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UCF vs. Cincinnati - 3/7/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Cincinnati at UCF
Date & Time Thursday March 7, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)
Location
CFE Arena
Orlando, FL
The Line
UCF Knights -2.5 -- Over/Under: 126
TV Channel
ESPN2
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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The 20th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats will travel to CFE Arena to take on the 25th ranked UCF Knights this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The 20th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats won their 5th straight game and improved to 25-4 (14-2 AAC) on the season after defeating the Memphis Tigers, 71-69, this past Saturday. Cincinnati struggled offensively against the Tigers, however, the defense did a solid job creating turnovers and the Bearcats hung on late after taking a 58-48 lead with 7:20 left in regulation. Cincinnati shot just 38.6% from the field and 21.1% from beyond the arc, however, forced Memphis into committing 17 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Bearcats was Jarron Cumberland who had 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and a steal.

 On the season, Cincinnati is averaging 72.3 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Bearcats are averaging 6.7 three-pointers per game on 34.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Cincinnati has been led by Jarron Cumberland (18.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.2 spg), Keith Williams (10.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.2 spg), Tre Scott (8.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Nysier Brooks (8.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg).

Defensively, Cincinnati is holding their opponents to an average of 61.3 ppg on 40.5% shooting from the field. The Bearcats have a rebound margin of 6.0 and a turnover margin of 3.4.

The 25th ranked UCF Knights improved to 22-6 (12-4 AAC) on the season after upsetting the Houston Cougars by a 69-64 margin this past Saturday, which snapped Houston’s 33-game home winning streak. UCF trailed by a 33-28 margin at halftime, however, was able to find some success on the offensive end in the 2nd half against the tough Houston defense and pulled away late after a 7-0 Knights run gave UCF a 65-60 lead with just :26 seconds left in regulation. UCF shot 46.9% from the field and committed just 9 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Knights was Collin Smith who had 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.

On the season, UCF is averaging 73.6 ppg on 47.2% shooting from the field. The Knights are averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game on 35.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UCF has been led by B.J. Taylor (16.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.4 apg), Aubrey Dawkins (15.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg), Tacko Fall (11.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.5 bpg), Terrell Allen (7.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.4 spg).

Defensively, UCF is holding their opponents to an average of 64.0 ppg on 39.2% shooting from the field. The Knights have a rebound margin of 2.1 and a turnover margin of 0.9.

The Bearcats are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Knights are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600 and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

Cincinnati has won 13 of their last 14 games and have been led by their defense which ranks 10th in scoring defense, 27th in defensive FG%, and 23rd in rebound margin.

UCF has won 6 of their last 7 games and have also been led by their defense that ranks 24th in scoring defense, 12th in defensive FG%, and 46th in blocks per game.

This should be an exciting, defensive game as both the Bearcats and the Knights have two of the better defenses in all of College Basketball. Cincinnati was able to defeat UCF by a 60-55 margin at home just a couple of weeks ago, however, the Bearcats haven’t been overly impressive as of late as they were able to barley escape with road victories at UConn & SMU and didn’t look great recently against Memphis. UCF in my opinion have more offensive weapons than the Bearcats and as I just don’t see Cincinnati having success on the road against a Knights team that is 14-2 at home, I’m taking UCF to cover this small spread. Good Luck!

Pick:
UCF Knights -2.5

Brett has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2014 and currently focuses on College Basketball, College Football, and Fantasy Sports!

We have to deal with Brett being a New England sports fan as he is from New Hampshire so you can imagine how willing he is to talk about Boston sports.

Brett loves diving into the numbers/analytics of his match-ups to provide you with not only great information but most importantly, winners!

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