NCAA Basketball Picks: South Carolina vs. Oklahoma State

Jeff Grant

Friday, December 6, 2013 2:10 PM GMT

The South Carolina Gamecocks have had two weeks to prepare defensively for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, as the programs prepare to meet on the hardwood Friday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup at Gallagher-Iba Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

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It’s about time

South Carolina returns from a near two-week break from games when it travels to Stillwater, as it looks to win two consecutive games for the first time during the 2013-14 campaign—picking up an 84-72 victory over Florida International on Nov. 24.

Gamecocks second-year head coach Frank Martin has mentioned that the team has worked hard on the defensive end of the floor over its break, which could lead this affair to fall short of the betting total.

Back home

Oklahoma State is 7-1 SU through eight games this season, but suffered a 73-68 defeat to the Memphis Tigers as six-point neutral floor favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutive affair.

The Cowboys are still averaging 91.9 points per game, which has been helped immensely by pouring in 102.0 a contest at this venue.

It’s important to point out that the squad is 10-0 SU and 6-3-1 ATS as home favorites of 12.5 or more points the last two-plus seasons.

Ellington returns

College basketball handicappers need to realize that the Gamecocks will welcome back senior guard Bruce Ellington Friday, as he prepares to play his first game after leading the football program in receiving yards during the regular season.

On the basketball court, Ellington owns career averages of 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 30.7 minutes of action.

Get Smart

Cowboys sophomore point guard Marcus Smart leads the scoring attack in averaging 20.5 points per game, which is the top mark among players in the Big 12.

The preseason All-American was limited to 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting last time out against the Tigers, as he played with a stomach virus.

Also make sure to check out our:

NCAA  Basketball Pick: Kentucky vs. Baylor

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total for their college basketball picks, as the UNDER is 14-7 in the Cowboys’ last 21 opportunities at home since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

College Basketball Pick:  Under