Troy Trojans vs. South Alabama Jaguars – College Basketball, February 11, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 11, 2021 2:40 am PDT

There isn’t much between these two teams this season. They have both played 20 games each, with the Trojans winning ten and the Jaguars slightly ahead with 12 wins. The season isn’t over for either team, but it would take a monumental effort to make a real impact on the Conference, especially for the Trojans.

The Jaguars have an excellent record in this fixture recently, having won the previous four contests.

Although the Jaguars have a better record, if you look back over their last ten meetings, they are both averaging exactly 69 points each. They are also averaging the same points total at half time, which is 32 points. This makes for a very close matchup once again.

Here is my Trojans vs. Jaguars betting preview.

Trojans vs. Jaguars Odds

Trojans (+6.5) -110
Jaguars (-6.5) -110
Trojans To Win +225
Jaguars To Win -270
Over 134.5 Points -110
Under 134.5 Points -110

I’m slightly surprised how big the spread is for this one. I would have expected it to be around half of what it is with things so close between these two. The points total looks about right, and my first thought is it offers little value.

Trojans Analysis

After winning four games in a row, the Trojans were halted by Georgia Southern last time out. This will be most disappointing as they beat the very same team on the same day as their defeat. During their run of four wins, they picked up a couple of solid wins against Appalachian State, so their form has certainly been good as of late.

They have a terrible record of 3-9 from their 12 games on the road this season, which has been their biggest downfall. They have lost their previous five away fixtures in a row, but to be fair, all of the defeats came against decent teams.

Here are the latest betting trends for Troy:

Against The Spread
  • They have won five of their last six games.

This highlights their good form recently.

Points Total
  • The total has gone under in 12 of their previous 18 games.
  • This trend has continued when they have entered the games as the betting outsider as 11 of the last 16 has gone under the betting total.

This suggests that this could be a low scoring game tonight.

Other Pointers
  • The Trojans have only won on two of their last nine visits to South Alabama.

This shows just how tough they have found things on the road over the last few years.

It will come as no surprise to see that the Trojans have an offense that doesn’t trouble the scoreboard often given their low scoring games recently. They have been extremely poor at shooting and are only making 26% of their three-pointers. Their rebounding has been relatively decent at times, and looking at their shooting stats; it certainly has had to be.

Their key to victory tonight will be driving to the basket as much as possible because of their poor shooting. This will also help to draw many fouls, which they have been doing this season. Of course, this will mean that they won’t improve on their poor assists count, however.

Their defense is reliable and is ranked just outside the top 100 in the country. They sit very deep, not allowing their opponents any room around the key. However, this does mean they can often be hurt by teams who shoot well from distance. It also means that they don’t make many steals, which is hurting their offense as they don’t spend much time with the ball.

It will also come as no real shock to see that their defense hasn’t been as good away from home this season. They are conceding five points more per game on the road, and this requires addressing.

They currently have a negative point per game difference of -2.2, the second-worst in the Conference.

The Trojans will look to make this a physical battle, which the Jaguars are not likely to be happy about.

Freshman Duke Miles is often the glue that holds things together for the Trojans, and they will hope that he can inspire his team to victory tonight.

Troy has no confirmed injuries heading into this one.

Jaguars Analysis

The Jaguars are also in excellent form, having won their last four games back-to-back. Their wins have recently come by small margins, which shows that when the chips are down, they come to play. This could be vital in such a closely contested matchup like we have here.

They have a fantastic record at home, winning nine of their 12 games to date. This includes winning the last three in a row.

Here are the latest betting trends for South Alabama:

Against The Spread
  • They, too, have won four of their last five games.

This shows that we have two evenly matched teams in fine form coming into this game.

Points Total
  • Four of their last five games have gone under the betting total.
  • The total has gone under in four of their previous six games against Troy.
  • This trend continues in February as only one of their last five games has gone over the points total.
  • However, they seem to be inspired to play on a Thursday as four of the last five games played on that day have gone over.

In general, their games have gone under the points total.

Other Pointers
  • They have an excellent record at home, winning 13 of their last 16 games.

Given Troy’s poor away form, this shows what an uphill battle they face tonight.

The Jaguars have an outstanding offense that is particularly good at shooting from range, which is not good news for the Trojans. They are averaging 76 points per game, which is the third-highest in the Conference. Because they tend to try and catch their opponents out by shooting early, they don’t make many assists like their opponents tonight. Therefore don’t expect this to be a great passing game as you will be disappointed. However, this does mean that they don’t make many turnovers, so every cloud has a silver lining.

Their rebounding is lacking at both ends of the court this season and certainly needs some work.

Speaking of things that need some work, let’s look at their defense. While they are closing their opponents down pretty well, they fail in most other areas, which is a concern for their backers. They don’t make many blocks either; that’s an understatement as they have the lowest count in the Conference.

Their defense has improved against teams in their Conference, conceding on average 11 fewer points per game than playing teams outside the Sun Belt.

This season has been all about one player for the Jaguars, and he is Michael Flowers. He is drawing praise from everyone right now, and some say he could be the best player in the Conference at present. Flowers have either made or assisted 45% of the Jaguar’s points over the previous three games.

The Jaguars also have no absentees tonight, so neither team has any excuses.

Trojans vs. Jaguars Betting Pick

There are things to like and dislike about both of these teams this season, and they will not have a way of winning this matchup. The Trojans will look to bully their opponents and force them into mistakes, whereas the Jaguars will try to hurt them from deep, especially knowing that they won’t match them in that department.

I can’t get out of my head the fact that the Jaguars are so good at home, and the Trojans are so poor on the road. Therefore, for that reason, I will take the Jaguars to win.

Pick
  • Jaguars To Win
    -270

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