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College basketball best bet, pick and prediction for Thursday's UTSA vs. UAB matchup. Handicapper John Hyslop looks to continue his winning ways in college basketball with this pick.

College Basketball Best Bets for Thursday: Possibly the College Basketball Bet of the Century

Do we want to wait all the way until 8:00pm ET for action tonight? Of course not. That's how you know I'm serious though. I'm willing to skip the sweet, sweet 7:00pm ET slate in an effort to be prepared for what many will call the greatest bet of all time. That's called sacrifice people. Takes a special man. But when you see what I've uncovered in my countless hours of research, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. You may even consider skipping the early slate with me. I just want it on the record that I would never ask you to do something like that. I'm just saying you may see the value in doing so. This is crazy good.

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UTSA Team Total Over 30.5 *First Half* @ -105 (Bet $105 to win $100)

Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing

This gem can be found at DraftKings at the moment and I'm hoping FanDuel jumps on board at some point. I'm not saying they will because they don't always but check there before you go diving into this one. What if they had something even better than 30.5 -105 and we missed it? That would be bad.

UTSA stands for University of Texas-San Antonio. I looked it up. It appears to be a school in Texas but not just any school, one that is getting better at basketball with every game. In fact, they're getting so good, the books can't even put out a smart number on them. It's crazy.

I coach sixth grade girls basketball and every year the team gets better by the end of the season. They're kids and that's just how kids work. Honestly, they look like a different team by the end of the season. Well, the kids we're betting tonight aren't in sixth grade anymore but they're still kids so the kid rules apply. Want stats? I'll give you stats (nerd).

This Roadrunners team is 355th in the country in effective field goal percentage (42.7%). That's terrible given that there are only 358 teams. My sixth grade girls team is close to that. The thing is, over their last three games, that percentage has shot up to a very respectable 50.8%. In three of their last four games, they've scored at least 32 points in the first half. Two of those games were against the number one and two teams in the C-USA. Not bad.

Opponent matters in college hoops just like it does in middle school basketball and the Roadrunners have a good one tonight in UAB. They play fast but they play the fakest defense you've ever seen. It's all because they cheat by fouling all the time. At home, it's no problem. The refs let them get away with it. But on the road, the tables turn a bit.

I'm not just going to accuse kids of being fake with no numbers to back it up. I'm not built like that. Consider the fact that UAB fouls on 26.7% of possessions on the road as opposed to only 21% at home. That's why they only see opponents shoot 14.9 free throws in their building as opposed to 22.1 on the road. It also could be why they see a ridiculous split in defensive efficiency at home compared to on the road. We're talking .865 to 1.003 here people. Wake up.

Now all this fouling wouldn't be an issue if it didn't lead to buckets. In their last two road games, UAB has allowed 37 and 41 points in the first half. The 37 was against Old Dominion which is crazy given how slow they play. Pace doesn't matter when you allow the other team to take 35 free throws (full game). UTSA plays at a pretty fast pace as well so this could end up being a track meet on top of a foul fest. Either way, we should get 31+ out of the Roadrunners in the first half.

Article Author


John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it. His work has appeared on Rotogrinders and he has been a regular on sports talk radio stations across the country. Based in the US, John operates a blog & podcast, Sports Bets Beers, which covers betting angles in the NFL, NBA, MLB, & NHL.


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