UTRGV vs. Tarleton State Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/7/23

Tarleton State Texans (16-15) vs UTRGV Vaqueros (15-15)

Game Info: Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 9:00 pm (Orleans Arena)

Betting Odds: Tarleton State Texans +7 -- Over/Under: 146.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The UT-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros and the Tarleton State Texans will meet in Las Vegas to face off in the first round of the WAC Tournament at the Michelob Ultra Arena on ESPN+. Tarleton leads the head-to-head series, 4-2, but UTRGV won both meetings this season. 

Rio Grande Valley finished at 15-16 after losing to Cal Baptist in Riverside. The Vaqueros trailed the Lancers by double figures at break, and ended up falling by eighteen, 88-70. UTRGV scores 75.5 points per game, while allowing 73.2 ppg, and shooting 45.6% from the field.

Rio Grande Valley won four of their last six games, and they’ll look to defeat Tarleton State for the third time this season. Senior swingman Justin Johnson picked things up down the stretch, and after scoring 23 points or more in three of his last five games, he leads UTRGV in scoring (20.6), while grabbing 5.2 rpg. Sophomore guard Will Johnston scored a career-high 36 points in the February win over Tarleton, and he’s averaging 14.5 ppg and a team-lead 3.7 apg. Junior forward Ahren Freeman led the team with 25 points in the finale against Cal Baptist, and he leads the team in rebounding (5.9), while scoring 9.0 ppg. 

Tarleton State closed at 16-15 following a road loss to UT Rio Grande Valley. The Texans would battle with the Vaqueros into overtime, but they’d end up falling by four, 99-95. Tarleton scores 75.8 points per game, while allowing 69.6 ppg, and shooting 47.4% from the field.

Tarleton State struggled to find consistency in conference play, and they’ll look to advance a quick exit here. Sophomore swingman Freddy Hicks scored 23 points in the season finale, and he finished as Tarleton’s leading scorer (15.7) and rebounder (5.6). Sophomore guard Shamir Bogues led the team with 19 points in the last matchup with Rio Grande Valley, and he’s averaging 9.5 ppg. 

UTRGV is 13-14 against the spread this season, with a 16-11 over/under record. Tarleton is 13-13-1 ATS this year, with a 12-14-1 o/u record.

Rio Grande Valley played well down the stretch, and this feels like another winnable matchup for them. The Vaqueros will have the two best players on the floor in Justin Johnson and Will Johnston, and after defeating Tarleton twice this season already, they will also have a mental edge as well. Spot Rio Grande Valley the points for this first round matchup, and give the over a look as well.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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