Kent St. a Formidable Opponent, Take Pitt -12.5 as Your NCAA Basketball Pick

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:29 PM GMT

The Golden Flashes look to continue their winning ways when they meet the Panthers in Pittsburgh. Let's analyze this one and determine which team to back in our NCAA basketball pick.

Kent State (3-1 SU, 0-3 ATS)
After defeating Youngstown State in the debut of their 2015 campaign Kent State was edged by Southern Illinois 72-69 in the second game of the season. But since that lone loss things have been looking up for the Golden Flashes as they have reeled off two consecutive wins. Unfortunately for those who have backed Kent State in their NCAA basketball picks this season they have failed to return any investment whatsoever going 0-3 ATS in the three lined games thus far.

In their last outing they showed up for work and blasted St. Francis (PA) 79-60 but that was not a game that the NCAA basketball odds makers were hanging. So, the team travels to take on their first big time school when they meet ACC power Pittsburgh on the road. The Golden Flashes are averaging 76 ½ points per game while surrendering 68 ½ points per game. The team is averaging 43.3 boards per game and 14 assists per game. Junior forward Jimmy Hall is averaging a team high 16 points per game awhile averaging 8 ½ rebounds per contest. Teammate Kellon Thomas is averaging 14 ½ points per game while the team is shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 61.7 percent from the charity stripe and 30.1 percent from three-point-land.

 

Pittsburgh Panthers (3-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
If the Panthers offense is truly reflective of what they will be the rest of the year even when matched up against top flight opponents then the college basketball world better be ready. The Panthers have absolutely torched their opponents in the early going with an 84-43 evisceration of St. Joes (Ind), a 95-79 dismantling of Detroit Mercy and lastly a thorough annihilation of Cornell 93-49.

While we have to keep in mind that none of those schools are true tests for a team that is looking to make noise in the postseason tournament it is indicative of a mentality that refuses to take any team, regardless how inferior, lightly. The Panthers currently rank 11th in points per game averaging 90.7, tied for 4th in rebounds per game with 49, 4th in assists averaging with 21.3 per contest and tied for 45th in team defense allowing 64 PPG.

 

Final Analysis
Pittsburgh is the classier squad of the two and will face far sterner tests than the ones that have presented themselves in the early going. These are warm-up games for big conference teams and Kent State falls into that category. The size matchup down low and in the paint will be a huge advantage for the Panthers as they are cleaning the glass early and often as their 49 rebounds per game attests.

I don't believe that Kent State will be able to hang and bang with a team of Pittsburgh's caliber particularly when they are asked to do so on the opposition's home court. I can see Kent State reverting to taking three-pointers as they begin to fade. And with a team three-point percentage of barely over 30 percent that will not bode well against a team like Pittsburgh that transitions easily and will get the easy buckets from their big men who will be waiting for the outlet passes.

This line is a bit concerning as the Golden Flashes present a more formidable opponent than those before them but I will still take a bite of the apple in this one. Pittsburgh is too much, too soon and will force Kent State into taking some low percentage shots which will result in yet another Panthers' blowout.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Pittsburgh -12½ at YouWager

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