NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas-Arlington vs. Kentucky

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1:29 PM GMT

The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the more athletic teams in the country, but they may struggle covering the number against the UTSA Mavericks Tuesday night.  Have the NCAA Basketball odds been set too high, or will Kentucky manage to cover the large number?

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Basketball odds for this non-conference matchup at Rupp Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

[gameodds]14/249956/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Splitsville  

UTSA has split its first four games of the 2013-14 campaign, as it attempts to bounce back from a 83-73 defeat to the Cleveland State Vikings as 1.5-point home favorites last Friday, while going UNDER the betting total of 161.5.

The Mavericks allowed the Vikings to knock down 11-of-24 shots from beyond the arc in that affair, while opponents are hitting 46.6 percent of their attempts from the three-point area overall.

A new era 

The Kentucky Wildcats started five freshmen against Robert Morris marking the first time in program history five first-year players comprised the starting lineup—resulting in a 87-49 blowout victory as 21-point home favorites Sunday. 

The Wildcats continue to be led by star forward Julius Randle out of Dallas, TX, as he’s averaging 20.5 points and 14.5 rebounds through two games. 

Capable offense 

College basketball handicappers may have an interest in backing the road underdog in this affair, as the Mavericks have four players averaging double figures, with senior guard Reger Dowell leading the way.

Dowell is averaging 26.0 points per game, while the team is shooting 45.9 percent from the floor overall, but its opponents are hitting at the same clip.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Mavericks are 0-3 SUATS as road underdogs of 12.5 or more points. 

Winning in November 

The Wildcats have won 25 of their 29 November games under the direction of head coach John Calipari, which fits nicely with their 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS mark as home favorites of 24.5 to 30 points since the 2011-12 season. 

Kentucky has also managed to win 153 of its last 178 home games, including a 54-game wining streak to being the Calipari era.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mavericks with their NCAA Basketball picks, as they’ve struggled against perimeter-oriented teams in the early going this season—a distinction that the young Wildcats haven’t earned thus far. 

College Basketball Pick:  UTSA Mavericks +27