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Cincinnati vs. SMU - 1/3/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Southern Methodist Mustangs (10-3) at Cincinnati Bearcats (9-4)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 11:00 am (Fifth Third Arena)

The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats -2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The SMU Mustangs and Cincinnati Bearcats play Saturday afternoon at the Fifth Third Arena.

The SMU Mustangs have won eight straight games and play their fourth true road game. On the season, SMU is averaging 71.5 points on 47.9 percent shooting and is allowing 60.7 points on 37.4 percent shooting. Nic Moore is averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 assists while Yanick Moreira is averaging 12.4 points and 6.7 rebounds. Keith Frazier is the third player averaging double-digit points and Ben Moore is grabbing 6.6 rebounds. The SMU Mustangs are a defensive minded team that’s allowed 61 or less points in seven of their last eight games and is allowing teams to shoot 31 percent from downtown. Offensively, SMU is shooting 74.5 percent from the free throw line and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc. The return of Markus Kennedy has certainly helped SMU as well.

Cincinnati vs. SMU - 1/3/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats have won four of their last six games and would love a big win here. On the season, Cincinnati is averaging 63 points on 43.4 percent shooting and is allowing 55 points on 37.9 percent shooting. Octavius Ellis is averaging 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds while Troy Caupain is averaging 9.3 points and 3.3 assists. Gary Clark is grabbing 7.1 rebounds and Farad Cobb is shooting 35.3 percent from the field. The Cincinnati Bearcats of course are also an elite defensive team, allowing no more than 68 points all season long. However, Cincinnati has no player averaging double-digit points and is shooting just 28.5 percent from beyond the arc and 67.8 percent from the free throw line. Cincy’s only home loss this year came against VCU.

The Mustangs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Bearcats are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. American Athletic Conference. 

Cincy is really tough to beat at home and while SMU is playing better, I like the idea of the Bearcats tough defense and noise of the home crowd getting the job done here. SMU still has to show it can win in tough places. 

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Cincinnati Bearcats -2

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