The Conference USA Championship Tournament goes on with the second-round matchups on Wednesday night, so here’s the best betting pick for the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. North Texas Mean Green showdown at Ford Center At The Star in Frisco.
The Mean Green opened as massive 14.5-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. They meet the Blue Raiders for the first time this season, looking for their third straight victory over Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders hope to snap a six-game skid
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (5-17; 3-13 Conf.) finished the regular season at the sixth spot of the C-USA East Division. They are riding a six-game losing streak following a 63-54 defeat to Florida Atlantic in their regular-season finale, covering a 10-point spread on the home court, and the Blue Raiders have managed to cover in six of their last nine outings.
However, Middle Tennessee is 0-10 straight up and 4-6 ATS in its last ten showings away from home. The Blue Raiders are No. 300 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings and No. 304 in the KenPom rankings. Furthermore, they score only 91.3 points per 100 possessions (334th in the nation) and surrender 102.8 in a return (193rd).
The Blue Raiders miss junior guard Dontrell Shuler (12.5 PPG, 2.9 APG), so another junior G Jordan Davis will lead the way against North Texas. Davis is tallying 11.0 points and 3.5 boards per game, while senior forward Jo’Vontae Millner-Criss adds 7.7 points and 5.2 rebounds a night.
The Mean Green look to stop a three-game slide
The North Texas Mean Green (13-9; 9-5 Conf.) ended the regular season as the third-best team in the C-USA West Division. They are winless in three straight outings, and the Mean Green are coming off two straight home losses to UAB, 65-51 and 65-61.
North Texas is No. 73 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 80 in the KenPom rankings. The Mean Green are scoring 105.8 points per 100 possessions (122nd in the country) while surrendering only 94.1 in a return (48th).
Sophomore guard Javion Hamlet is the Mean Green’s best player, and he’s averaging 14.3 points and 4.1 assists on the season. Senior guard James Reese is posting 11.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while sophomore forward Thomas Bell is adding 10.4 points and 5.9 boards a night.
- 2-4 ATS in the last six games against North Texas
- 11-18 ATS in the last 29 games as double-digit underdogs
- 8-0-1 ATS in the last nine games as double-digit favorites
- 6-1 ATS in the last seven games played on Wednesday
Despite a massive spread, I won’t hesitate to grab the Mean Green to cover. North Texas is a much better team than Middle Tennessee, and I expect Grant McCasland’s boys to prove it on the court.
The Mean Green will be fired up to stop their losing streak. Their defense will torture the Blue Raiders all night long, while North Texas’ offense is just good enough to help the team cover.
Pick: Take North Texas -14.5 at -110
The under is 7-2 in the Mean Green’s last nine outings, but the over is 9-3 in North Texas’ last 12 showings as double-digit favorites. I wouldn’t be surprised if they completely shut down the Blue Raiders and hold them below 55 points, while the under has hit in Middle Tennessee’s previous four contests overall.
I would stick with North Texas to cover. The totals could be a tricky wager, and the last four encounters between the Blue Raiders and North Texas went in the over.
Pick: Go over 127.5 points at -110