SMU vs. North Texas Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Thursday, Jan. 25 (Trust 2 top defenses to go under)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bets for SMU-North Texas. 

Nov 17, 2023; Charleston, SC, USA; North Texas Mean Green guard Jason Edwards (2) brings the ball up
Nov 17, 2023; Charleston, SC, USA; North Texas Mean Green guard Jason Edwards (2) brings the ball up / David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the top teams in the American Athletic Conference square off Thursday. SMU has won three straight since falling to then-No. 15 Memphis on the road on Jan. 7. The Mustangs, winners of seven of their last eight games, are coming off double-digit home wins over Temple (77-64) and Tulsa (103-70). Will their hot offense continue on the road?

North Texas is returning home after an abysmal offensive showing in a 56-44 loss to Charlotte on Jan. 20. The Mean Green have been particularly mean at home, winning their last four games by double figures. 

Here is a betting breakdown of Thursday’s conference clash with a best bet.

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SMU vs. North Texas odds, spread and total

SMU vs. North Texas betting trends

  • SMU is 11-5-1 ATS this season
  • North Texas is 9-6 ATS this season
  • SMU is 8-3-1 ATS as a favorite this season
  • North Texas is 3-3 ATS as an underdog this season
  • The OVER is 6-11 in SMU games this season
  • The OVER is 7-8 in North Texas games this season

SMU vs. North Texas how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 25
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Super Pit at UNT Coliseum
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN2
  • SMU record: 13-5 (4-1 AAC)
  • North Texas record: 11-6 (4-1 AAC)

SMU vs. North Texas key players to watch


Chuck Harris: One of SMU’s two double-digit scorers, Harris is averaging 13.3 points per game and is shooting 42.4% from 3-point range this season. SMU is 5-0 the last five times Harris hits multiple 3-pointers in a game, including Saturday’s win over Tulsa when the senior guard went 4-of-8 from downtown and finished with an 18-point, 10-assist double-double. 

North Texas

Jason Edwards: The sophomore guard has been one of the best scorers in the AAC this season, averaging 16.7 points per game to lead North Texas. Edwards had a 37-point night against Tulane during the Mean Green’s three-game winning streak but shot a season-low 27.8% from the floor (5-of-18) and was held to just 11 points in the loss to Charlotte over the weekend. 

SMU vs. North Texas prediction and pick

Both teams are led by great defense. SMU, which is No. 40 overall in KenPom, has the No. 16 overall defense that ranks No. 2 in effective field goal percentage and is No. 1 in the country in defending the 3-point shot. The Mustangs swarm the perimeter and allow opponents to shoot just 26% from downtown. SMU’s defense is also No. 9 in defending shots from inside the arc. 

On the other side, North Texas ranks No. 29 in defensive efficiency and is No. 5 in effective field goal percentage. They are No. 28 in the country in defending the perimeter and No. 15 against 2-point shots. 

SMU’s offense has hit its stride over a three-game winning streak, but this is the Mustangs’ toughest task on a schedule ranked No. 119 against opposing defenses. On the offensive side, there’s not much to like with two teams ranked No. 200 or worse in turnover percentage. Both offenses rank top-20 in offensive rebounding percentage but are below average in putting the ball in the net when they get second-chance opportunities. In a hard-fought conference battle between two physical teams, trust the defenses to set the tone, and don’t be afraid of the low total. Go under.

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change