- The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will meet at Hertz Arena on Thursday, November 26th, 2020
- MTSU has nine new players on the roster, eight of which are transfers
- Read below for all the odds, along with betting analysis and our best bet for this Gulf Coast Showcase matchup
The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will clash in an early Thanksgiving Thursday contest. The game will take place at the Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida, which is a neutral site for both teams. As we get set for this Gulf Coast Showcase contest, let’s examine the matchup to see what’s the best bet on either the side or total.
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders come into this matchup as small 1.5-point favorites against Nebraska-Omaha.
Oakland vs Xavier Opening Odds
|Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks||-106||+1.5 (-124)||O 146.5 (-115)|
|Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||-110||-1.5 (+102)||U 146.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Nov. 26th at FanDuel
Mavs Fall In Opener
The Mavericks got their season started on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t the start this team was hoping for. Nebraska-Omaha finished fifth in the Summit League last season as their overall record wasn’t pretty (16-16), and neither was their performance in conference play (9-7).
On Wednesday, they didn’t look like a team that has improved at all as they lost 72-66 to Austin Peay. The Governors finished third in the Ivy League last season and were favored (by 6.5) in Wednesday’s game, but it still didn’t feel like much of a contest. The Mavs made a really late run to eventually cover by a half-point but they mostly trailed by double-digits in the second half.
Nebraska-Omaha ended the half on a 12-1 run to cover the 1H spread (+3.5) against Austin Peay
— Bet The Hoops (@betthehoops) November 25, 2020
Marlon Ruffin led the way for the Mavs with 20 points, which was a bit of a surprise. He only averaged 8.8 points last season but is going to be counted on to step up. Matt Pile, who is a key senior on the team, finished the day with six points, 14 rebounds, a block, and a steal. The issue was they left a lot of points on the table, going 11-of-19 from the free-throw line and 3-of-12 from three.
MTSU’s Opener Canceled On Wednesday
Middle Tennessee was supposed to get their season going on Wednesday night against Akron but, that game was canceled due to COVID-19. Akron, along with Indiana State and East Carolina, was forced to drop out of the Gulf Coast Showcase due to various positive tests.
MTSU did have the night off on Wednesday, and had it been later in the season, the back-to-back versus extra rest might be a factor. Considering it’s just the second day of the season, it’s likely not a huge factor.
Although the Blue Raiders come from a stronger conference, it might not mean much here. That’s because the Blue Raiders finished dead-last in Conference USA last season, going 8-23 overall and 4-14 in conference play. They were just 3-10 in away games, which is concerning as this is a neutral-site affair.
What’s The Best Bet?
MTSU comes from the better conference here, but they’re not the play in this spot. This is a squad that was the worst in Conference USA last season and turnover the basketball a ton. They have nine new players on the roster, eight of which are transfers. There are a lot of chemistry concerns to sort out here.
Marlon Ruffin finished with a team-leading 20 points off the bench today as Omaha opened the Gulf Coast Showcase vs. Austin Peay.
— Omaha Basketball (@OmahaMBB) November 25, 2020
Neither of these teams are much to write home about but considering Nebraska-Omaha played last night and got into the flow of things while MTSU and their makeshift roster were off, give the edge to the Mavs here. They should cover.
Best Bet: Nebraska-Omaha +1.5 (-124)
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