Pounce On These Wildcats Bets (Davidson, Northwestern) on Friday

Jay Pryce

Friday, December 1, 2017 2:11 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 2:11 PM UTC

A pair of Wildcats feature in our top college basketball picks Friday night. Check out our predictions and best bets for Davidson vs. No. 13 North Carolina, and Illinois at Northwestern here. 

Davidson vs. No. 13 North Carolina (-10)

Site: Spectrum Center (Charlotte, NC)

Since Steph Curry departed to the NBA and blossomed into one of this generation’s best basketball players, Davidson is just 3-14 SU and 5-10-2 ATS as a neutral-site road underdog. Head coach Bob McKillop is one of the best X’s and O’s guys out there, but he can’t attract the same quality of recruits as many of his peers at the small, academically rigorous institution. It takes a special player like the two-time NBA MVP to make up for the lack of athleticism, speed, skill and more when up against a blue blood like North Carolina.

Wildcats senior forward Peyton Aldridge, averaging 22.0 points per game, can hang with anyone in the country, and true freshman point guard Kellan Grady (15.8 ppg) looks special, but depth is lacking. North Carolina will overwhelm Davidson when McKillop is forced to go to the bench, which will be often considering the Tar Heels play at the 17th quickest tempo nationally.

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Gameday tomorrow against UNC at 8:00ET on ESPN2! 🏀#anoth3ron3 #TCC @ Buzz City https://t.co/5j9l1O5cAp

— Peyton Aldridge (@Peyton_James23) December 1, 2017

Out of the 17 aforementioned Davidson matchups, five have come against ranked opponents. The Wildcats are 1-4 SU and 1-3-1 ATS, losing by 13.2 points per game. Expect a similar margin tonight.

Free NCAAB Pick: UNC -10Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Illinois at Northwestern (-7)

Many predicted Northwestern to improve after making it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history last year, earning the No. 19 ranking in the AP Top 25 preseason poll. After a 4-3 start, the Wildcats are not even receiving votes a month later. The losses have been bad. They are 1-4 ATS, falling to the number (-6.0) by 10.8 points per game. Despite returning four starters, leadership is absent, energy stagnant and the bench poor.

A home date vs. Illinois might be the prescription needed to cure the malady. The Fighting Illini brought in former Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood to lead the team this year. He installed an up-tempo, deep-shooting offense, which sees them averaging 86.7 points per game. This figure is boosted by the fact Illinois has played the 337th easiest schedule, according to KenPom. Underwood’s squad shot just 38.7 percent and put up 73.0 points vs. Wake Forest last time out. Illinois went off a 2.5-point underdog in that contest; it has tipped favorites by 8 points or more in every other game.

Illinois is showing plenty of inconsistency offensively learning the new system. It should have done better against a Demon Deacons team allowing 105.1 points per 100 possessions. The Wildcats host the Illini yielding 98.2, and against tougher competition than Wake. Northwestern’s offense isn’t necessarily a powerhouse in this spot, either. As home chalk of less than 8 points in Big Ten play, head coach Chris Collins’ squad has missed their projected team total in nine of 12 games in his tenure. The ‘under’ is 9-3 in this span, covering by 5.8 points per game.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 150.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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