NCAA Basketball Picks: South Carolina to Cover -7 on Neutral Court vs. DePaul

Swinging Johnson

Friday, November 20, 2015 6:27 PM GMT

The Big East meets the SEC in this showdown in the Virgin Islands as the Blue Demons of DePaul take on the Gamecocks in a tropical paradise. Let’s see what the NCAA Basketball odds makers have on this one tonight.

De Paul (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
The Blue Demons started their 2015 campaign off with a 69-63 victory over Western Michigan but then dropped their last contest to Penn State by the score of 68-62. In those two games the Demons averaged 65.5 points on 41.4 percent shooting from the floor. However, their accuracy from beyond the arc has been a miserable 15 percent in the early going.

DePaul has held the opposition to 65 ½ points on average and limited their opponents to just short of 39 percent from the floor. Myke Henry, the transfer from Illinois, and Billy Garrett are averaging 16 points per game while Tommy Hamilton is the man cleaning the glass with eight boards per contest. It will be interesting to see how this Big East squad handles South Carolina on a neutral court in the Virgin Islands.

 

South Carolina (2-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
The Gamecocks have started the season in impressive fashion with an 84-69 victory over Norfolk that they followed up with an 84-66 win over Oral Roberts University. South Carolina is obviously now averaging 84 points per contest on 39.4 percent shooting from the floor. Their mark from beyond the arc has seen them swish at a 37 percent rate. Duane Notice, Laimonas Chatkevicius and Marcus Stroman are all responsible for boosting that number due to their 50% plus shooting from three-point land. Chatkevicius, the senior power forward, is averaging 20 points per game to go along with 5 boards per game.

South Carolina is looking to improve upon its 6-12 conference mark and 17-16 overall record from last season. They are returning a group that has been through the grind of an NCAA Basketball season and those who included the ‘Cocks in their NCAA Basketball picks from last year’s campaign did not deliver a positive return on investment as the team went 13-18 against the all-important number.

 

Betting Analysis
These two schools have not hooked up in a good long while so it is hard to get a bead on how this one will go down amidst all the distractions that accompany a game played in paradise aka the Paradise Jam located in the Virgin Islands. This contest features a team in South Carolina that prides itself on a Frank Martin defense. They are careful with the ball on offense and look for opportunities to cause turnovers when defending.

Conversely DePaul has a more frenetic pace which can lead to costly turnovers if all cylinders are not clicking. Despite the fact that this one will be played on a neutral court it is a contest that is there for the taking for the Gamecocks. The question becomes can South Carolina overcome the handicap that the NCCA Basketball odds makers are imposing. As of this writing South Carolina is a 7 to 7 ½ point favorite on a neutral court against a team that none of these players have ever faced. Of course none of the DePaul players have played against the Gamecocks before either so we have to break this one down in terms of what each side has to offer on the court.

The Gamecocks have been impressive in the early going and scoring 84 points against this DePaul squad would absolutely do the trick in terms of covering the spread. As long as the kids don’t get too caught up in the sand, surf, sunshine and bikinis it appears this is a number South Carolina can cover.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Play South Carolina -7 at YouWager

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