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UCF vs. SMU - 2/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

SMU Mustangs (15-11) at UCF Knights (16-9)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 11:00 am (CFE Arena)

The Line: UCF Knights -2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN U

The SMU Mustangs will travel to CFE Arena to take on the UCF Knights this Saturday morning in College Basketball action.

The SMU Mustangs lost their 4th straight game and dropped to 15-11 (5-8 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the Memphis Tigers, 70-67, this past Wednesday. The short-handed Mustangs struggled on both ends of the floor and couldn’t fight back after trailing by a 61-52 margin with just 4:58 left in regulation. SMU allowed Memphis to shoot 51.0% from the field and 45.0% (9-20) from beyond the arc while the Mustangs shot just 37.3% from the field. Leading the way for the Mustangs was Jahmal McMurray who had 33 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. On the season, SMU is averaging 71.5 ppg on 45.4% shooting from the field. The Mustangs are averaging 8.9 three-pointers per game on 39.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, SMU has been led by Shake Milton (18.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.4 spg), Jahmal McMurray (13.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.6 apg), Jimmy Whitt (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.0 spg), and Ethan Chargois (10.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.1 apg). Defensively, SMU is holding their opponents to an average of 63.5 ppg on 42.0% shooting from the field. The Mustangs have a rebound margin of 1.5 and a turnover margin of 2.7. Shake Milton is currently listed as “out indefinitely” after missing SMU’s last 4 games and the Mustangs will also be without Jarrey Foster who is out for the season due to a knee injury.

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UCF vs. SMU - 2/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The UCF Knights won their 2nd straight game and improved to 16-9 (7-6 AAC) on the season after defeating the South Florida Bulls, 72-57, this past Wednesday. UCF was outstanding offensive end throughout the game and pulled away in the 2nd half after taking a 65-51 lead with just 3:26 left in regulation. UCF shot 52.2% from the field, 50.0% (9-18) from beyond the arc, and 78.9% (15-19) from the FT-line in the win. Leading the way for the Knights was A.J. Davis who had 26 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, UCF is averaging 63.4 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Knights are averaging 5.0 three-pointers per game on 31.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UCF has been led by B.J. Taylor (14.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 3.4 apg), A.J. Davis (11.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg), Tacko Fall (11.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg), and Dayon Griffin (8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.3 apg). Defensively, UCF is holding their opponents to an average of 61.2 ppg on 38.9% shooting from the field. The Knights have a rebound margin of 3.0 and a turnover margin of -1.9. UCF will be without their big-man, Tacko Fall, who is out for the season due to a shoulder injury.

The Mustangs are 1-7-1 ATS I their last 9 road games and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Knights are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 home games.

SMU has lost 5 of their last 6 games and although their defense ranks an impressive 11th in scoring defense and 41st in turnover margin, the Mustangs have struggled offensively and currently rank 243rd in scoring offense and 141st in defensive FG%. UCF has won 3 of their last 5 games and has also been led by their defense that ranks 3rd in scoring offense and 4th in defensive FG%. Both teams have suffered some major injuries to key players, however, SMU has looked completely lost since losing Shake Milton and as I think the Knights defense will give the Mustangs offense a bunch of trouble, I’m taking UCF to cover this small home spread. 

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