Check out our free UTEP vs Rice pick and preview for this NCAA Basketball game in Houston. See who we like to win and cover the spread in this College Basketball matchup.
UTEP vs Rice Pick & Preview: Saturday, January 14th Betting Odds
Miners vs Owls Matchup at a Glance
- Sport: NCAAB
- Teams: UTEP Miners at Rice Owls
- Where: Houston at Tudor Fieldhouse
- Date: Saturday, January 14th
- Betting Odds: UTEP +4, UTEP +153 | RICE -188 O/U 137.5
Heading into today’s matchup vs Rice, the UTEP Miners will be taking the floor for the 17th time this season and have an overall record of 9-7. On the road, the Miners will be playing their 5th game of the season, having gone 0-5. So far, the Miners have been the underdog 7 times, going 1-6 straight up. Heading into today’s contest, they are the +4 underdogs on the spread.
UTEP will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Tae Hardy who is averaging 12.44 points per game for the Miners. Hardy is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Miners’ offensive game plan is the play of Shamar Givance who has hit 37.9% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 10.0 points per game.
Offensive production has been hard to come by for UTEP this season, as they are currently ranked 275th in college basketball at 68.8 points per game. A major reason for low scoring totals is the fact that they have played at a below average pace, and have struggled to knock down outside shots. As a team, the Miners’ 3-point shooting percentage sits at just 35.2%, placing them 171st in the NCAA.
Rice heads into this matchup having played 16 games and have an overall record sitting at 11-5. So far this season, Rice has played 10 games at home, sitting with a record of 8-2. At the time of this article, the oddsmakers have the Owls as the -4 point favorites. The Owls have been favored 7 times, going 5-2 straight up.
Rice’s leading scorer this season is Quincy Olivari, who is averaging 18.12 points per contest. So far, Olivari has accounted for 22.21% of the team’s scoring. In addition, he is contributing 4.88 rebounds per game and 2.75 assists. Travis Evee is the second leading scorer for the Owls, averaging 16.19 points per game. Between him and Evee, they are accounting for 42.0% of the team’s scoring.
On offense, Rice comes into the game looking to control the pace of play, as they are just 370th in possessions per game. Even with their preference to slow the game down, the Owls’ are scoring at a rate similar to the NCAA average at 74.4 points per game. So far, 42.93% of their shots have come from beyond the arc, where they have connected at a rate of 37.3%.
Free Spread Prediction: Rice Owls -4
Heading into this matchup, our NCAA betting model has identified this game as a profitable opportunity and recommends taking the Rice Owls to pick up the win and cover the spread as -4 point betting favorites. Although Rice as a team is just 99th in overall shooting percentage, we see their offense putting together a strong performance against the Miners’ defense. In addition, the Owls have made bettors money who have taken them to cover at home, as they are 6-4 (last 10). At -4 we see there being plenty of value in grabbing the Owls to come out on top and cover.