College Basketball Best Bet of the Day: Southern Utah vs. UTEP

Smaller slate today in college hoops but we have some really great matchups with these smaller post-season tournaments coming to a close. My focus for tonight is on the matchup between Southern Utah and UTEP. Let's get to it.
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College Basketball Best Bet of the Day: Southern Utah vs. UTEP

Southern Utah is a team out of the Big Sky who has made a lot of noise in that conference after recently moving up to Division 1 a few years ago. They have also been one of my favorite teams to bet on in specific spots, as you all have seen in my previous articles. Southern Utah has been a very solid offensive team and I think they will be able to score on this middle-of-the-pack UTEP defense. Southern Utah is currently ranked 107th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 69th in effective FG%, and 46th in 2-point % so even on a national scale, they have put up some impressive offensive numbers.

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Another thing that Southern Utah does well on offense is drawing fouls. They are currently ranked 54th in the nation in foul rate drawn on offense, which could be a problem for UTEP as they are a very physical team. UTEP is currently ranked 329th in defensive foul rate and teams are scoring a very high percentage of their points from 2-point range and on free throws against this UTEP defense, so I think Southern Utah will be able to have success in getting to the rim for layups and free throw opportunities.

Another thing that I really love about Southern Utah is how experienced they are. They are the 5th most experienced team in the country and really think this will help them down the stretch, as this should be a fairly close game throughout the entirety of the game. On the offensive side of the ball, Southern Utah is led by John Knight who is more of a slasher/creator for others compared to an outside threat. Most of his field-goal attempts are on layups or pull-up Jump shots and he is shooting over 50% on 2-point field goals this season, so as a volume shooter, he has been incredibly efficient.

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Southern Utah is a smaller team, but they do have a major post presence with 6'11 Jason Spurgin who is ranked 8th in the entire country in offensive rating so he has had a great season. Spurgin is shooting 74% on 2-point field goals this season... yes you read that correctly, 74%. UTEP doesn't have a rotational player over 6'9 so I believe Spurgin could have some success in the paint and on the offensive/defensive glass as well. He has scored in double figures in his last 4 games in a row and should be primed for another solid matchup here.

The bottom line for me in this game is that UTEP played a fairly weak non-conference schedule and did not stack up well against the top dogs of Conference-USA. They went a combined 2-6 against UAB, MTSU, North Texas, and Louisiana Tech so they have struggled against better competition this season. UTEP is very dependent on their guards for offensive production and none of them are very efficient from the field. Boum is shooting 41%, Bieniemy is at 40%, and Kennedy is at 43%. High volume and low % shooters aren't a good recipe for success and if any one of these guys is having an off night, it opens the door for Southern Utah to take advantage. With that being said, I am rolling with Southern Utah +4.5 at -105 for one of my most confident college basketball picks of the day.

Southern Utah vs UTEP Pick

Southern Utah +4.5 (-105) (Bet $105 to Win $100)

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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