 45.7 percent from the floor as a team this season. The Bobcats sink an average of 5.3 triples a night while shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc as a team. Texas State is excellent at the free throw line as they hit 76.2 percent of their chances this season.

According to KenPom. Texas State is above average on both ends of the floor. The Bobcats are 102nd in offensive efficiency and 97th in defensive efficiency this season. Texas State is 45th in turnover percentage (16.8 percent) and 108th in offensive rebounding percentage (29.8 percent) this season. Defensively, the Bobcats are 71st in effective field goal percentage defense (47.1 percent), 40th in turnover percentage (21.8 percent) and 46th in two-point field goal percentage defense (45.6 percent) this season. Texas State plays at a slow pace as they are 313th in tempo with 65.2 possessions a game.

UT Arlington Mavericks Trying to Pick Up Home Win

UT Arlington earned back to back home wins as they downed conference-leading Little Rock over the weekend. The Mavericks enter this game 13-16 overall and 9-9 in Sun Belt play, putting them seventh in the conference on the year. UT Arlington started the year 2-0 but then dropped 12 of their next 16 games to fall to 6-12 on the season. The Mavericks have been better of late as they come in with seven victories in their last 11 games, including three wins in their last four games. UT Arlington looks to maintain that momentum at home here.

The Mavericks are 207th in scoring offense as they put up 70.1 points per game on the season. UT Arlington is 145th in rebounding with 36.9 boards a night and 80th by dishing out 14.6 assists per game. The Mavericks are solid on the defensive end, ranking 138th in the nation by allowing 68.1 points per game on the year. David Azore leads the team with 14 points plus 4.8 rebounds plus 3.7 assists per game this season. Brian Warren (12.7 points, 3.6 assists) and Jabari Narcis (7.7 points, 6.7 rebounds) are solid scoring options. Jordan Phillips, Radshad Davis and Sam Griffin are capable scoring pieces. UT Arlington shoots 41.4 percent from the field on the year. The Mavericks knock down an average of 7.7 three-pointers a night while sinking 30.9 percent from beyond the arc. UT Arlington is solid at the charity stripe as they cash in 75.7 percent of their attempts this season.

According to KenPom, UT Arlington is pretty average on the offensive end of the floor but has been decent defensively this year. The Mavericks are 186th in offensive efficiency and 90th in defensive efficiency this season. UT Arlington is 31st in the nation in free throw percentage this season and stands 38th in turnover percentage (16.6 percent) to help offset that they are a dismal 285th in effective field goal percentage (47 percent) this season. Defensively, the Mavericks are 79th in effective field goal percentage defense (47.3 percent) and 42nd in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.2 percent) to help balance the fact that they are 238th in turnover percentage (17.9 percent) this season. UT Arlington is an average team in tempo as they are 174th in pace with an average of 68.4 possessions a night.

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UT Arlington took the first matchup this season between the teams with a narrow two-point road victory. While the Mavericks have won three of four, the fact remains that they are still below the .500 mark on the season. Texas State has won four straight and is trying to lock down a top-two seed at worst in the Sun Belt Tournament. The Bobcats are only 5-7 on the road but their defense is capable of shutting down teams and keep them in games where they have offensive issues. Seeing how UT Arlington is only 8-6 at home this season and Texas State is looking for as many wins as possible down the stretch. Give Texas State the advantage in this contest.

Prediction: Texas State Bobcats +1.5

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The first meeting between the teams this season saw just 126 points on the board. Texas State is an excellent defensive team and they can shut down top-notch offensive units, much less a middle of the pack one. The Bobcats are 50th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (40.4 percent) while the Mavericks are 87th in that category by limiting the opposition to 41.3 percent shooting from the field. Seeing that we didn't get a ton of offense in the first matchup and the defenses are still doing the job, this one likely ends up under the total as well.

Prediction: Under 133.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chrisโ€™ content daily.