Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers - 12/4/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 7:15 PM (McCamish Pavillion)
Georgia Tech -9.5; Total 138 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Big Ten/ACC Challenge continues on Tuesday when the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-3) play their first road game of the season at McCamish Pavillion against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-2). This will be just the second meeting between the two schools and the first since 1983.
Georgia Tech has made a habit of playing in close games this season. Four of its five games have been decided by four points or less and two games have gone to overtime. After opening with an overtime conference win at NC State, the Yellow Jackets returned home and crushed Elon by 23 points before heading back on the road to lose 82-78 at in-state rival Georgia. Arkansas hit a shot in Atlanta in the final seconds to pull out a 62-61 overtime victory before Georgia Tech got back above .500 with a 68-65 victory over Bethune-Cookman.
The combined record of the Yellow Jackets’ five opponents is 25-13, and that record increases to 22-7 when Elon’s record is eliminated. Georgia Tech gets it done with defense as it ranks seventh in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 35.0 percent shooting from the field. The Yellow Jackets also lead the nation in blocked shots at 8.0 per game.
Poor free-throw shooting made the Bethune-Cookman game closer than it should have been. The Yellow Jackets hit just 14-of-25 shots from the charity stripe for 56.0 percent, but sophomore Michael Devoe hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds to go in the game to put Georgia Tech up for good. Devoe scored a game-high 27 points -- including 17 in the second half -- while junior Moses Wright added 12 points and 12 rebounds, and senior James Banks III added a monster game off the bench with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and eight blocked shots to help the team to the win.
Devoe is the top scorer in the ACC and he ranks seventh nationally scoring 23.4 points per game while leading the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 61.9 percent. Despite that fact, the Yellow Jackets rank just 291st out of 350 NCAA Division I schools shooting just 29.4 percent from 3-point range. Banks also leads the nation with 5.2 blocked shots per game while scoring 13.4 points and grabbing 9.6 rebounds per game. Wright also scores in double figures with 10 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game.
After a shaky start to the season that included a double-overtime loss to Southern Utah, Nebraska is back on track winning four of its last five games. The Cornhuskers finished third in the Cayman Islands Classic defeating South Florida 74-67 in the third-place game after a one-sided 85-66 loss to George Mason in the semifinal. Nebraska’s early-season schedule is a strong one with only two opponents having a sub-.500 record (Southern at 3-5 and Washington State at 3-4) and they combine for a 35-24 record.
Senior Hannif Cheatham scored a career-high 26 points in the 74-67 win over South Florida while junior Dachon Burke Jr. added 21 points. The pair combined to shoot 16-of-22 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range, and 11-of-15 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Cam Mack came off the bench for five points, seven assists, and two steals.
Burke leads the Cornhuskers on the season scoring 13.6 points per game, while Mack adds 12.6 points and 6.0 assists per game. Cheatham scores 12.1 points per game and Junior Jervay Green chips in with 10.3 points per game.
Looking at the line -- Georgia Tech -9.5; total 138 -- means that the experts see this as a 73-64.5 win for the Yellow Jackets. That’s a total of 137.5 instead of 138, but that’s close enough. Do either of those numbers look out of reach? Will Georgia Tech score 73 points? It has in two of its five games and was close in a third, and against a defense that doesn’t Southern to score 86 and ranks just 158th in field-goal percentage defense, 73 points looks likely. Will Nebraska score 64 or 65 points? It has in six of its seven games this year and averages 75.7 points per game, so even though the Yellow Jacket defense is strong, 64 seems likely.
Considering also that six of Nebraska’s seven games have gone over the total, 138 points do not appear to be unreasonable. So take the over in this one and don’t worry a bit about who wins or loses.