JJ’s CBB – Central Arkansas vs Stephen F Austin Pick 3/1/21

Central Arkansas Bears vs Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks
Betting Spread – Stephen F Austin -11. Total 156

The Southland Conference is no stranger to high scoring games and this is another one that fits the bill. Central Arkansas comes into this game off their biggest upset and win of the year. They squeak out a win vs Abilene Christian after they lost by 35 to this same team over a month ago. We have a similar spot here with Stephen F Austin. Does lightning strike twice? Maybe, but unlikely.
Stephen F Austin played Central Arkansas back on January 13th in a 95 to 69 victory back in the Lumberjacks gym. SFA had a distinct advantage inside the arc in that game and it makes sense right? SFA is the 9th best in the country at scoring inside the arc (nearly 57% from the field) and Central Arkansas is 246th worst defending it. That first game played fast, but I think this one plays even faster. At home, Central Arkansas does play faster vs the road and also shoots better which will put more pressure on SFA to score. When you see a number of 83.5, you know a 3-4 minute drought makes this very difficult to go over, but I don’t think we get that here. SFA rolls up 95 in the first match-up in a blowout where they had 21 dunks and layups combined. Think about that for a second. 21 dunks and layups which are as high % shots as you can get. This doesn’t even count the dunk/layup misses nor the fact that SFA slowed this game down late with a huge lead. While they shot about 54% as a team, I’d argue it wasn’t a good shooting performance considering they made four 2 point shots that weren’t of the dunk and layup variety and only shot 9/27 from 3.

This all goes back to the large edge inside SFA has. It also cannot go without saying with the recent Abilene loss, SFA has a chance to either share the season title or even take it on their own prior to the conference tourney with the Abilene match-up up next for SFA. This cannot be a look past spot for SFA, as they need this win to make the Abilene match-up mean anything. Motivation will not be an issue here. As for Central Arkansas, I certainly expect a bit of a laydown defensively after a head scratching 2H offensively from Abilene.

This number up at 83.5 is large, but do keep in mind Central Arkansas has given up 84 points 10 times in 21 games and this is the #1 offense in this conference in SFA that they are seeing. SFA has gone over this number 9 times out of 18 games and come quite close 3 other times going for 80+. SFA loves to run, but they are also content to play slower with teams who don’t run. This won’t be the case here though. Central Arkansas is the 3rd fastest team in a conference filled with teams who love to run.

Match-up wise, SFA has such an advantage in this match-up to pile on possessions. SFA is 4th best in D1 on the offensive glass and UCA is below average defending it. SFA forces the 7th most TOs in the country and UCA is 343rd worst in the country at turning it over. While UCS is above average at not fouling, SFA is 9th best at drawing contact in D1. I haven’t even mentioned that SFA is 17th best in effective FG %. While this is a mid major we are talking about that has had some bad games this season, this team is an offensive juggernaut and they draw a team who gives up countless easy baskets. UCA is 326th worst in conceding assists per field goals made and I expect SFA to pile up assists when they aren’t putting up easy put-backs on the glass.

Huge number here to target a TT over and certainly one of the high ones you’ll see, but I have this quite favorable for SFA to hop over this 83.5 number and it’s my best look in this game.

JJ’s Best Bet
SFA Team Total OVER 83.5 -110 (FD)


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