Central Florida is the NCAA Basketball Pick as Home Dog

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 3:11 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.


The road favorite could be in trouble in a seemingly obvious letdown spot Wednesday night when those Detroit Titans (6-4, 1-2 away) pay a visit to the Central Florida Knights (5-4, 5-2 home) at CFE Arena in Orlando, FL at 7:30 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Central Florida as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -123.

Letdown After Wichita State?
The Titans could be in a tough spot emotionally tonight as they had a 10-point lead on 11th ranked Wichita State at home with 11 minutes left on Saturday, a Shockers’ team that has lost just one regular season game by one point since the beginning of last season, and let the lead slip away eventually falling 77-68. We could easily now see a hangover tonight as a road favorite over a supposedly lesser team, especially in the early going.

And remember that Central Florida still has a winning 5-4 record overall including being 5-2 as NCAA Basketball picks here at home, so it could very well be that the effort by Detroit vs. Wichita State has skewed this line a tad, when in reality we feel that game may actually have taken something out of them and could have a negative effect tonight.

Unproven in True Road Games
Besides the Titans are just 1-2 on the road this season, with the win being by three points over a Toledo squad currently ranked 106th on the Pomeroy Ratings. Granted the two road losses may not seem so bad as they came at Oregon and at Michigan, but Detroit was not even competitive while losing by 17 points to the Ducks and the loss at Michigan seems worse considering the Wolverines have lost at home to NJIT and Eastern Michigan since then!

Yes the Titans played well for the first 29 minutes vs. the Shockers, but they folded once Wichita State became the aggressor and it certainly did not help that Detroit was out-rebounded 18-9 on the offensive glass. Unfortunately that will be a continuous problem this season for a Detroit team whose tallest player in the regular rotation is the 6-foot-7 Paris Bass, and the Titans went even smaller vs. the Shockers with Bass coming off the bench.

Because of that small lineup, Detroit is 332nd out of 351 Division I teams in offensive rebounding percentage at 24.0 percent vs. a national average of 31.5 percent, and it is also just 271st in defensive rebounding percentage.

Looking to Bounce Back from Horrible Night
Now UCF has lost three straight since a 5-1 start and the Knights were abysmal in a 54-41 home loss to Florida Atlantic, going more than 16 minutes without a field goal in the second half after holding a one-point halftime lead, with those 41 total points being the second fewest the Knights have scored in their history as a Division I program!

That would be more of a concern if it were a regular occurrence, but thankfully for the Knights is has not been as they are above the national average in effective field goal percentage (49.5 percent vs. 48.6 percent), two-point shooting (48.6 percent vs. 47.6 percent) and three-point shooting (34.3 percent vs. 33.7 percent). Thus we just think they had an off night and are more than capable of bouncing back here.

The biggest issue for UCF has been turnovers as it is only 226th in the land in offensive turnover percentage. But will the Titans have the energy defensively to take advantage of that after leaving everything on the floor vs. Wichita State?

UCF to Make Headway Inside
Also the two-point shooting of UCF could ultimately make the difference and potentially lead to an outright upset here vs. the undersized Titans, as Detroit is understandably only 279th in two-point defense generously allowing a 52.0 percent success rate.

Add this all up and the favored Titans seem very vulnerable, making Central Florida our play as a home underdog hosting Detroit on Wednesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Central Florida +4½ (-123)

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