UTEP is 48-12 SU in conference home games under head coach Tim Floyd (4-0 this season), including winning 21 of its last 22 home games dating back to the 2014-2015 season. The Miners are 77-17 SU overall in conference home games and I like them to secure their fourth consecutive upset tonight over Louisiana Tech.
With vultures circling the UTEP basketball program and Floyd sitting on the hot seat, the Miners have responded by winning five of their last 6 conference affairs.
UTEP’s 91-68 road win over Marshall (1/28/17) as a 14-point underdog was the buy sign I needed to invest on the Miners. Marshall was 11-0 at home before hosting the Miners and had won 21 of its last 23 home tilts before being dismantled by Floyd’s reenergized squad.
The Miners followed their win over Marshall with another upset victory (63-59) over UAB as seven-point underdogs. Not to be undone, UTEP completed the trifecta of upsets by taking down Middle Tennessee State (57-54) last Saturday as an 11-point underdog.
The Miners are now 13-3 ATS in their last sixteen games as home underdogs, 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games versus .601 or greater opposition.
The Miners are limiting opponents to just 57.0 points in their last five games at 36.0% shooting from the field and 22.1% from beyond the arc. In conference games, UTEP is limiting opponents to just 64.1 points per game on 38.3% shooting from the floor and 25.9% from three-point territory.
The Miners lead Conference USA in field goal percentage defense (.383), three-point field goal percentage defense (.259), defensive rebounds per game (31.4) and defensive rebound percentage (.787) in league games. Those defensive numbers are certainly good enough to slow down a Louisiana Tech attack that is averaging a pedestrian 70.7 points per game away from home (43.8% FG%; 31.9% 3-PT%).
We are getting a home underdog that remains undervalued by the betting market (UTEP has covered 5 straight) against a road favorite that continues to underperform market expectations (Bulldogs 0-4 ATS L/4). Finally, the live home underdog is playing with legitimate revenge after being humiliated by 20 points at Louisiana Tech last month.
With Louisiana Tech standing at 3-7 ATS in its last ten games as a road favorite of 6.5-points or less, grab the points with the Miners as Oskeim Sports free NCAA Basketball Sports Pick for Thursday, February 9.
Oskeim Sports’ Free NCAA Basketball Sports Pick: UTEP (+6.5) (-110)