Looking to win big? The Pirates and Owls face off at 2:00 ET on ESPNU. The Owls are hosting the game at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, TX. The over/under for this American Athletic conference contest is set at 138.5 points, with Rice being favored by -1 at home against East Carolina.

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES VS RICE OWLS BETTING PICK

The Pick: Rice Owls -1

This game will be played at Tudor Fieldhouse at 2:00 ET on Saturday, February 24th.

WHY BET THE RICE OWLS:

  • We have this one finishing with a projected score of 74-70 in favor of the Owls.
  • Not only will Rice pick up the win, but look for them to cover at -1.
  • The over/under is currently sitting at 138.5 points, and we like the over with a projected 144 points.

Is an Upset Waiting to Happen on the Road?

East Carolina comes into this game with a 14-12 record, including a 7-6 mark in American Athletic Conference play. The Pirates have won three straight games, and they were last in action on Sunday, when they beat Tulane by a score of 81-67.

So far this season, East Carolina has gone 3-5 on the road, and they are currently 11-15 against the spread. As the underdog, the Pirates have gone just 3-8, and they are 4-6 in their last 10 road games.

East Carolina has an overall ATS record of 12-12-1 this season, including a road ATS mark of 5-3. In their last 3 road games, the Pirates are 2-1 vs. the spread, and they have gone 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. As the underdog, East Carolina is 6-5 vs. the spread this year and they have a mark of 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games as the underdog.

East Carolina's over/under record for the season sits at 8-17 and their games have averaged 137 points. Today's over/under line of 138.5 is lower than the average OU line in their games (141.8). So far, 13 of their games have finished with more points than today's OU line. In their last three games, the over/under record is 1-2 with an average of 142 points scored.

Coming off a good offensive performance, East Carolina's offense scored 81 points against Tulane. Their field goal percentage for the game was 51.7%, and they went 8/13 from the free-throw line. Offensively, the Pirates hold a season-long field goal percentage of 42%, placing them 332nd in the national rankings. When it comes to three-pointers, they are ranked 349th in terms of percentage and 259th in three-pointers made.

So far this season, the East Carolina defense has been performing well, ranking 71st in the country at 67.7 points allowed per contest. East Carolina's defense is coming off a game in which they allowed the Tulane offense to knock down 51% of their shots on their way to putting up 67 points.

Can the Owls Pull Off a Home Win?

After winning their last game, 94-71, against UAB, Rice will look to snap a seven-game home losing streak. So far this season, they are 5-10 at home, and their average scoring margin at home is -0.7 points per game.

Rice has been favored in 10 of their 26 games this season, going 6-4 in those matchups. They have an overall record of 10-16, including a 4-8 mark in American Athletic Conference play.

As the favorite this year, Rice has gone 5-5 vs. the spread. At home, their ATS mark is just 4-9-2. Over their last 10 games as the favorite, the Owls are 5-5 vs. the spread. In their last three home games, Rice is winless ATS.

Today's over/under line of 138.5 is lower than the average over/under line in Rice games this season (151.6). So far, 17 of their games have finished with more points than today's line. In their last three games, the over/under record is 2-1 and the average scoring total in those games is 157 points.

In their recent matchup, the Rice offense ended with 94 points against UAB. They finished with an overall field goal percentage of 60.3% and made 11 threes. The team's top scorer is Travis Evee, who enters today's matchup with an average of 15.8, while Mekhi Mason also carries a PPG average of 14.2 into the game.

Currently, the Owls' defense holds the 279th rank in the nation, allowing 76.5 points per game. In their most recent game, the Rice defense struggled to defend the three-point line, as UAB knocked down 9 three-pointers on their way to 71 points.