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Rice vs. Georgia State - 11/14/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Georgia State Panthers (1-0) at Rice Owls (0-1)

College Basketball: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Autry Court)

The Line: Rice Owls +4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

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The Georgia State Panthers will travel to Tudor Fieldhouse to take on the Rice Owls this Tuesday night in College basketball action.

The Georgia State Panthers opened their 2016-17 with a victory after defeating the Carver Bible College Cougars, 90-50, this past Friday. Georgia State had no trouble pulling away from the Cougars early in this one after taking a 42-19 halftime lead. Georgia State held Carver Bible College to just 35.8% shooting from the field and won the turnover battle by a 23-7 margin. Leading the way for the Panthers was D’Marcus Simonds who had a triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals, and a block. Also contributing for the Panthers was Devin Mitchell (18 points, 2 assists, 1 steal) and Malik Benlevi (17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals). Georgia State finished last season with a solid 20-13 record (12-6 Sun Belt) and was led largely by their defense that ranked 39th in college basketball in defensive FG%. Georgia State comes into this season needing to find replacements after losing their starting frontcourt in Jeremy Hollowell (15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Willie Clayton (4.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg), however, have to be excited to have D’Marcus Simonds (13.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg) who earned Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors last season. Georgia State also has some experience returning in Malik Benlevi (8.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Isaiah Williams (7.7 ppg).

Rice vs. Georgia State - 11/14/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Rice Owls pulled out a tough fought victory in their season opener last Friday after they defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, 73-72. Rice held a comfortable 65-54 lead with just 6:01 left in regulation, however, needed three FT’s by Dedric Boyd with :05 seconds remaining to come away with the victory. Rice was solid on the defensive end as they held the Colonels to just 38.5% shooting from the field and 22.2% (6-27) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Owls was Connor Cashaw who had a double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Also contributing for the Owls was Ako Adams (13 points, 4 rebounds 6 assists, 1 steal) and Robert Martin (14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists). Rice finished last season with a 22-11 record, however, the Owls look like a completely new team this season after losing their coach and four starters that included Marcus Evans (19.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 spg). Connor Cashaw (8.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.8 apg) is the only returning starter for the Owls and Rice will have to hope that retuning players Ako Adams (3.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.2 apg), Bishop Mency (1.2 ppg), and Austin Meyer (2.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg) all can step into bigger roles in the starting five this season.

The Panthers finished last season with a 14-16 overall ATS record and are just 6-9 ATS in their last 15 games an away team. The Owls finished last season with a 13-14 overall ATS record and are 5-8 in their last 13 games at home.

Georgia State has won at least 20 games in four of their last 5 seasons and has been able to maintain their success with solid and efficient play on both ends of the court as they Panthers ranked in the top-60 in college basketball last season in both offensive and defensive FG%. Rice has to be happy to get a win on their opening night with such major changes to their coaching staff and roster in the offseason, however, it will be difficult to see if the Owls can maintain their success once they start facing tougher competition. Georgia State has the best player on the court in D’Marcus Simonds and as I think the Panthers defense will give the Owls trouble, I’m taking the Panthers to cover this small road spread. 

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