Akron vs. UT-Arlington Pick
Will No. 7 Akron be able to pull off another upset when it hits the road to face No. 6 UT-Arlington tonight at 8PM ET in the NIT Tournament?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, UT-Arlington is favored at home tonight, as the Mavericks are getting odds of -5 points against the Zips. The over/under total for the game is listed at 153.5 points. They will play tonight from College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
Akron made up for missing out on the big dance when it picked up a 78-75 win at Houston to open the NIT Tournament last week. The Zips are now 27-8 overall with a 7-5 record on the road. Akron is just 13-18 against the spread, but 10-10 ATS away from Akron. The Zips are averaging 76.7 points per game on offense this season while allowing just 71.3 on defense. Isaiah Johnson is averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game to lead the team. He is battling a knee injury coming into tonight, but is listed as probable to play. Kwan Cheatham Jr. and Antonio Jackson each add 11 points per game for the Zips.
UT-Arlington had one of the top performances in the NIT Tournament’s first round, disposing of BYU on the road, 105-89. The Mavericks shot 42 of 76 from the field in the victory to improve to 26-8 on the season. They are also a perfect 13-0 at home. The Mavericks are 17-11-1 against the spread on the season and 6-2-1 ATS at home. UT-Arlington puts up 77.2 points per game on offense while allowing 70.3 on defense. At home, the Mavericks put up 83.5 points per game while allowing 68.2. Jalen Jones was averaging 12.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, but he suffered thumb injury that will keep him from playing tonight. Kevin Hervey is the team leader with 17.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Arlington is coming off a great win, but not having Jones in the lineup will be an issue. He is the team’s second leading scorer. The battle between Hervey and Johnson should be good, but I like Akron to keep this game close on the road. The Zips have a lot of experience in postseason games and won’t be intimidated by the Mavericks. Arlington should also have a bit of a letdown after such a strong road victory.
NIT TOURNAMENT PREDICTION: AKRON +5