NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Hampton & Under Against SMU

Darin Zank

Thursday, December 17, 2015 3:44 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 3:44 PM UTC

SMU remains unbeaten on the season, but is only 2-3 against the NCAA basketball odds, because it's been tagged with some big numbers. The Mustangs will give points again.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Hampton & UNDER

Pirates vs. Mustangs Odds
As of this writing the NCAA basketball odds market hadn't yet lined this game, perhaps due to the personnel situation with SMU. The Mustangs played shorthanded Wednesday night, and may again tonight.


The Match-Up
Hampton (4-3 SU, 0-0) hasn't yet played a lined game this season, going against a very weak schedule. The Pirates opened this season with a loss at Winthrop, won two in a row, lost two in a row, but have now won back-to-back games in overtime, after outlasting Coppin State 12 days ago 74-71. Hampton only shot 41 percent from the floor on the night, just 2-for-16 from 3-point land, but held the Eagles to just 36 percent shooting.

Three days before that the Pirates rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit at Northern Arizona to beat the Lumberjacks in double-OT 98-94. They shot 45 percent from the field that night, hit 10 of 24 from beyond the arc and held NAU to 42 percent shooting.

Hampton returned four starters this season from a team that unexpectedly won the MEAC tournament last season and made the Big Dance, where it beat Manhattan, before losing to powerhouse Kentucky 79-56. The Pirates are the favorites to win the MEAC this season.

SMU (8-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) remains unbeaten this season, following an 86-42 drubbing of Nichols State just Wednesday night. The Mustangs, down to just seven players due to injuries and illness and still without the suspended Coach Brown, scored the first 12 points of the game and rolled from there. On the night SMU shot 51 percent from the floor, held the Colonels to just 25 percent shooting and won the battle on the glass by a lopsided 62-25 margin.

Just before that the Mustangs beat Michigan 82-58, easily covering as six-point favorites. And earlier this season they won at Stanford 85-70, covering as five-point road favorites. They did, however, encounter tough games with Yale, Brown and TCU, winning all three games but losing all three ATS as favorites of 13, 23 and seven points.

SMU returned three starters this season from a team that went 27-7 last season and won the AAC, before getting robbed in its opening game in the NCAA tournament. The Mustangs will go off as the favorites to win the AAC again this season.


Totals Trends
Hampton games have averaged 150 total points this season.

SMU is 4-1 on the OVERS, as Mustangs games have averaged 141 points.


Final Analysis
SMU is slightly shorthanded at the moment, and playing for the second straight night. The Mustangs are very likely to win this game outright, but they do have a little trouble from the free-throw line, hitting at just 68 percent. Also, SMU is 0-2 ATS this season when favored by double-digits. Meanwhile, Hampton has some experience, and can play a little defense. So for our NCAA basketball picks in this spot we like the Pirates, plus the points, paired with the UNDER.

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