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UTEP vs. Rice - 12/30/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Rice Owls (3-11) at UTEP Miners (5-8)
Date & Time Saturday December 30, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: UTEP Miners -8.5 -- Over/Under:
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NCAA BB | Rice Owls (3-11) at UTEP Miners (5-8)
USA TODAY Sports

The Rice Owls and UTEP Miners meet Saturday in college basketball action at the Don Haskins Center.

The Rice Owls need a victory after losing seven of their last eight games. The Rice Owls are averaging 64.6 points on 38.9 percent shooting and allowing 75.8 points on 44 percent shooting. Connor Cashaw is averaging 16.2 points and 2.8 assists while A.J. Lapray is averaging 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds. Ako Adams is dishing 3.2 assists and Robert Martin is grabbing 3.5 rebounds. The Rice Owls are shooting 31.7 percent from beyond the arc and 63.6 percent from the free throw line. The Rice Owls are allowing 31.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33.3 rebounds per game. The Rice Owls have lost five straight road games.

The UTEP Miners need a win after splitting their last eight games. The UTEP Miners are averaging 64.8 points on 41.2 percent shooting and allowing 68.8 points on 41.2 percent shooting. Keith Frazier is averaging 14.5 points and 1.4 assists while Matt Willms is averaging 13 points and 6.7 rebounds. Omega Harris is the third double-digit scorer and Paul Thomas is grabbing 4.8 rebounds. The UTEP Miners are shooting 28.2 percent from beyond the arc and 68 percent from the free throw line. The UTEP Miners are allowing 38.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 30.4 rebounds per game. The UTEP Miners have split their last eight home games.

The Owls are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games and 10-25-1 ATS in their last 36 vs. Conference USA. The Miners are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 Saturday games, 12-2 ATS in their last 14 home games and 18-4 ATS in their last 22 games overall. The Owls are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Texas-El Paso, the road team is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings and the underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

The Rice Owls simply aren't a good basketball team on either side of the court and have been getting beat up in every game during this losing stretch. The UTEP Miners have been hit or miss in terms of outright results, but they're one of the top teams in the country against the number, covering 18 of their last 22 and 12 of their last 14 home games. Those are teams I'm trying to get behind. Give me UTEP by double digits.

Pick:
UTEP Miners -8.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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