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Rice vs. Montana State - 11/21/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Montana State Bobcats (3-1) at Rice Owls (2-1)

College Basketball: Monday, November 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Autry Court)

The Line: Rice Owls -10.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Montana State Bobcats will travel to Tudor Fieldhouse to take on the Rice Owls in the Hardwood Showcase this Monday night.

The Montana State Bobcats won their 3rd straight game and improved to 3-1 on the season after defeating the James Madison Dukes, 80-73, this past Friday. The Bobcats held a 39-32 lead at halftime and was solid on the FT line late in the game to hold of the Dukes and secure the victory. Montana State was outstanding on the defensive end as they held James Madison to 30.4% shooting from the field and 27.8% (10-36) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Bobcats was Tyler Hall who had 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, Montana State is averaging 80.5 ppg on 43.0% shooting from the field. The Bobcats are averaging 9.5 three-pointers per game on 33.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Montana State has been led by Tyler Hall (25.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.8 apg), Harald Frey (12.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.5 apg), Zach Green (9.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg), and Sarp Gobeloglu (8.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg). Defensively, Montana State is allowing their opponents to average 75.3 ppg on 38.4% shooting from the field. Montana State has had trouble forcing turnovers this season as they rank 336th in College Basketball in steals at 3.3 spg.

Rice vs. Montana State - 11/21/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Rice Owls improved to 2-1 on the season after defeating the Omaha Mavericks, 100-87, this past Saturday. Rice was only up by a 43-41 margin at halftime, however, used a 20-4 run early in the 2nd half to create some separation and get the victory. Rice was great on the offensive end as they shot 63.3% from the field and 66.7% (14-21) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Owls was Marcus Evans who had 29 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, Rice is averaging 87.3 ppg on 51.5% shooting from the field. Rice has been one of the better three-point shooting teams in the country early in the season as the Owls are averaging 11.0 three-pointers per game on 45.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Rice has been led by Marcus Evans (23.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.7 apg, 2.3 spg), Egor Koulechov (17.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg), Marcus Jackson (15.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.7 apg), and Connor Cashaw (12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.3 apg). Defensively, Rice is allowing their opponents to average 76.0 ppg on 51.5% shooting from the field. Rice has done a nice job creating turnovers as the Owls are averaging 8.7 steals per game.

The Bobcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. The Owls are 4-12-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall and 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 home games.

Montana State is a young team that has a lot of talent in the backcourt, especially in guard Tyler Hall, however the Bobcats due lack size in the frontcourt and will try to keeps games at an up-tempo pace. Rice finished last season with just a 12-20 record, however, with four returning starters including Marcus Evans and Egor Koulechov, the Owls should be a high-scoring team that could be one of the more competitive teams in the C-USA this season. This should be a high scoring game however, as Rice has been one of the better shooting teams early this season, I just don’t see the Bobcats being able to slow down the Owls to cover with points. I’m taking Rice to cover this double-digit spread at home. 

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Rice Owls -10.5

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