Utah Valley at Rice 3/20/17 - CBI Picks & Predictions
USA Today Sports
Utah Valley Wolverines vs. Rice Owls
NCAAB: 8:00 PM EST
Mar. 20, 2017
The Rice Owls (23 - 11, 13 - 5 Home) get what should be a cupcake match up against the visiting Utah Valley Wolverines (16 - 16, 7 - 10 Away) this Monday evening. Utah Valley and Rice are taking each other on in the quarterfinal round of the CBI Tournament. Rice will be heavily favored here as they take the court at the Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, TX. Rice has been playing some great basketball lately and we like what they can do against Utah Valley.
The Rice Owls are an offensively focused team as they score 82 PPG on 46% shooting. Leading the charge most nights is the play of guard Marcus Evans (19 PPG, 4 APG, 43% shooting). Evans is coming off of a 21 point against San Francisco and we expect his hot shooting to continue. Evans has shot 50% or better from the floor in three of his past four.
Utah Valley will be taking the court as an underdog but don't count them out. All season long Utah Valley has been a hard hitting team on defense. Offensively the Wolverines will likely be overmatched but that might not matter here. Utah Valley is scoring 77 PPG on offense while shooting 44% from the floor. We're looking at big Isaac Neilson (10 PPG, 9 RPG) as being the prime difference maker here. Nielson needs to be a force on the block and in the defensive post in order to slow Rice down.
Recent Betting Trends:
Wolverines are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
Over is 5-2 in Wolverines last 7 overall.
Under is 5-0 in Owls last 5 Monday games.
Free Betting Pick: Utah Valley Wolverines +4.5
Think this smells like close game with the home court being the only huge difference between these two. Grab the points with Utah Valley as Wolverines are just too much late in this one. Final Score Prediction, Rice Owls win but fall short ATS 79-76.