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SMU vs. South Florida - 12/31/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
South Florida Bulls (7-7) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (11-3)
Date & Time Sunday December 31, 2017, 8:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Southern Methodist Mustangs -23.5 -- Over/Under: 125.5
TV Channel
ESPNU
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NCAA BB | South Florida Bulls (7-7) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (11-3)
USA TODAY Sports

We have some AAC-tion on the hardwood Sunday, as the South Florida Bulls take on the SMU. Mustangs in a college basketball matchup. 

The South Florida Bulls will look to bounce back after starting conference play with a 79-60 loss to Houston, snapping their 3 game winning streak in the process. Justin Brown led the team with 16 points on 5 of 12 shooting with 4 threes and 7 rebounds, while David Collins added 15 points with a team-high 4 assists and a pair of steals. Isaiah Manderson added 10 points with a team-high 8 rebounds to round out the scoring in double figures for the Bulls in the loss, while Malik Martin added 4 points and 6 rebounds. Payton Banks leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.7 points per game, while Tulio Da Silva leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game and Terrence Samuel is the team’s leading assist man with 3.9 assists per game this season. As a team, South Florida is scoring 65.6 points per game on 42.4% shooting from the field, 36.1% from behind the arc and 74.5% from the foul line this season.

The SMU Mustangs will look for another conference victory to add to their current 4 game winning streak after their 56-51 conference opening win gave the Mustangs their 6th win in their last 7 games. JarreyFoster and Shake Milton were the lone SMU players to finish in double figures scoring, putting up 14 points apiece. Foster added 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Milton added 6 rebounds with 5 assists and a pair of steals. Ben Emelogu II added 5 points with a team-high 6 assists and 3 steals to go along with 7 rebounds, while Ethan Chargois added 9 points with a pair of steals and a pair of blocks. Milton leads the team with an average of 16.9 points and 4.9 assists per game while Foster is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.6 boards per game this season. As a team, SMU is scoring 75.3 points per game on 47.5% shooting from the field while boasting the 8th-best 3-point percentage in the country at 42.5% in addition to a 67.2% mark from the foul line this season. The Mustangs also have one of the toughest defenses in the country, allowing just 60.4 points per game, the 7th-fewest per game in the country.

South Florida is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the over is 13-3 in their last 16 road games against a team with a winning home record. SMU is 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 conference matchups and 23-8-2 ATS in their last 33 games overall while the over is 11-5-1 in their last 17 games following a win. The road team is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.

There’s no doubt in my mind that SMU is the better team here. However, in 2 of the last 3 meetings between these two teams, SMU was a 20+ point favorite, and South Florida covered both of those games. SMU can run and gun and I could very well be wrong here, but I think South Florida has enough talent to at least keep this one respectable, so I’ll take USF and the boatload of points here.

Pick:
South Florida +23.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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