NCAA Basketball Pick: North Texas +4 over Arkansas State

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Arkansas State has already clinched the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference and the second seed, so do not be surprised if North Texas pulls an upset on senior night in Denton.

The visiting team really has nothing to play for while the home team is celebrating senior night on Thursday when the Arkansas State Red Wolves (18-9, 5-7 away) pay a visit to the North Texas Mean Green (11-19, 7-7 home) at The Super Pit in Denton, TX at 8:00 ET.

The point spread at Bodog has North Texas as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4 with odds of -105.

Arkansas State has had a very nice season after going just 14-20 one year ago, as the Red Wolves are 18-9 overall and they have clinched the West Division of the Sun Belt with a 12-6 conference mark. Unfortunately that may actually work against the Red Wolves tonight as they are already locked in as the second seeds in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which begins next Friday, so they really have nothing to play for in this game.

Arkansas State usually wins with defense, as it ranks a very good 52nd in the country in defensive efficiency and 22nd in defensive turnover percentage. The Wolves are a bit vulnerable when teams can break their pressure though, as they are ranked only 102nd in effective field goal percentage allowed, 133rd in three-point defense and 97th in two-point defense. That is a legitimate concern tonight as they may not bring their usual defensive intensity.

Also, we are not so sure we would trust ASU as a road favorite even under the best of circumstances, as the Red Wolves have a losing 5-7 road mark and are allowing nearly 10 more points per game on the road (67.4) than they are at home (57.5).

Yes, the Red Wolves come in on a four-game winning streak but they may now be more concerned with staying healthy and working on some things with their position locked up, and they will probably be facing an inspired team with this being senior night for North Texas.

This has been a disappointing season for the Mean Green, who are just 11-19 overall and 6-13 in the conference, but they now get a chance to build some momentum for the conference tournament next week and also a chance to gain some confidence by knocking off a division winner, which would be a nice send-off for the seniors, most notably shooting guard Roger Franklin, who averages 11.6 points and rebounds well for his position with 6.4 per game.

The Mean Green took Arkansas State to overtime on the road before losing 75-66 the first time these teams met this season, so do not be surprised if there is an outright upset in this rematch on Thursday.

[gameodds]14/222405/92-238-19-93-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: North Texas +4 (-105)