College Basketball Odds & Picks for North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech: Back Mean Green in C-USA Matchup
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: North Texas standout Thomas Bell.
- North Texas squares off with Louisiana Tech in a top-of-the-Conference USA duel.
- UAB, North Texas and Louisiana Tech are tied atop the C-USA West standings at 7-1.
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.
North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech Odds
|North Texas Odds|
-114o / -106u
|Louisiana Tech Odds|
-114o / -106u
Three teams are currently tied for the Conference USA lead. However, that will change Saturday when North Texas (7-1) heads to Ruston, La., to take on the 1 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-1) in a key showdown.
The Mean Green enter this game riding a six-game win streak, with their most recent being a 63-54 win over the Southern Miss. In their win over the Golden Eagles, Mardrez McBride set a career high with 21 points. Yet, he wasn’t the only one to set records. Aaron Scott came off the bench to post his highest scoring effort as well with 13 points.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech bounced back from its first conference loss of the season to UAB by beating Rice in a rout, winning 80-63.
North Texas is also undefeated in road games this season. It’s the first time in program history the program began a season 4-0 on the road.
The Bulldogs are the 39th highest-scoring offense in the country, while North Texas is the fourth-best scoring defense in the country. In this battle of strength versus strength, who can come out on top and remain in contention for first place in the conference?
North Texas ranks 285th nationally in scoring offense, posting 65.1 points per game. They also post an effective field-goal percentage of 51.6 percent. And while they aren’t exactly one dimensional, the Mean Green favor three points shots considerably more.
Also, 39.2% of North Texas’ points come from beyond the three-point arc, which makes perfect sense when you’re as good as it has been. The Mean Green are 35th in Division 1 in 3-point shooting, hitting at 37.1 percent.
North Texas’ biggest advantage will be on defense, where it ranks 41st in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Mean Green is also allowing teams to post an effective field-goal percentage of just 48.1 percent.
One of the biggest advantages they will have over the Bulldogs is their presence around the basket. Louisiana Tech ranks 228th in offensive rebound percentage, while North Texas is 63rd in limiting offensive rebounding percentage. Louisiana Tech also puts up a lot of shots, ranking 72nd in the nation with 60.2 field goal attempts per game.
However, North Texas is sixth in college basketball giving up just 50.2 attempts per contest. The first step in stopping the Bulldogs will be limiting their shots.
Louisiana Tech got back on track in a big way after dropping its first conference game. The Bulldogs blew by Rice, winning 80-63, in a game where four different Bulldogs recorded double-figure scoring efforts. Kenneth Lofton Jr. also posted his 11th double double of the season. In conference games, Louisiana Tech is averaging 76 points per game, which is second in C-USA.
Lofton Jr. is doing it all for the Bulldogs. He ranks top five in C-USA in scoring, rebounds and field-goal percentage. He also leads his team in blocks. And while he is making plays in every area of the court, he cant provide the second best scoring offense on his own. Four other players for the Bulldogs are averaging double-digit scoring outputs per contest.
On the defensive side, the Bulldogs are limiting opposing teams to 68.7 points per game. They have however struggled to limit opposing teams offensive rebounds, an area in which the Mean Green have excelled, pulling down 31.8% of potential rebounds.
They have also had success in forcing turnovers, Louisiana Tech is forcing an average of 13.8 turnovers per game, which ranks 112th in the country.
North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech Betting Pick
These teams are tied for first place in the C-USA for a reason, and they are both very good teams who have a chance to find themselves in the tournament come march.
Yet, think the North Texas will cause problems for the Bulldogs they have yet to face this season. They have struggled consistently against elite defenses, and I think that continues here, even with their home court advantage North Texas has been just as good on the road as Louisiana Tech has been at home.
I also expected this game to open at a Pick’em, so I love North Texas catching 2.5 here. However, I would still take the Mean Green up to a pick.
Pick: North Texas +2.5 (-104) or better
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