NCAA Basketball Pick on Texas-San Antonio as Small Dog

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, November 22, 2014 5:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 5:32 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Saturday.


The small home underdog could hold the advantage in an in-state rivalry Saturday when the Texas State Bobcats (2-0, 1-0 away) pay a visit to the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (1-1, 1-1 home) at the UTSA Convocation Center in San Antonio, TX at 3:00 ET.

The point spread at Bet365 has Texas-San Antonio as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +2 with odds of -110.

Neither Team Has Played a Lined Game
Even though both of these clubs have played twice this season, neither team has had a lined game because it has not played a Division I school. Both of these teams also used to be conference mates in the WAC before moving on last year. Texas State joined the Sun Belt Conference and went just 4-14 in league play and 8-23 overall. The Bobcats opened up this year as winning NCAA Basketball picks twice, but beating Seattle and Lamar does not mean much.

Texas-San Antonio went 8-22 last year and 4-12 in conference play in its first season in Conference USA before bowing out in the opening round of the Conference USA Tournament to East Carolina, although it was competitive in that 79-76 defeat to the Pirates. The Roadrunners took care of business in their opening game this season vs. something called Huston Tillotson 92-74, but were then shocked here at home 63-62 by Texas-Pan American!

Chance to Bounce Back at Home Again
Still, we like the Roadrunners to rebound from that effort now playing home again vs. a team it used to face regularly in WAC play as recently as two years ago. And the team does return senior guard Keon Lewis after he led the team in scoring last season as well as running the point, and he is at it again leading the way after two games at 19.0 points per game.

Lewis is getting some nice support though with Jerome Hill averaging 15.0 points and Ryan Bowie averaging 14.5, with all three of those starters playing over 90 percent of the team’s minutes thus far! The Roadrunners’ lack of depth is sure to catch up to them as the year goes on, but at this early stage those three players playing extended minutes gives UTSA the best chance to win some games early on.

Furthermore the Roadrunners have not turned the ball over much until now, ranking sixth in the country through two games in offensive turnover percentage at 10.9 percent compared to a national average of 20.1 percent, and they also look a bit better defensively than in their first season in C-USA as they are allowing a respectable 45.5 percent effective field goal percentage and rank 51st in defensive turnover percentage at 24.5 percent.

Undeserved Road Favorites?
And what exactly has Texas State done to merit road favoritism here, especially in light of the fact that the Bobcats are 1-8 straight up in their last nine road games? Yes we get that UTSA had a bad loss last time out but that was by one point to a team the Roadrunners may not have taken seriously enough, and even though the Bobcats are 2-0 vs. Division II schools, it does not mean that there were no red flags.

And the biggest red flag is that despite the weak competition, Texas State has an offensive turnover percentage of 27.0 percent through two games, which ranks 325th in the land! Guard play is critical in college basketball, even more so than in the NBA and it is obvious from the turnover percentages of these two teams vs. comparable schedules that the small home underdogs from UTSA are getting the better point guard play right now with Lewis.

Turnovers Could Bury Bobcats
Also, for those that feel using two games to judge is not enough, consider that the turnover problems for Texas State have not come out of the blue as they ranked 326th in the country in offensive turnover percentage over the entire season last year at 21.5 percent.

Therefore the wrong team may very well be the small favorite in this contest so back Texas-San Antonio as the underdog at home on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas-San Antonio +2 (-110)

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