Our NCAAB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, moved to 10-1 ATS on the NCAAB season by the skin of his teeth Wednesday night. In this breakdown Thursday, he looks to take advantage of a more lopsided matchup for an easier win.
2017-18 NCAAB Record: 10-1 (+8.95 Units)UT-Rio Grande at Texas A&M
The 9th ranked Texas A&M Aggies look to continue their perfect season on Thursday evening as they host UT-Rio Grande from the Western Athletic Conference. The line on this game can be found at 5Dimes in their “College Extra” section, just another reason to have multiple books loaded and ready to go for your NCAAB season – or any season, for that matter. After opening at -26.5 in favor of the Aggies, the line has now jumped to -28.5. The total can be found at 153.5, and I believe there is value here on both the side and the total.
Just like with Duke and Indiana on Wednesday, one of these teams comes in with a huge rebounding edge driven by their rosters. No starter for UT-Rio Grande is taller than 6’7”, compared to the Aggies who have four players logging significant minutes who are taller than 6’9”, and a swingman who is 6’7” in Savion Flag. The leading rebounders for the Vaqueros (which is a pretty sweet mascot, I must admit) are 6’7” Lesley Varner Jr., who comes in at just 180 pounds, and 6’2” senior guard Nick Dixon. These two players average just 4.5 rebounds per game. Dixon is the one to watch in this matchup, as he averages 22.5 points per game over 28 minutes. He’ll have to improve on his 37.5% shooting from 3-point range to make a difference here, though, as there is no way he’ll have success among the trees Texas A&M will clog the paint with.
Probably the best game that UT-Rio Grande played this year was a 10-point loss to Georgia Tech on the road. They lost each half by only 5 points. Let it not be forgotten that 3 players were suspended for Georgia Tech in that game, including two of their starting guards. UT-Rio Grande still shot just 2-for-18 from 3-point range. They shoot just 30.3% from long range on the year, good for 294th in the country. The Vaqueros are coming off of a 95-64 drubbing at the hands of SMU in which they had a 23-13 foul disadvantage.
I covered Texas A&M’s last game and correctly picked that the Aggies would take care of business on the road against USC. They won outright 75-59 as 2.5-point underdogs. This with their potential lottery pick, 6’10” forward Robert Williams, only putting up 4 points. It didn’t matter as the deep Aggie bench picked up the slack admirably, and the defense held USC to just 28.2% shooting on the night. That defense is a trend we can back here as well with the Aggies holding opponents to just 66 points per game and 37% shooting from the field on the year.Free NCAAB Picks: Aggies -28.5 & Under 153.5Best Lines Offered: BetOnline