Cat Fight in the Midwest Sees Charleston Covering Over Auburn

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 2:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018 2:37 PM UTC

The Auburn Tigers made an early exit from the SEC tournament after winning the regular-season title. Their opponents on Friday hail from Charleston, are the Colonial Athletic Association champs and could be a live dog in your college basketball picks.

No. 13 Charleston (25-9 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. No. 4 Auburn (29-4 SU, 15-17 ATS)Midwest Region, Friday, 7:27 PM ETFree NCAAB Pick: Charleston +9½ Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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  • Auburn is 1-4 ATS in their last five games as a favorite.
  • Auburn is 0-4 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Auburn is 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
  • Charleston is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Charleston is 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win.

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The men’s basketball team will fly to San Diego this afternoon to compete in the NCAA Tournament! Meet at 4PM in front of TD Arena to cheer on our Cougars and wish them luck. pic.twitter.com/NjaCDBGSyS

— Coll. of Charleston (@CofC) March 13, 2018
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The Auburn Tigers were climbing the national rankings until they hit a brick wall as the season entered the homestretch when they dropped four of their last six and covered the college basketball odds in only one of those contests. Ironically, that lone cover came against SEC foe Alabama and it was that same Crimson Tide crew that upset Auburn in the conference tournament quarterfinals by the score of 81-63 as 6½ point neutral-site underdogs.

The Cougars of Charleston won the Colonial Athletic Association’s regular season and then stormed back from a 13-point first-half deficit to defeat Northeastern 83-76 in overtime to win the conference championship. It was a thrilling way to cap off a tremendous season for the Cougars and a team that had not “danced” in 19 seasons.

This matchup features an athletically superior Auburn squad against a game-and-gritty Charleston team. Auburn has been mailing it in as of late, while Charleston has rolled to 14 wins over their last 15 contests. The college basketball odds reflect the Cougars as close to double-digit underdogs against a team that has not looked well as of late. It is true that Auburn owns the 17th ranked offense, averaging 83.4 points per game, but it should also be noted that Auburn is averaging almost eight points below their season average over their last six games.

Charleston relies on sound defense to win the day, and that is something not part of the Auburn game plan. The Tigers rank a dismal 201st in team defense, while the Cougars clock in at 82nd in allowing 68.8 points per game. The Cougars also boast three players averaging double digits in scoring with junior forward Jarrell Brantley (17.0 PPG), sophomore guard Grant Riller (18.7 PPG) and senior guard Joe Chealey (18.5 PPG), who went off in the conference championship game to the tune of 32 points.

This game will be decided on whether or not Charleston can control the pace and tempo of the game and prevent the Tigers from getting the ball down in the post and exploiting their sizable advantage on the glass. Auburn seems to have lost their confidence as well as their identity. Conversely, Charleston is in a groove and all they do is win. Of course, the caliber of opponent is dramatically different but the oddsmakers have given the Cougars a generous head start to compensate for that.

I believe Charleston will keep this one within the margin and if Auburn isn’t careful, the Cougars could pull the upset. Back Charleston in your NCAA basketball picks and watch the victor meet the winner of the Clemson/New Mexico State clash.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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