College Basketball Betting Free Pick: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at UTEP Miners
FREE PICK: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at UTEP Miners
#839 OVER 132 (Wednesday, March 6 @ 9 pm EST)
Playing for exercise takes on a whole new meaning with tonight’s Middle Tennessee at UTEP matchup. C-USA is a 14-team league with 12 teams invited to the conference tournament. MTSU has clinched a berth and regardless of how its last two games play out, will be playing on Day 1 of the tournament. UTEP meanwhile was officially eliminated following Sunday’s loss to Charlotte; the Miners’ fourth straight loss. Even more interesting is that because of C-USA’s unique “bonus play” format, both teams not only face one another tonight but Saturday as well. Two games that mean nothing outside of perhaps pride.
MTSU prefers to play at a fast pace. Eliminate games against plodding Old Dominion and Charlotte and the Blue Raiders averaged 71 possessions per game in league play. Their offense is hit-or-miss though again, by eliminating games against some of the more defensive-minded teams in C-USA, MTSU has found ways to score (70 or more in 8 of 16 games). One such effort was against UTEP back in January in which MTSU won 75-72 (71 possessions).
UTEP sports the worst offense in C-USA at 0.88 point per possession. You put the Miners up against even an average defense and scoring 60 points becomes a real chore. But they have shown a pattern of willingness to play up-tempo. UTSA, Marshall, MTSU, FIU; five games that averaged 76.4 possessions. At home, against the 13th-ranked defense in C-USA, I peg UTEP for enough offense to aid in this game going over the total.