Conference USA Betting Odds: North Texas Favored Over Charlotte
FAU Has Best Chance for Conference Title
The Conference USA season is drawing to a close and the battle for first place is a good one. Florida Atlantic is in the driver’s seat with a 14-2 mark. But North Texas is right there at 14-3. FAU did win both meetings between the two, so the Owls are in good shape with four games remaining. North Texas has three games left.
Conference USA doesn’t get a lot of attention but it’s offering some decent basketball. Both the Sagarin college basketball rankings and Ken Pomeroy have it as the 10th-best conference in the nation. FAU, North Texas and UAB each have 20 or more wins, with Rice having an outside chance of getting there.
Thursday, Feb. 23
A competitive game here, as UTEP (12-15) visits Florida International (13-14). The Miners crushed the Panthers earlier this season 81-61 in Texas. Still, the Conference USA betting odds have FIU -1 with a total of 136.5. UTEP was 26 for 39 from 2-point range in the first meeting and you can’t count on that type of shooting again. The Miners are No. 315 in adjusted offensive efficiency for the year. FIU is better, although not a whole lot at No. 258. The defenses are better and the Miners will slow it down, while FIU tries to run. A bit of value with the under 136.5.
North Texas (23-5) visits Charlotte (16-11) in what should be a decent game. The NCAAB betting lines have North Texas favored by 2 with a total of just 112. These are two of the slower-paced teams in the country. North Texas ranks No. 361 in pace and Charlotte is No. 363. Both teams can shoot the ball but don’t give themselves too many attempts due to the pace they play. North Texas is No. 74 in offensive efficiency, while Charlotte is No. 122. Both teams are solid from the foul line. North Texas won the first meeting 67-43 and just 18 points were scored in the final 10 minutes. The total is so low, the over is the only way you can go in this one.
Louisiana Tech (13-14) visits Western Kentucky (14-13) and the Conference USA betting odds have Western Kentucky -4.5 and a total of 144.5. This is one of the better college basketball matchups of the night. The Bulldogs won the first meeting in overtime, so a revenge spot for Western Kentucky. There isn’t a huge difference between the teams. Both aren’t very good at defending the 3-pointer and both teams will launch some 3s. If the teams are hitting from long range, this one should go over the total.
Saturday, Feb. 25
A decent matchup here, where the Conference USA betting odds should see the Blue Raiders close to -5 and a total of 144. Both teams have some similarities, such as being good at forcing turnovers and being bad defending the 3-pointer. Neither team plays great field goal defense but the forced turnovers help keep the damage to a minimum. Middle Tennessee won 68-51 on the road earlier this year. The Bulldogs were just 3 for 21 in 3-point shots in the game.
The 49ers should be close to a 6-point favorite in this spot and the total will be close to 140. Charlotte will try to slow the game down, which masks their defense, while the Owls play a bit quicker. The key to the game will be Rice’s ability to protect the basketball. The Owls rank No. 191 in turnover percentage, but shoot well. If the Owls play clean and get off their shots, they’ll make enough to stick around. The Owls won the first meeting 65-63, as Charlotte attempted just three foul shots all game. A definite revenge spot for Charlotte but the number is a bit high considering the 49ers and the pace they like to play.
Once again, Western Kentucky plays the last conference game of the day, this time hosting the Blazers. UAB will be about a 4.5-point road favorite with a total near 152. The Blazers are going to push the pace and Western Kentucky also likes to play up-tempo, so expect a lot of running in this one. Western Kentucky won the first meeting 80-78, so a revenge spot for the Blazers. The Blazers were just 18 for 28 at the foul line in the first meet, which isn’t what you want to see from a team that shoots 73% on the year. If UAB had hit its average, the outcome could have been different. Expect more of the same here and the over is probably the correct side in this one.
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