Rice Owls (8-2) at UTEP Miners (5-3)
College Basketball: Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9:00 pm (Don Haskins Center)
The Line: UTEP Miners -7.5 -- Over/Under: 140 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Rice Owls and the UTEP Miners meet Friday in college basketball action from Don Haskins Center.
Rice enters this one at 8-2 so far. The Owls are riding a three-game winning streak and coming off two wins over UTSA. As for UTEP, they’re 5-3 this year. The Miners split two games with Southern Miss in their last pair of appearances. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Rice opened up the season with four straight wins, taking out Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake, Le Tourneau and Houston Baptist. The Owls went 1-2 in their next three with losses to New Mexico and Sam Houston, but have won their last three over New Orleans and UTSA.
In Saturday’s 84-69 win over UTSA, Rice’s top scorer was Chris Mullins with 20 points, six rebounds and three assists. Max Fiedler added 18 points with four assists and four boards, and Quincy Olivari managed 15 points with eight rebounds for the Owls.
Over on the UTEP side, they took out UTPB and Sul Ross State in their first two games, then fell to Saint Mary’s and Arizona. After that it was consecutive wins over Arizona State and Benedictine Mesa before a loss to Southern Miss. UTEP beat the Golden Eagles in their last game, however.
In the 77-62 win over Southern Miss on Saturday, UTEP’s Jamal Bieniemy post 20 points with seven assists and three rebounds. Souley Boum added 17 points with four assists and one rebound and Tydus Verhoeven chipped in 11 points with two boards and one assist.
UTEP is 0-5 ATS in their last five Friday games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Miners are 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games and the over is 5-2 in their last seven overall.
Meanwhile, Rice is 1-5 ATS in their last six road games versus a team with a winning road record and the under is 5-1 in their last six road games. The under is 6-2 in the Owls’ last eight overall and 4-1 in their last five after a straight-up win.
PICK: I’m going to stick with Rice here. The Owls offense has looked pretty good when they get going this season, and they’ve notched 73 or more points in four of their last five games. UTEP has been on a nice clip themselves, with 76 or more in three of their last four. I like Rice to get out to a nice start here; if the Owls can get into a nice rhythm early this is a solid spot for a cover.