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Tavin Lovan #3 and the UAB Blazers go for NIT glory in our North Texas vs. UAB prediction.
Tavin Lovan #3 of the UAB Blazers reacts during the second half against the Houston Cougars in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 18, 2022. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

The 2023 NIT Championship will be decided Thursday in an all-Conference USA matchup when the North Texas Mean Green take on the UAB Blazers. Read on for our North Texas vs. UAB prediction based on the top NCAAB odds.

North Texas’ NIT semifinal victory over Wisconsin was its 30th win of the season. It's the first time in school history that the Mean Green have won 30-plus games, and makes them one of nine teams in the country to reach the 30-win plateau.

UAB is playing in its first NIT title game in program history. The school is also looking for its 30th win, as its overtime semifinal victory over Utah Valley improved its record to 29-9.

North Texas swept the two regular-season meetings against UAB, but the Blazers won the third meeting in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament. This is the fourth time in NIT Championship history (and first in 20 years) that two teams from the same conference are playing in the finals. 

Here is our best North Texas vs. UAB prediction (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

North Texas vs. UAB odds

North Texas vs. UAB prediction

North Texas +2.5 (-120 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

North Texas is 5-0 in games decided by three points or fewer and 3-0 in overtime games, so the Blazers should be comfortable in a game with a low 2.5-point spread. While Conference USA teams as a whole have been dominant this year in the postseason with a combined 17-1 straight up and 14-4 against the spread record, we're making North Texas a three-star play given head coach Grant McCasland’s outstanding postseason record (11-3) in his coaching career.

North Texas plays at D-I’s slowest tempo and spends an average of 21.3 seconds on offense per possession. Thus, when the Mean Green buried themselves in a 12-point hole at halftime against Wisconsin, many thought it would be difficult for them to come back since their offense is not built to score in bunches. While their offense did not scorch the nets in the second half, North Texas is in the NIT finals because it held Wisconsin to 13 second-half points, including zero points over the final 9:08 of the game.

The Badgers made one of their last 16 field goal attempts and attempted just two free throws during the nine-minute scoring drought. Thus, the Mean Green are riding high as Wisconsin had won 182 of its last 186 games when leading by at least 12 points at halftime, while North Texas won its eighth game in the previous 109 when trailing by 12+ at the half (per OptaSTATS).  

North Texas changed the game against Wisconsin with how it defended Badgers point guard Chucky Hepburn in the second half. After Hepburn made 5-of-5 3-pointers and had 15 points at the half, the Mean Green put Kai Huntsberry on him in the second half, and Hepburn finished with the same 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor. That likely means Huntsberry will draw the defensive assignment on UAB guard Jordan “Jelly” Walker, the fifth-leading scorer in the country at 22.3 points per game.  

UAB is a highly thought of team by the oddsmakers, as it was favored in the C-USA Championship against an FAU team that is now in the Final Four. However, the Blazers were highly overvalued in hindsight after the Owls beat them by 22 points. In addition, the Blazers played five extra minutes in the late game on Tuesday night and have not been the best team on short layoffs this season. UAB is just 3-4-1 ATS with one day off, while North Texas is 7-2 ATS in such games. 

North Texas vs. UAB best odds

FanDuel (-120)


There is quite a bit of early variability among the major sportsbooks, as UAB is anywhere from a 1.5 to 2.5-point favorite as of early Wednesday morning. However, in a game that Haslametrics projects North Texas to win 65.21-65.19 and KenPom predicting a narrow 69-68 Mean Green victory, we are eschewing the slightly better moneyline odds and taking all the points on the spread that we can get, even if it means paying more in juice.

North Texas vs. UAB odds analysis

UAB opened as a consensus 1.5-point favorite, but that is the lowest number out there as PointsBet (-2) and FanDuel (-2.5) opened with a higher line. There is excellent early two-way action on the spread, as 58% of all wagers have backed the favored Blazers.

The consensus O/U opened at 126.5, and any line movement since then has gone toward the Over, which is as high as 127.5 at FanDuel. As of Thursday morning, the betting action is 2/1 in favor of the Over.

North Texas vs. UAB game info

  • Date: Thursday, March 30, 9:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Location: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

North Texas-UAB pick made 3/29/2023 at 6:21 a.m. ET.

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