Old Dominion the NCAA Basketball Pick to Get Big Road Win

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, February 28, 2015 3:03 PM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 3:03 PM GMT

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 road favorites will probably try to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee Saturday when those Old Dominion Monarchs (21-6, 4-5 away) pay a visit to the North Texas Mean Green (14-13, 11-5 home) at The Super Pit in Denton, TX at 5:30 ET in a game available on Altitude.

The point spread at Bet365 has Old Dominion as a moderate road favorite for this contest with the current line at -5 with odds of -110.


Both Teams on Winning Streaks
This is the second season for each of these teams in Conference USA, and after finishing 18-18 overall and 9-7 in its first season in its new league last year, Old Dominion has progressed nicely this year to 21-6 and 10-5 in C-USA play including three straight wins, although the Monarchs would need 13-3 Louisiana Tech to lose both of its last two games, which is unlikely, to have a chance to win the regular season conference title.

North Texas got off to a terrible start in conference play this year beginning at 3-7, but seemingly out of nowhere the Mean Green have now been the winning NCAA Basketball picks in five straight games to get to over .500 both inside Conference USA (8-7) and overall (14-13). And yet the team with the current longer winnings streak is a home underdog here? Well, a deeper look reveals that is not as surprising as it seems at first glance.


Old Dominion Seeking At-Large Berth
Of all the teams in Conference USA, Old Dominion may be the only one that actually has a chance to get an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament in the event that it does not win the Conference USA Tournament, although the first step to that path would be winning the last three regular season games starting with this one to finish the regular year at 24-6.

If you are wondering why that is, remember that Old Dominion had the foresight to schedule a stronger non-conference schedule than most of the rest of Conference USA, and more importantly the Monarchs have three very good non-conference wins over VCU, LSU and Richmond. So if this team gets to 25 or 26 wins with one or two wins in the C-USA Tournament and then gets knocked out, it could have a legitimate claim to an at-large.

With that in mind, look for the Monarchs to be fully focused for these last three regular season games and try to win those contests as impressively as possible to catch the committee’s eye.


North Texas not Highly Regarded
Now, North Texas may be on that five-game winning streak but it has still been outscored over all of its games this season, ranking just 204th in the country in points scored with 66.1 per game and 191st in points against at 67.0 per contest. More importantly, the Mean Green are ranked just 211th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, compared to a 71st ranking for Old Dominion that is excellent for a Conference USA team.

We just do not see North Texas generating much offense here as this is a team that is ranked 251st in the country in offensive efficiency and 232nd on effective field goal percentage at 47.5 percent. The Mean Green are a dismal 305th in three-point shooting at 30.5 percent while hitting only a mediocre 48.2 percent of their two-point shots.

On top of that, they figure to get shut down by an excellent Old Dominion defense that is ranked 60th in defensive efficiency and 59th in effective field goal percentage allowed at just 45.9 percent. And the Monarchs’ defense has been top-notch during the current three-game win streak allowing 38, 53 and 54 points respectively!


Monarchs Swept Both Lifetime Meetings
Finally, these teams met for the first time ever last season in their first season together in Conference USA, with Old Dominion coming here to Denton and prevailing 72-62. The Monarchs then made it two-for-two vs. the Mean Green earlier this year by winning 61-50 at home.

Look for Old Dominion to make it three straight wins over North Texas with a rather handy win on Saturday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Old Dominion -5 (-110)

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