The No. 19 Cincinnati Bearcats (10-2, 2-0 AAC) put their six-game winning streak on the line when they meet the SMU Mustangs (12-4, 2-1 AAC) at BB&T Arena. Cincinnati is a 7.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 128 points. Action starts at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 7, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN2.
SMU Mustangs vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Free Preview
In the Mustangs last matchup, they lost a tough one against the Tulane Green Wave, 73-70. With 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting, Malik Milton was the games high scorer. Tulane did an excellent job of making free throws (18-20; 90.0 percent). SMU, on the other hand, had a much better turnover percentage (11.9 vs. 19.5).
The Bearcats will look to maintain momentum after narrowly defeating the Temple Owls in their last game, 55-53. With 18 points on 8-for-14 shooting, Kyle Washington was the top scorer from either team. Cincinnati played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.235 (below their season average of 0.240) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 48.6 (above their season average of 39.0). For those same stats, Temple was 0.196 and 42.5, respectively.
The game should be a matchup of strength against strength as the productive offense of Cincinnati (37th in the NCAA with an offensive efficiency of 115.1) takes on the top-notch defense of SMU (20th in the nation with a defensive efficiency of 91.8).
Of SMU’s 11 games that accepted bets, six have finished under the O/U total, while 8 of Cincinnati’s 11 games have finished under the O/U total. The Bearcats hold a clear advantage in terms of straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 10-2 SU and 6-6 ATS, while the Mustangs are 12-4 SU and 6-5 ATS.
This is the first time these teams will clash this year. The Mustangs won two out of three matchups played against each other last season. In the last contest, SMU won 71-56. SMU had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.596 vs. 0.344). Cincinnati, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (37.2 vs. 24.1).
SMU Mustangs vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – SMU, ATS Winner – SMU, O/U – Under
- The Bearcats rank 19th in steals per game (8.7) while the Mustangs rank 36th in steals allowed per game (5.3).
- SMU is 1-4 ATS on the road, while Cincinnati is 3-2 ATS at home.
- The total has gone under in 3 of the Mustangs’ 5 road games, while 2 of the Bearcats 5 home games have gone over.
- Cincinnati ranks 16th in rebounds per game (41.0) while SMU ranks 151st (35.7).
- The Bearcats average 6.1 blocks per game, which ranks 10th in the NCAA. The Mustangs rank 96th in blocks allowed per game (3.4).
- Cincinnati averages 18.1 assists per game, which ranks 12th in the nation. SMU ranks 69th in assists allowed per game (12.1).
- Cincinnati is 2-2 ATS with 3 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, SMU is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Bearcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 19.4, down from 20.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Mustangs have scored an average of 75.0 points per game (0.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 58.0 points per game (1.8 below their season average).