Minnesota vs. Western Kentucky - 11/18/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-0) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-1)
College Basketball: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Williams Arena)
The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers -13 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Minnesota Golden Gophers play Tuesday night at the Williams Arena.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers won their season opener by beating the Austin Peay Governors, 77-70. Western Kentucky shot 43.4 percent from the field and made nine threes, while the defense allowed 44.2 percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers. T.J. Price led the way with 22 points and four assists, and Trency Jackson had 14 points and two steals. Chris Harrison-Docks scored 13 points and Nigel Snipes was key off the bench with four rebounds in eight minutes of action. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are one of a few teams who can seriously compete for a C-USA title due to their playmakers on the offensive end and the ability to get to the free throw line. However, Western Kentucky will have to improve defensively if it's going to seriously take that next step.
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The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost their season opener to the Louisville Cardinals, 81-68. Minnesota shot 40 percent from the field and had 35 rebounds, while the defense allowed 46 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers. Andre Hollins led the Gophers with 22 points and four rebounds, while Maurice Walker had 10 points and two steals. Nate Mason was a spark off the bench with 10 points in 20 minutes and Carlos Morris had nine points on 3-9 shooting. Despite the loss, the Minnesota Golden Gophers proved to be a rising team against a national championship contender. Now, Minnesota needs to focus on hitting hits shots and not being so sloppy on the offensive end. As I mentioned earlier in the year, Minnesota has the potential to be that sleeper in the Big Ten this season.
The Hilltoppers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Golden Gophers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers should be ready to go after getting punched in the mouth in their season opener against a quality opponent. I'm not sure Western kentucky is balanced enough to keep this thing close on the road against a Big Ten contender. Look for a blowout in the second half.