NCAA Basketball Pick on Texas-San Antonio as Huge Dog at La. Tech

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, January 28, 2016 8:10 PM GMT

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (14-5) and Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (4-16) may have nearly inverted records, but UTSA offers ATS value as an enormous underdog in Ruston.

 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas-San Antonio +17
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

 

The won/lost records do not tell the whole story Thursday night as the humongous road underdogs actually seem to offer good ATS value in Conference USA when those Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (4-16, 5-9 ATS) pay a visit to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (14-5, 5-6 ATS) at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, LA at 7:30 ET with live streaming available at conferenceusa.com

The point spread at Bookmaker has Texas-San Antonio as a very large underdog for this contest with the current line at +17½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board at -105.

 

Half of UTSA Wins are Inside Conference USA
Louisiana Tech may be 14-5 overall, but keep in mind that the Bulldogs began the season 11-2 during non-conference play vs. a weak schedule ranked just 273rd in the country in non-conference SOS according to the Pomeroy Ratings. They have since been the winning NCAA Basketball picks in only half of their six Conference USA games, a 3-3 conference mark that places them fifth in a league led by the UAB Blazers at 7-0.

Texas-San Antonio may have an almost inverted record compared to Louisiana Tech at just 4-16, but at least the Roadrunners faced a better non-conference SOS ranked 150th including losing to three Pomeroy Top 100 teams in Creighton, Texas and Clemson, and UTSA has just one less win than the Bulldogs inside Conference USA at 2-5.

 

Can Bulldogs be Trusted as Prohibitive Faves?
It is interesting that Louisiana Tech has a losing 5-6 ATS record despite being 14-5 on the court, and just the fact that the Bulldogs have played eight non-lined games is in itself alarming. Yes, they won all of those games vs. outclassed competition, but it also means that they are a pedestrian 6-5 straight up in their lined games vs. Division I, which does not spark confidence in a prohibitive sized favorite like this.

The Bulldogs have also yet to win back-to-back games since the start of conference play, which takes on a bit of significance following a 70-59 win at Southern Miss last Saturday. Granted LA Tech figures to break that trend straight up here, but our only concern is ATS, and although UTSA admittedly has an awful defense, the Bulldogs seem to lack the perimeter shooting to take full advantage.

Louisiana Tech is just 264th in the country in three-point shooting at 32.1 percent, and that inability to pad leads from beyond the arc is another reason why giving this many points with a team like the Bulldogs seems very dicey.

 

Betting Line Has Dropped Two Points
Apparently that has not been lost on sharp bettors as this line has dropped two full points at Pinnacle Sports from an opening line of +19 to its current +17, although we were able to snare this +17½ at Bookmaker.

Now we totally understand that UTSA is not a very good basketball team, but one edge that it may have in this contest is at the foul line. We are not necessarily talking only about free throw percentage, although the Roadrunners are shooting a good 70.2 percent from the charity stripe overall and an even better 74.1 percent during league play, but rather we are talking about volume.

You see, no team has done a better job of getting to the foul line than San Antonio in league play with an outstanding FTA/FGA ratio of 43.2 percent. To give that some perspective, the national average for such a ratio has been 36.7 percent, and the chance to score so many points with the clock stopped is certainly a desirable straight for such an enormous underdog.

 

Unreliable Tech
Finally, nothing points out the inconsistency of Louisiana Tech more than the fact that the Bulldogs are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Furthermore, LA Tech is also 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games inside Conference USA and 4-12 ATS in its last 16 home games vs. teams with losing road records.

So while Louisiana Tech will more than likely win this game on the basketball court, look for UTSA to do enough here to stay inside the inflated point spread in Ruston on Thursday.