The new year has arrived. Let's kick off 2014 with a bang by finding a couple college basketball betting winners.
SMU Mustangs vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati plays host to SMU tonight, with the NCAA basketball odds showing the home team favored by as many as 6.5 points.
The Bearcats are 11-2 on the season (5-2 ATS) and have yet to lose at home this season. They're already quite battle-tested too, having already played the likes of Pittsburgh, Xavier, New Mexico and Nebraska.
Sean Kilpatrick will be the best player on the court. The fifth-year senior is putting up 19.1 points per game and is coming off a 21-point performance against the Cornhuskers. Cincinnati also gets big-time contributions out of Justin Jackson (11.4 PPG and 7.9 RPG), while versatile Titus Rubles has done good things as well.
The Mustangs are led by 5'9” guard Nic Moore, who averages a team-best 13.8 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting overall. Moore is a huge threat from beyond the arc, where he averages 55.2 percent heading into tonight's battle.
Against Cincinnati's lockdown defense, Moore and the rest of the Mustangs are going to have to hit some outside shots to stay close.
Unfortunately, we just don't see SMU being able to withstand the extreme length and athleticism of Cincinnati for the whole 40 minutes. Points are going to be hard by and the Bearcats possess the superior talent, which should show itself in the end.
We're therefore picking the Bearcats to eventually run away with this thing and grab the ATS cover.
College Basketball Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats -6.5
These two teams met up twice last year, with San Diego State winning once (79-72) in overtime before Colorado State (66-60) returned the favor.
Tonight the sportsbooks have the Aztecs favored by 4.5 points despite being on the road. The O/U is at 138.5. We don't have large sample sizes just yet, but San Diego State is 10-1 SU and 5-3 ATS on the year and Colorado State is at 9-4 SU and 1-6 ATS.
Since losing by nine to Arizona, San Diego State has reeled off nine straight wins. That includes some quality victories over teams like Creighton (86-80), Marquette (67-59) and Washington (70-63).
Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley aren't around anymore, but the Aztecs have more than filled in the missing pieces. Xavier Thames has made a big leap and averages a team-best 15.5 points per game, while shooting an impressive 47.1 percent from three. Winston Shepard, J.J. O'Brien, Dwayne Polee II and Josh Davis have made impacts too.
For Colorado State, J.J. Avila (19.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG), Daniel Bejarano (13.8 PPG and 9.6 RPG) and Jon Octeus (12.7 PPG) lead the way. The Rams have rebounded to win consecutive games by double digits after a 80-70 loss at home to Denver.
Late this evening we think San Diego State will prove their superiority on the court. The Aztecs, who own a distinct advantage on the boards, and have really banded together since that tough early-season loss to the Wildcats.
The Rams have already lost twice at home and we think they're in for a third defeat at the hands of the Aztecs tonight. Take San Diego State to win and cover on the road for your free college basketball pick.