Arkansas Little Rock Trojans vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves – College Basketball, February 10, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 10, 2021 5:49 am PDT

Although these two teams are at the bottom of the Sun Belt Conference, there is plenty to play for tonight. As well as claiming the local bragging rights, there is the incentive that with both teams on eight wins apiece this season, the victor will go above their close rivals.

Their recent head to head record is as close as their overall records this season, with them both winning three of the previous six games.

Here is my Trojans vs. Red Wolves betting preview.

Trojans vs. Red Wolves Odds

Trojans (-2.5) -110
Red Wolves (+2.5) -110
Trojans To Win -136
Red Wolves To Win +120
Over 143.5 Points -110
Under 143.5 Points -110

As you might have expected, the betting is very close between these two teams, so we will have to break the game down to pick a winner. The points total looks a couple of points smaller than I anticipated, so this could be an avenue to explore.

Trojans Preview

The Trojans have won just under half of their games this season and are currently ranked 11th out of 12 teams in a competitive Sun Belt Conference.

They have struggled for consistency and have only recorded back to back wins once this season. They have won two of their previous five matches, although they almost made that three, they just fell short in their quest to upset the top team Texas State. Although they eventually lost by ten, they did force Texas State into overtime.

They have won three of their eight games played on the road this season, but more worryingly, they have lost the last three straight. That did include losing back-to-back games against Texas State, though, so you have to take that information with a pinch of salt.

Here are the latest betting trends for Arkansas Little Rock:

Against The Spread
  • They have only won one of their last five games.
  • The Red Wolves have a poor record against their rivals, only winning two of the previous ten matches.
  • They have lost seven of their last eight games on the road.
  • This record doesn’t improve against their neighbors as they have only won four of the previous 16 away fixtures.
Points Total
  • Seven of their last eight games have gone under the betting total.
Other Pointers
  • They haven’t done exceptionally well in midweek games, losing eight of the last 12 matches played on a Wednesday.

Although the Trojans have a relatively poor offense this season, it hasn’t been down to their shooting ability, well, not from close range anyway. They just aren’t seeing enough of the ball in games, which isn’t helped by their lousy rebounding and the fact that they have made more turnovers than any other team in the Conference.

Their three-point shooting has let them down badly on numerous occasions this season, which hasn’t helped things.

They will need to do better tonight as they have lost all five games that they have scored 64 points or less in.

Their defense, however, has been good, which is why they have remained competitive and featured in some low scoring games. They could be slightly busier, though, which would increase their low steals count this season. Their defense is likely to hold the key to victory for them tonight as they are unbeaten when they have kept their opponents to a field goal percentage of 40% or less.

Junior Guard Markquis Nowell has been the most consistent performer for the Trojans this season, and they will need him to be on his game tonight against their fierce rivals.

The Trojans have no reported injuries heading into this matchup.

Red Wolves Preview

The Red Wolves are playing well lately, having won three of their last five games. The two defeats they suffered in those five games came by margins of three points and one single point, so they have maintained their competitiveness throughout. They recently beat the second-placed La Lafayette back to back on the same day, so they should be full of confidence tonight.

They have an outstanding record at home, having won eight of their ten games. Therefore, they will want to win this one before the return fixture in two days as they have failed to win a single game on the road this season.

They have also enjoyed playing against teams in their Conference this season as they have averaged 76 points per game as opposed to 61 points per game against teams outside their Conference. They will need to post a score similar to that tonight if they are to stay competitive as they have lost all seven games that they have failed to score 72 points or more in.

Here are the latest betting trends for Arkansas State:

Against The Spread
  • They have won their last five games in a row.
Points Total
  • Seven of their previous eight games have gone over the betting total.
  • Games against their close rivals have also followed this trend, with four of the last five going over the points total.
Other Pointers
  • They haven’t enjoyed playing in February as they have only won two of their previous ten matches.
  • Like the Trojans, they have not found much success playing on a Wednesday, losing five of the last six games.

As you would expect from a wolf, the Red Wolves have an excellent attack. They do everything better than their rivals is worst at, none more so than their three-point shooting, which is amongst the best in the country. But surprisingly, for a team that shoots so well from distance, they often don’t take this option during games. They shoot from deep more often as they are unbeaten in six games when they have made eight or more three-pointers.

They tend to work the ball around the court, and they pass it very well, making many assists per game. This could be a vital area of the game as they will look to dominate possession against a very accurate team at shooting.

They are also deadline from the free-throw line, so the Trojans will have to stay disciplined against them. This is something the Red Wolves are very good at, and although this is a game against their close rivals, I see this being more about basketball and less about the physicalities of the game.

They are averaging nine more points at home than they are on the road, so it’s easy to see why they have done so much better.

However, their defense is not as good as the Trojans, but it isn’t miles off either. Powerhouse Norchad Omier holds their defense together, and he certainly has a sense of humor; check out this tweet he recently retweeted.

Marquis Eaton has been their important figurehead in attack, and he has enjoyed playing against their close rivals as he is nearly up on all of his stats against them. He has recently been in fine form as he has either made or assisted 48% of their points over the last three games.

The Red Wolves also have a clean bill of health tonight.

Trojans vs. Red Wolves Betting Pick

I like the Red Wolves in this game as they excel in the areas that the Trojans are weak in. I see them dominating possession and controlling this game with their silky passing skills.

Pick
  • Red Wolves To Win
    +120

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