Take Fast-Tempo UTEP As Our NCCA Basketball Pick Vs. The Unable Old Dominion

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, February 25, 2016 5:06 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 5:06 PM UTC

In what can only be termed our “Underdog of the Day,” we line up with UTEP at a generous price in their visit to Norfolk, Virginia. In our NCAA basketball pick they will face the ODU Monarchs.

UTEP vs. ODU (-7) 7:00 ET
That is assuming that the Miners have found their way to get from El Paso to Norfolk in time for this tipoff, which is no easy feat! In ODU’s dominating season of last, these two teams faced off just once with UTEP recording a (62-47) victory. Not sure there will be that type of dominance this evening. Neither will I be surprised when UTEP wins this game outright.

What a fantastic job by Jeff Jones, the 3rd year HC at ODU, who took the Monarchs from 5 wins to 18 wins to 27 wins and an NIT Semi-Final game last year. Once again this season, the Monarchs were expected to challenge for CUSA supremacy. But, this is an example of yet another team who has been severely, negatively impacted by the rule changes. Jones is a tempo-controlling, defense-first coach. Thus, his team has been negatively impacted by the shorter shot clock and their lack of ability to grab and hold. 

The result has been less than expected with a 15-12 SU record for the year and an 8-6 SU mark in CUSA play. Along the way, their 28-game home winning streak was snapped in a (72-71) loss to UAB on January 14th. Including that game, the Monarchs have gone just 2-4 SU on this court recently, losing to not only UAB, but also Mid-Tenn, Marshall and Rice.

The bottom line is that ODU stands just 1-6 ATS as conference home chalk. Of equal concern is an offense that has failed to reload. The Monarchs are averaging just 67 PPG and are knocking down a shockingly-low (4) 3 pointers per game at only 29% from behind the arc. No wonder they have had trouble with fast-paced teams such as Marshall, who defeated them this past weekend (82-65) in an up-tempo game, where ODU was unable to control the tempo.


Betting Analysis
That is exactly what they will face with Tim Floyd’s UTEP Miners. Floyd is a vastly underrated tactician, who has fine-tuned his lineup in the face of this year’s rule changes to move his team to a 4 guard lineup that has picked up the pace. In the last 6 games, Utah has averaged 90 PPG to enter tonight on a run of 6-0 SU, 6-1 ATS. Normally, Floyd would be content to turn this into a waltz. But if his Miners can grab an up-tempo pace, ODU has virtually no way to play from behind.

I invite you put the NCAA basketball odds boards in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on UTEP tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: UTEP Miners +7
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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