UNC Greensboro vs Texas Odds, Pick for Friday

UNC Greensboro vs Texas Odds, Pick for Friday article feature image

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Jones (UNC Greensboro)

UNC Greensboro vs Texas Odds

Friday, Dec. 29
8 p.m. ET
Longhorn Network
UNC Greensboro Odds
SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Texas Odds
SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

With the holiday break now in the rearview mirror, UNC Greensboro is set to travel to Austin for its final non-conference game of the season.

Texas is 9-2 this season, but it's yet to pass any true tests against a difficult opponent.

After beating Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena earlier this season, can UNC Greensboro pull off another upset on the road at Texas?

Here's UNC Greensboro vs. Texas odds and a pick for Friday.

UNC Greensboro Spartans

The Spartans entered this season with a lot of optimism after an admirable effort last year. They finished the regular season with a record of 14-4 in the SoCon before suffering a one-point loss against Wofford in the conference tournament.

Coach Mike Jones' team is off to a 9-3 start this year, but all three losses have been by small margins and have come on the road. The Spartans appear poised to contend for the SoCon title and an NCAA tournament bid, alongside the likes of Samford, Western Carolina and Furman.

Spartan fans should have a reasonable sense of optimism as the team prepares to battle Texas on the road. UNC Greensboro has already knocked off Arkansas in Fayetteville. Senior guard Keyshaun Langley led the Spartans that night with 23 points, while going 5-of-8 from 3-point range.

Keyshaun and his twin brother Kobe lead UNC Greensboro's backcourt, and they're veteran presences that won't be rattled in a road environment.

And, considering the students likely won't have returned to campus for this game, the road environment on this occasion may not be as hostile as usual.

Both of the Langley twins can certainly hang with Longhorn star Max Abmas.

Texas is physical in the frontcourt, especially since Dylan Disu made his return from injury. Disu pairs with Virginia transfer Kadin Shedrick to pose intimidating matchups physically for any opponent.

The counter for Greensboro will be another veteran, senior Mikael Brown-Jones. At just 6-foot-8, Brown-Jones will be slightly undersized against the 6-foot-9 Disu and the 6-foot-11 Shedrick. However, he's still the largest presence the Spartans will be able to throw at Texas and is capable of holding his own, assuming he avoids foul trouble.

The experience of the Spartans will serve them well and should allow them to stay in close proximity on the scoreboard.

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Texas Longhorns

Texas is undoubtedly the much more talented team in this game. The Longhorns feature Abmas, a guard who led Oral Roberts to a No. 15-over-No. 2 upset against Ohio State in the NCAA tournament two years ago.

The Longhorns also boast a frontcourt featuring the aforementioned Disu and Shedrick, both of whom are comfortable playing a physical brand of basketball on both ends of the court.

Finally, head coach Rodney Terry has continuity from last year's Elite Eight team in the form of combo guards Brock Cunningham, Tyrese Hunter and Dillon Mitchell.

Neither of Texas' losses this year should raise any serious red flags. The Longhorns fell short to the defending national champs UConn on a neutral floor before a subsequent loss to Marquette.

Unfortunately, those were the only two opportunities for the Longhorns to earn a non-conference victory over a top-100 KenPom opponent. And neither of those two outcomes were particularly close.

This year's version of Texas is unproven, as is the coaching ability of Terry. Before inheriting the Texas job on an interim basis after Chris Beard's departure, Terry was a head coach at both Fresno State and UTEP. In his 10 combined years as a head coach at both stops, he led his teams to only one NCAA tournament appearance at Fresno in 2016.

Coach Terry inherited an extremely veteran team last year, led by vocal leaders Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen and Sir'Jabari Rice. As a result, many were curious to see how much credit Terry might've deserved for the success Texas had last year.

Doubters of Terry have claimed that Carr, Allen, Rice, Cunningham and Disu carried the leadership burden on their veteran shoulders, and that almost any coach could've ridden the coattails of the culture that had already been established.

Given the lack of any impressive victories thus far this year, Terry's doubters will likely need to see more from Texas in big games throughout the remainder of this year and beyond.

UNC Greensboro may not be quite the caliber of a Big 12 opponent, yet it's fully capable of taking advantage if Texas is unprepared to play in its first game after the brief break.

A win over the Spartans could key a run of positive momentum for Texas before it enters the Big 12 gauntlet.

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UNC Greensboro vs. Texas

Betting Pick & Prediction

While the students are still in the middle of the holiday break, a more muted crowd could create a sleepy spot for Texas.

The Longhorns may not be taking Greensboro lightly, but sloppiness often follows the holiday break, as players traveled to and from home. Teams often don't practice and prepare based on their normal rhythm and often take a while to establish normalcy in their first game back.

Expect Greensboro to stay within reach throughout this one. It's almost always easier for the underdog to play with more energy and urgency in a potentially sleepy spot, and Greensboro knows it's capable of winning on the road against a team of Texas' caliber.

I wouldn't talk anyone out of taking UNCG on the first half spread, given my expectation of a slow start for Texas. Still, my stronger lean is trusting a veteran team with a capable head coach in Jones to keep this margin within single digits.

In the end, Texas will take a sigh of relief if it's simply able to protect its home court by escaping with a win.

Pick: UNC Greensboro +15.5 (Play to +10.5)

Are you in North Carolina? With North Carolina sports betting coming online in 2024, you’ll be able to bet legally at major sportsbooks. Learn more.

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