We've got a matchup of two hot teams today as the 16-10 UTEP Miners travel to the 19-7 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders for a 7:00 p.m. EST tip-off.
UTEP has covered the spread in six of its last seven while Middle Tennessee has won 10 of its last 11 and covered in four straight. So which flame will stay burning and where can we find value in this one?
Here are the odds courtesy of WynnBET:
UTEP vs. MTSU Odds, Spread and Total
- UTEP +5.5 (-110)
- MTSU -5.5 (-110)
- UTEP: +195
- MTSU: -240
- 138 (Over -110/Under -110)
UTEP vs MTSU Prediction and Pick
We've got a good one here folks! UTEP has covered in four straight road games and in four straight as an underdog behind a strong defense that forces turnovers on 21.4% of opponent's possessions, good for 43rd in the country. Its offense can be an Achilles' heel though, as it is just 319th nationally in 2-point shooting percentage and need to rely on outside shooting to keep it close.
That plays into Middle Tennessee's hands, as its interior defense leaves a bit to be desired but it ranks 114th in defending the 3-point shot. The Blue Raiders force turnovers on 21.7% of opponent's possessions and have a stronger offense than UTEP, ranking 96th in adjusted efficiency behind the 44th-best two-point shooting percentage.
UTEP has just the189th-best two-point shooting defense and fouls a ton, ranking 332nd in America in opposing free throw rate. Middle Tennessee's interior advantage should help it pull away in this one unless the Miners get hot from deep.
The Blue Raiders have been one of the best spread bets in all of college basketball this year, going an incredible 20-5-1 against the spread (ATS). They've been money as a home favorite too with a 7-2 ATS record.
I think this is going to be a close game, but free throws at the end will make the difference as Middle Tennessee's size proves to be too much for a scrappy Miners squad. I'm taking MTSU to improve to 21-5-1 ATS on the season.
Pick: MTSU -5.5 (-110)