Rutgers & Cincinnati: Two Heavy Home Chalk Locks

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 1:41 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 1:41 PM UTC

A pair of 11-point home favorites feature in our top college basketball picks for Tuesday as Mississippi State travels to No. 25 Cincinnati, while Fordham visits Rutgers. One will cover the spread, the other will not. Check out our predictions here.

Mississippi State vs No. 25 Cincinnati (-11)

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Free NCAAB Picks: Cincinnati -11 & Under 139.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Don’t be fooled by Cincinnati’s (7-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) 83.4 points per game. Offense plays second fiddle to head coach Mick Cronin’s stellar matchup-zone defense. The team caught some weaker programs sleeping earlier in the season, helping inflate the number. The offense ranks 40th in adjusted efficiency nationally according to KenPom, as opposed to fifth for defense. Against better competition, scoring dips. The Bearcats average 72.4 points per game in five versus teams with a winning record. They will likely fall short of this number against a red-hot Mississippi State (8-0 SU, 1-3 ATS) team also better at defending than putting up points.

The Bulldogs are great at closing down opponents and taking away space for good looks at the basket. Ranking 35th in adjusted efficiency, they allow 9.4 assists per game, sixth best in the country. The Bearcats have played three opponents yielding fewer than 12 per game, coming up short of their projected team total by 7.5 points on average. Cincy has failed to cover the spread in each by 7.5 points or more in each as well.

The Bulldogs will obviously find it tough to put up points. Cincy allows a 40.0 opponent field goal percentage as home chalk under Cronin all-time. The contest is being played at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky as Fifth Third Arena is being renovated. Expect a home-crowd advantage nonetheless. Bearcats win 70-63. Bulldogs cover a 11-point spread and the game stays under a 139.5 total. Correlated parlay is the prime pick.

Fordham vs Rutgers (-11)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Rutgers -11Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

This looks to be the best Rutgers (8-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) team in years and are proving incredibly strong at Louis Brown Athletic Center, covering the spread and scaring Florida State (78-73) and then-No. 3 Michigan State (62-52) in losing efforts earlier. The Scarlet Knights, pegged as 11-point favorites versus Fordham (4-5 SU, 1-5 ATS), are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 as home chalk.

Rutgers holds a decided edge in rebounding in this matchup. Its 45.7 boards per game is tops in the country. Second-chance points will be tough to come by for the Rams. They pull down an offensive board just 18.7 percent of the time. In three games versus an opponent averaging better than 35 rebounds per game, Fordham is a posting 58.3 points on 36.8 percent shooting. The number of offensive boards: 4.7 per contest.

Fordham is a scrappy press team ranking fourth nationally in steals (11.4) 13th in turnover margin (5.8) and 23rd in takeaways (18.0). Rutgers may have issues getting off shots initially, but will make up the difference underneath rebounding. Just look at that these trees (No. 35 Issa Thiam, 6-foot-10; No. 11 Eugene Omoruyi, 6-foot-7; No. 2 Shaquille Doorson, 7-foot-0):

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Coming atcha.

We’re back tomorrow night at The RAC at 7 PM against Fordham on @ESPNU. #PackTheRAC 🛡⚔️ #KnightAndDay

— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) December 12, 2017

The Knights are 16-1 SU and 4-1-1 ATS hosting non-conference foes in head coach Steve Pikiell’s tenure. Expect another cover here. Rutgers 71-58.

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