NCAAM Pick November 28, 2020 – North Texas Mean Green at Arkansas Razorbacks

Today marks the first Saturday of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball season, and we have action all over the schedule! A total of 62-games will be played today, with some of the nation’s top teams taking the floor. Ranked teams that are in action include Duke, who will play Coppin State, Baylor hosts La Lafayette, Michigan State plays Notre Dame, and Villanova and Virginia Tech square off in a matchup of undefeated teams.

We have hit the ground running in this first week of college hoops, as we are undefeated on the year. It’s only been a couple of days, but you can’t beat that undefeated feeling! We will look to keep up our winning ways going today when we head to Arkansas, where the Razorbacks will host the North Texas Mean Green.

Today’s Game

  • North Texas Mean Green (1-0) at Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0)
  • Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville
  • 3:00 PM PST
  • TV: ESPN+

The Arkansas Razorbacks are looking to stay undefeated tonight as they host the Mean Green of North Texas in a non-conference game. Arkansas exploded for 142 points in their season opener against Mississippi Valley State, punishing the Delta Devils and blowing them out by a whopping 80 points! Eric Musselman is hoping to get the Razorbacks back to the Big Dance in this, his second season as the head coach.

For North Texas, they too opened up their season against Mississippi Valley State and similarly blew them out, winning 116-62. The Mean Green are hoping to repeat as the champions of Conference USA this year, after winning 20 games last year and going 14-4 in league play. North Texas head coach Grant McCasland has won at least 20 games in each of his three seasons in Denton, and after getting robbed of a tournament appearance last year by COVID-19, he is hoping that he can get his team back to the Big Dance this year.

Spread:

  • Arkansas Razorbacks (-8)
  • North Texas Mean Green (+8)
Money line:

  • Arkansas Razorbacks (-375)
  • North Texas Mean Green (+295)
Total Points:

  • Over 142 (-110)
  • Under 142 (-110)

North Texas Mean Green (1-0)

The North Texas Mean Green are expected to finish near the top of the standings in Conference USA this year, as they bring back much of last year’s regular-season league championship team. Javion Hamlet is the reigning player of the year in the league, and they also bring back two other starters and their best sixth man off the bench as well.

Teams in these smaller leagues don’t recruit like the big boys, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bring in talent through transfers. McCasland managed to snatch up two of the top JUCO players on the market in Mardrez McBride and Terence Lewis II. McBride impressed in his debut with the team as he scored 21 points on a sizzling hot 6 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc.

It is hard to nitpick too much in a game where you won by nearly 60 points, but the Mean Green did turn the ball over 17 times in that one, and they need to take better care of the ball tonight if they want to hang with a very talented Arkansas team.

Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0)

Eric Musselman can flat out coach basketball. In a short four year stint in Reno, Musselman turned UNR into a national powerhouse, averaging over 28 wins a season in his final three years at the helm. He took them to the NCAA tournament three times, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2018. In his first year with the Razorbacks, his team overachieved by winning 20 games, and although they likely weren’t going to hear their names called on Selection Sunday, it was clear that the turnaround was going to be a fast one in Fayetteville.

I am super high on Arkansas this year, as Musselman has managed to basically turn over his entire roster in just one year. You can always expect a high scoring offense on any Musselman coached team, as it’s his trademark, and now that he has his brand of basketball players on the floor, we are going to see this team score a bunch of points.

Arkansas brought in a slew of transfers and had the 8th best recruiting class in the country this year! There is talent all over this roster, and I see the Razorbacks competing with the best the SEC has to offer and having a lot of success. If you are looking for a sleeper down south, look no further than Fayetteville.

Who Do I Like?

Arkansas isn’t going to be playing Mississippi Valley State every game this year, so I doubt we can expect to see them drop 142 points again any time soon. But that wasn’t just a fluky performance against a bad team, this Razorbacks team is going to be very good on the offensive side of the basketball this season. They are going to eclipse that century mark again at some point this year, and it just might be tonight at home.

Mosses Moody and KK Robinson were the two biggest gets in the recruiting season for Arkansas, as both guys were legit four stars recruits and top-60 players. Moody got the start and scored 16 points in his debut, and Robinson scored 15 off of the bench against Mississippi Valley State. While I don’t think that the Razorbacks are going to blow North Texas completely out, I do think that they win this game easily, and by double-digits.

The Bet

This line opened up at Arkansas -10-points. That number reflected my opinion on this game, as I see Arkansas winning by double-digits. But the public hasn’t seen it that way, though, as they have been hammering North Texas all morning, moving the number two full points towards the Mean Green. Where the line stands now, at Arkansas -8-points, a play on the Razorbacks shows extreme value.

I get what the public sees in North Texas in this matchup. You have a conference champion team from a year ago that may win their league again this year, and they are getting 10 points against an Arkansas team that wasn’t even on the bubble last year? I understand the appeal, but I respectfully disagree. I just feel like Arkansas might be the most underrated team in the country right now.

I would be shocked if Musselman doesn’t get the Razorbacks into the top-25 at some point this season, and they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. They will be far too athletic for North Texas in this game, and they are going to show off that efficient, high scoring offense, tonight. Don’t be surprised if they drop another C-note in this one and hang triple digits up on the scoreboard if they get hot.

As usual, I am going to fade the public and back the Arkansas Razorbacks. I much prefer having to lay only -8-points in this one, rather than -10, but to be honest, I see Arkansas covering both numbers, as this one could get out of hand. Give me the Arkansas Razorbacks on their home court tonight as they remind North Texas just how much better of a league the SEC is than Conference USA!

The Bet: Arkansas Razorbacks-8

My Pick
Arkansas Razorbacks -8
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL