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Pick on the Total for Prairie View-Rice on December 20

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Wednesday’s college basketball matchup between the Prairie View A&M Panthers and Rice Owls

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NCAA Basketball: Rice at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The first season for the Rice Owls in the American Conference with a 5-6 start, but a chance to extend their winning streak to three games when they host the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Wednesday.

Prairie View A&M Panthers vs. Rice Owls (-10, 144.5)

The majority of Rice’s issues have been on the defensive side of things this season with the team entering Tuesday 241st in the country in points allowed per possession and rank outside the top 240 in both opponent 2-point and 3-point shooting percentage.

The Owls face a Prairie View offense that is 341st in America in points scored on a per possession basis, with their lack of perimeter shooting being the biggest season why.

Prairie View is one of the few teams in the country getting a higher percentage of points from free throws than made 3’s. Just 21.1% of Prairie View’s points come from made 3-point shots, which ranks 339th in the nation while 24% of their points come from made free throws, which is the 22nd-highest percentage nationally.

The style of play Prairie View has leads to lots of fouls as the team is taking defensive risks for turnovers, and often times it leads to fouls with the team committing a foul on 26.9% of plays on defense, the 12th-highest foul rate in the country.

With the aggressive play has come turnovers with the team forcing a turnover on 22.1% of possessions, which ranks 17th in the country, with many of these turnovers leading to fast break opportunities.

Even with forcing all of these turnovers, Prairie View entered Tuesday ranked 224th in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis and the defense has to face the best passing big man they have seen this season.

Max Fiedler leads Rice in assists per game despite standing 6-foot-11 with 9.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game for an offense that is committing a turnover on just 13.4% of their possessions at home this season, which ranks 51st among the 349 teams that have played at least one game against another Division I opponent.

The brand of basketball Prairie View plays with leads to lots of possessions with the team 18th in America in total possessions per game and with the Panthers having allowed 74 points or more in five of their last seven games against Division I opponents and Rice giving up at least 75 points in seven of their 10 games against Division I teams, Wednesday’s showcase in Texas sets up to be a high scoring affair.

The Play: Prairie View vs. Rice Over 144.5