College Basketball Odds & Picks for UAB vs. Louisiana Tech: Back the Blazers on Road
Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Walker.
- UAB and Louisiana Tech square off in a battle between two of the best teams in the C-USA.
- The Bulldogs are unbeaten in C-USA play while the Blazers have one loss to Rice on the road.
- Keg breaks down this league affair and offers up his best bet.
UAB vs. Louisiana Tech Odds
-115o / -105u
|Louisiana Tech Odds|
-115o / -105u
Louisiana Tech vs. UAB will be just the second college basketball game of the season in which two 15-win teams face off. The first will be just a few hours prior when Kentucky takes on Auburn at noon.
For just the third time in program history, UAB has started the season 12-0 in Bartow Arena, joining the 2015-16 and 2008-09 squads as the only teams to accomplish this impressive milestone.
But on Saturday, the Blazers will travel Ruston, Louisiana, to square off against a Conference USA foe. The two teams rank first and second in the C-USA West standings, with Tech in the lead at a perfect 6-0 in conference games.
UAB leads the all-time series, 10-9, but it has lost the last five meetings. And on the road, it’s even worse — the Blazers are 0-6 all time at Louisiana Tech.
Can the Blazers end the streak of losses at Tech and move into a tie for first in the C-USA West?
The UAB offense leads Conference USA in:
- Field-Goal Percentage Defense
- Scoring Margin
- Scoring Offense
- Steals per Game
- Total Steals
- Turnover Margin
- Turnovers Forced per Game
It’s also 89th nationally in overall field goal conversion rate, which should give you an idea of just how dominant this Blazers offense is.
Guard Jordan Walker was named the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday after leading UAB to another sweep over FIU and FAU at home last week.
Walker totaled 47 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and committed only three turnovers in 68 total minutes in FIU those two games. He has also scored 17 points or more in five straight and has strung together three consecutive 20-plus point performances. Walker is the first Blazer to score 20 or more points in three straight games since Zack Bryant during the 2018-19 season.
On the season, Walker ranks third in C-USA play with 19 points per game and sixth with 4.17 assists. He has reached double figures in 17 of the 18 games as well.
Something that also may come into play in this game is the Blazers’ ability to go on scoring runs while also limiting their opponents’ ability to do so.
Shown in the graph below, courtesy of Evan Miyakawa. If the Blazers can get stops on the defensive end, they could pull away from the Bulldogs quickly.
Here’s the graph of scoring runs for all top 200 mid major teams: pic.twitter.com/YInZqwZqOp
— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) January 20, 2022
UAB should have success on the offensive boards as well, ranking 51st in the country in second-chance conversion percentage. And matched up against a Bulldogs team ranked 229th in the country at defending second chances, it should be even better.
The UAB defense is ranked No. 38 in Division I and has done a great job of limiting teams around the basket. Opposing teams are hitting 2-point shots at just a 43.9% clip against the Blazers.
The Bulldogs are 15-3 on the season, but they don’t match up well against the Blazers.
Louisiana Tech is averaging 78.9 points per game while pulling down 38.4 boards per contest. As an offense, the Bulldogs are shooting 46.5% from the field, which ranks 75th in college hoops. They have been decent from the charity stripe as well, connecting on 72.4% of shots.
The LA Tech defense, meanwhile, sports one of college basketball’s better defensive field goal percentages, ranking 73rd nationally. But when it comes to 3-point defense, it’s at a considerable disadvantage, allowing teams to shoot 32.5% from deep. For comparison, UAB has been the 29th-best team from deep.
The Bulldogs are ranked 137th in college basketball in points surrendered with 67.2. They limit teams to just 40.2% from the floor, ranking 63rd in college basketball, and are forcing 14.1 turnovers per game.
Another area where the Blazers have been great while the Bulldogs have struggled is rebounding. LA Tech is allowing teams to grab 36.0 boards every game, which ranks 273rd nationally.
UAB vs. Louisiana Tech Betting Pick
UAB has been better at both ends of the floor, and I think that will continue when it finally squares off against Louisiana Tech. While it has struggled in the past against the Bulldogs, this is a new year, and it’s the best the Blazers have been in some time.
I expect their scoring and rebounding to lead them past the Bulldogs and into a tie for first place in the C-USA West.
I got the Blazers at -1.5 and would take them up to a 2.5-point favorite.
Playing on the road could play a factor, so I don’t want to move above 3. But I do think the Blazers are the better team here and will come out on top.
Pick: UAB -3 or better.
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