Diversify your betting card today with a two-team ML Parlay

Cincinnati Bearcats

Rainman M.

Saturday, December 9, 2017 4:02 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 4:02 PM UTC

No. 17 Cincinnati & Wyoming (6-3) seem like a pretty good one-two punch on the Money Line side of Saturday's odds board. 

No. 17 Cincinnati (7-1) faces No.5 Florida (5-3) at 6 PM tonight in the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey. The Bearcats are favored by 1.5.

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Florida is on fade alert due to its current slid. The Gators have lost 2 additional games in a row, after a nail-biting loss against Duke, due to offensive ineptitude. They produced 66 at home against Florida State and 59 at home vs Loyola-Chicago.

The Gators' rely especially on the three-pointer in order to score. An above-average proportion of their points comes from behind the arc, a below-average one from two. Their top shot-takers, however, are slumping from behind the arc. Forward Jalen Hudson, who is taking 30% of their shots, is 4-for-17 from three in his past three games. Forward Egor Koulechov, who ranks second on the team in shots taken, is 1-for-10 in his past 2 games from behind the arc.

Their slump from behind the arc prevents them from exploiting the Bearcats' defensive weakness. They guard the perimeter poorly, having the 58th highest proportion of points allowed coming from behind the arc. They rank 216th in three-pointers allowed per field goals allowed.

Without a hot hand, which Florida doesn't have right now, it is difficult to score against Cincinnati. The Bearcats are dominating the interior, ranking second in two-point field goal % allowed. They allow the 307th-fewest point distribution from inside the arc. Overall, they rank 8th in defensive efficiency. The Bearcats will force Florida's offense to confront its current weakness.

Cincinnati's size and strength in the interior will also be significant offensively. 6-8, 230 pound power forward Gary Clark leads the team with 13 points and 8 rebounds per game. Clark ranks 41st in offensive rating. He ranks 91st in offensive rebound %, 158th in defensive rebounding % and is an efficient shooter. He draws a lot of fouls, ranking 161st in the category, but also averages 84% from the free throw line.

Wyoming (6-3) hosts Pacific (5-5) today at 6 PM. The Cowboys are favored by 9.5 points.

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Home court advantage will play a role. Wyoming is normally a reliable ML bet at home in the extremely high altitude of Laramie, where they have won 5 consecutive home games. Conversely, Pacific is 5-18 SU in their last 23 road games.

Match-up-wise, the crucial difference between Wyoming and Pacific is defense. The Cowboys boast an efficient defense, ranking 68th in the category. Their strong defense feeds the scoring of their offense. They gladly score in transition, averaging in their offensive possessions 1.8 seconds fewer than the national average. Wyoming's ability to win today derives from their ability to create stops on defense and scoring chances for their offense.

Point guard Miles Reynolds, who plays in the highest % of team possessions, point guard Kendall Small and forward Jahlil Tripp, both of whom are also significant contributors, commit a high frequency of turnovers. Pacific's ball-handling struggles are worrisome against a Wyoming defense that ranks 94th in turnovers forced. Pacific ranks 243rd in turnovers allowed.

Turnovers are crucial to tempo. When Wyoming forces a transition game by achieving turnovers, then they can play to their preferred style. The Cowboys play at a much faster tempo than Pacific, ranking 42nd in the category, 88 spots above Pacific. Tempo is important for Wyoming because it masks their difficulties with rebounding and creates more opportunities to draw fouls from the defense. Pacific ranks 216th in free throws allowed per field goals allowed. Wyoming ranks 17th in drawing free throws. The potential foul trouble for Pacific is worrisome considering their lack of depth especially among their big men.

Forward Justin James is Wyoming's go-to guy. He is featured in easily the highest proportion of Wyoming's shots taken and possessions. With his long wingspan he leads the team with 1.1 steals per game. Last year he also ranked 125th in three point %. After a slow start, he has produced his two best and highest-scoring offensive efforts in Wyoming's past two games. Like last year, he is only needing time to heat up.

Free NCAAB Pick: Cincinnati & Wyoming MLBest Line Offered: at 5Dimes
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