December 27, 2016
There is one college hoops play tonight.
In addition, SPS has released a bowl pick for an afternoon game tomorrow.
Take Kent State +13 spread against Texas for 3% of the bankroll. (Tuesday)
The Texas Longhorns have struggled for much of the season and a bulk of their struggles have come on the offensive side of the ball. They are currently 242nd in the country, averaging just 71 points per contest. They have also had trouble distributing the basketball, averaging 11.9 assists which ranks (an even worse) 294th in the country. There is no question that this Texas team has talent, however with a bunch of underclassmen in the starting role, it is taking a lot longer for them to develop any sustainable chemistry. Laying double digits with a team that has been as inconsistent as the Longhorns is simply a dangerous proposition.
Long-range shooting has also been a major offensive weakness for the Longhorns this season as they have made just 30.3 percent of their 3-point attempts which is (easily) the worst mark among Big 12 teams and one of the lowest percentages of any Power 5 unit. In fact, if you eliminate Tevin Mack's impressive 43.3 percent rate from beyond the arc (ninth-best in the conference), Texas is shooting an abysmal 25.7 percent from long range.
The Kent State Golden Flashes have not been world-beaters this season, but they have played well enough to where they should be able to remain competitive in this contest and have something that Texas does not; a true go-to player in Senior forward, Jimmy Hall. Hall leads the Golden Flashes in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per contest. He is also the team’s leading rebounding and has racked up 30 boards over his last two contests. So far on the season he has logged 6 double-doubles and should be a major factor in this contest tonight.
Kent State is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, averaging 43.7 boards per contest. Given the Longhorns struggles on the offensive end, especially from long range, if Kent State can hold them to single shot possessions, it should keep this contest rather low scoring and make it that much more difficult for the Longhorns to cover this large number. While Kent State will likely fall short of the outright upset, they should do enough to ensure the points come into play.
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