Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Bulls of South Florida are 12-4, which makes the giant pile of points they are taking back today stand out like a sore thumb. Consider the low total in this game as well and it looks like a recipe for a USF cover, as the Bearcats have had a hard time putting teams away as of late. Cincinnati has won back-to-back games against Tulsa and UConn, but had to go to overtime to do it and did not cover in either contest. Now the market will switch gears and we always like to jump on when mostly everyone is jumping off. Additionally, we’re getting the Bearcats at a reduced rate against a USF side that looks much better on paper than it is on the court.
The Bulls already have more wins this season than they did last year, but they have sacrificed the quality of their opposition in the name of superficial victories. USF went 10-2 during the non-conference portion of its schedule, but it also played arguably the weakest competition possible, as KenPom ranked its list of opponents 350 of 353 rated schools. A 2-2 record to start conference play greatly flatters the Bulls, as they beat up on Tulane as -10½ point favorite and downed the Huskies 76-68 as a small pooch (3½ points). However, both of those wins came on its home court. Close road losses to Temple and Tulsa are also going to further the Bulls appeal here to an unsuspecting market, but do not be fooled.
The Bearcats stock is woefully undervalued. Cinci dropped its opener at home against Ohio State and got beat up pretty good at Mississippi State. Otherwise, this has been a typical Mick Cronin team that is about to go off. Cincinnati plays tough defense (12th nationally in efficiency) and a slow tempo (348th). With Justin Jenifer, who leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, running the show, Cincinnati will not give opponents many extra possessions, and 6-5 junior forward Jarron Cumberland is an elite-level bucket-getter. The Bearcats are hungry to kick the daylights out of somebody. Cronin said as much, “We don’t want to compete, we want to flash our badge and think teams are going to run the other way." The Bulls would be wise to get a head start because this game has all the makings of an epic beatdown. Swallow these points and don't look back.
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#616 CINCINNATI -13 -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)