Georgetown at Cincinnati Picks and College Basketball Odds
by Alan Matthews - 2/15/2013
Sometimes a basketball team will play much better after unexpectedly losing one of its best players. Just look at the Boston Celtics and Rajon Rondo, for example. The other players all tend to pick up the slack and teams play more as a “team” to make up for the loss of individual talent. The problem is that eventually a loss of a key player usually catches up to a team.
That brings me to No. 15 Georgetown (18-4, 8-3), the hottest team in the Big East. Back on Jan. 13, the Hoyas announced that forward Greg Whittington was declared academically ineligible and ruled out indefinitely. The 6-foot-8 sophomore had started all 13 games for the Hoyas and was second on the team in scoring (12.1) and second in rebounding (7.0). Whittington still isn’t back and it’s not looking promising that he will be. Yet, since Whittington’s departure, the Hoyas are 8-1 and enter Friday’s game on a six-game winning streak (6-0 ATS). They are tied atop the Big East with Marquette and Syracuse. The Hoyas still have two games left with the Orange in the final meetings between those two as Big East foes – that’s painful to say thinking back to the glory days.
Cincinnati (19-6, 7-5) isn’t in any danger of missing out on an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, but the Bearcats don’t want to mess around and finish the regular season something like 2-4 to make the selection committee take a second look. The Hoyas are one of three ranked teams remaining for UC before the Big East Tournament.
Georgetown at Cincinnati Betting Story Lines
Georgetown beat its third straight ranked team on Monday, 63-55 over Marquette in D.C. Otto Porter Jr. had a big game with 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. This guy is playing unbelievable right now and is a lock Top-10 NBA pick, presuming he comes out, and also a potential Big East Player of the Year. The sophomore forward leads the Hoyas in scoring (15.3), rebounds (7.9), steals (1.9) and three-point shooting (44.3 percent). He’s second in blocks and third in assists. Since Whittington went out, Porter is averaging 18.6 points per game and has three double-doubles.
In reality, the Hoyas aren’t going to outscore anyone as they rank 14th in the Big East in averaging 64.3 points per game. As usual, Georgetown is winning with defense. It ranks No. 9 nationally in points allowed (55.7) and No. 11 in field-goal percentage defense (37.8). The Hoyas have allowed more than 56 points just once during the winning streak.
Cincinnati ended a two-game losing streak Tuesday with a 68-50 home win over Villanova – UC hadn’t topped 52 points in the mini-skid. The Bearcats are led by the Big East’s No. 4 scorer, junior guard Sean Kilpatrick (18.2 points per game). He had 19 points and eight rebounds in the win over Villanova and is averaging 20.7 points in the past seven. When he shoots poorly, the team usually loses. He shot 33.3 percent in a loss to Pitt, 35.7 in a loss at Providence, 37.5 percent in a loss at Syracuse and so on.
Fellow guard Cashmere Wright, who has been in college for about seven years it seems, was supposed to be one of the Big East’s best players but has been very inconsistent. The senior is averaging 13.5 points but has been in single digits in four of the past six after missing a game due to injury. Wright, who will become UC’s all-time games-played leader later this season barring injury, is 14-for-67 from the field in that stretch. Like the Hoyas, the Bearcats are predicated on defense. They rank No. 21 nationally in allowing 58.4 points per game and No. 15 in field-goal percentage defense at 38.0. Cincinnati opponents are scoring nearly 13 points below their season average during Big East play.
Georgetown at Cincinnati College Basketball Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Cincinnati opened as a four-point favorite with the total not available as of deadline; I would project it around 122. Georgetown is 11-7 ATS (4-1 on road) and 7-8 “over/under” (1-3 road) this season. UC is 10-11 ATS (2-9 home) and 3-15 O/U (1-7 home).
The Hoyas are 5-0 ATS in their past five ATS wins. Cincinnati is 2-6 ATS in its past eight games after a win. The Bearcats are 1-7 ATS in their past eight home games. The under is 5-2 in Georgetown’s past seven against teams with a winning record. The under is 7-0 in Cincinnati’s past seven after an ATS win. The under is 5-2 in the past seven meetings. Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings.
Georgetown at Cincinnati Picks and Betting Predictions
Could this be the final meeting as conference foes between these two? It’s expected both will remain in the Big East through next season, but you never know what that imploding conference. The Hoyas are leaving for sure at some point with the rest of the Catholic 7.
Cincinnati is 2-3 against ranked teams this season and 1-2 at home. The Bearcats have won four straight against Georgetown, with the last meeting a double-overtime 72-70 thriller in the 2012 Big East Tournament. This is one of those cases where I like the total – under! – much better than the spread, but I lean toward Cincinnati as I believe Wright shows up for this one. That would give UC a better 1-2 punch than Georgetown has.
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