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UT-Arlington vs. Loyola Marymount - 11/11/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Loyola Marymount Lions (15-15) at Texas-Arlington Mavericks (27-9)

College Basketball: Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm (College Park Center)

The Line: Texas-Arlington Mavericks -12 -- Over/Under: 149.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Loyola Marymount Lions will travel to College Park Center to take on the UT Arlington Mavericks this Saturday night in College Basketball action.

The Loyola Marymount Lions has a successful 2016-17 campaign after finishing the season with an overall record of 15-15, however, after losing the majority of the talent from that time, it could be a long season for the Lions. Loyola Marymount earned the 6-seed in the WCC Tournament with a 8-10 conference record, however, couldn’t get past the quarterfinals after being defeated by the BYU Cougars, 89-81. For the Lions to reach the .500 mark this year, they’ll need to get immediate help from their newcomers as the Lions no longer have the services of Brandon Brown (13.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.4 spg), Buay Tuach (11.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.3 spg), Stefan Jovanovic (8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg), and Shamar Johnson (6.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg). The Lions will have to hope that returning players Steven Haney (9.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 apg) and Petr Herman (4.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.9 bpg) can shoulder additional responsibilities on the offensive end. Also returning for Loyola Marymount is Jeffery McClendon (2.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg) and Donald Gibson who redshirted last season. The Lions will hope that a mixture of freshman and JC transfers in Cameron Allen and James Batemon can help provide immediate contributions. Loyola Marymount was strong on the defensive end last season, ranking 135th in scoring defense (70.8 ppg) and 37th in steals per game (1.7), however, scoring was an issue for the Lions who ranked just 238th in scoring offense (70.8 ppg).

UT-Arlington vs. Loyola Marymount - 11/11/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The UT Arlington Mavericks had to be disappointed that they couldn’t take care of business in the Sun Belt Conference last season, but the Mavericks should be excited for this upcoming season after finishing last season with an overall record of 27-9. UT Arlington earned the top-seed in the Sun Belt Championship after finishing conference play with a 14-4 record, however, was upset in the semifinals by the Texas State Bobcats, 83-62. UT Arlington did have some success in the NIT Tournament, winning two games before losing to CSU Bakersfield in the quarterfinals. UT Arlington did lose three starters from last year’s team, most importantly Jalen Jones (12.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg), however, the Mavericks should still be one of the teams to beat in the Sun Belt after returning two of the conference’s best players in Kevin Hervey (17.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg) and Erick Neal (10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 6.6 apg, 1.7 spg). UT Arlington will hope that Kaelon Wilson (8.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 apg) and Nathan Hawkins (3.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg) can take on bigger roles in the starting lineup for the Mavericks. UT Arlington will hope that senior guard, Mairega Clarke, who missed last season, will be able to provide some support from off the bench. UT Arlington will hope to continue the success they had on both ends of the court last season after finishing the Mavericks finished the season ranked 60th in scoring offense (78.3 ppg), 83rd in FG% (46.1%), and 43rd in defensive FG% (41.2%).

The Lions finished last season 13-12-3 ATS and is just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road. The Mavericks finished last season 18-12-1 ATS and is 8-4-1 ATS in their last 13 home games.

Loyola Marymount looked like they were starting to develop a solid program, led by their defense, however, with little experience returning, it could be a tough season for the Lions in the difficult West Coast Conference. UT Arlington didn’t come to play in the Sun Belt Tournament but with Kevin Hervey returning, if the Mavericks can get some contributions from their supporting plays, UT Arlington should be tough to beat this season. UT Arlington will have the two best players on the court in this one and as I expect Loyola Marymount will have trouble finding ways to score the basketball, I’m taking UT Arlington to cover this large home spread. 

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