Wichita State Returns to Norm Against Central Florida

Willie Bee

Thursday, January 25, 2018 12:25 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 12:25 PM UTC

Favored by double-digits on the NCAA basketball odds, Wichita State looks to put last week’s conference losses in the rearview mirror with a home clash vs. UCF.

UCF Knights vs Wichita State Shockers

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Free NCAAB Pick: Wichita State -13½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Hard times have fallen on Gregg Marshall and Wichita State. After looking to be the class of the AAC entering the conference slate, the Shockers are coming off consecutive league losses, defeats that plunged them all the way from No. 4 in the coaches poll to No. 16. Marshall now has to reenergize his squad in advance of Thursday’s matchup with the UCF Knights in order to stay within striking distance of Cincinnati at the top of the AAC.

ESPN2 will carry the first-ever meeting between the schools, tip-off at Charles Koch Arena coming at 9 PM (ET). The top sports books like Wichita State’s chances to jump back into the win column, favoring the Shockers by 13½-14 with totals available in the 129½-130 range.

Tacko Fall Out Just As BJ Taylor Returns From Injury

Speaking of taking a ‘fall,’ the Knights will have to go the rest of the way without center Tacko Fall after the reigning American Defensive Player of the Year went down with a shoulder injury last week. The 7-6 junior was averaging 11.9 PPG and 7.3 RPG, both second on the team at the time of the injury.

The good news for Johnny Dawkins and his club is guard BJ Taylor recently returned from a foot injury that saw him sit for 16 games. The junior came up big in last Saturday’s 71-69 win at South Florida, Taylor scoring 25 points and dishing five assists. His effort wasn’t enough to cover a -9½ spread, the third consecutive game UCF failed to beat the NCAA basketball odds. The Knights also expect to have AJ Davis in the lineup tonight as well, the team’s leading rebounder listed as probable after turning an ankle against the Bulls.

Shockers Look To Avoid Consecutive Home Losses For 1st Time Since 2011

Losing to SMU on this floor last week was a big enough shock, the 83-78 setback as 9½ point chalk snapping Wichita State’s 27-game win streak at Koch Arena. Even worse, though, was how poorly they played over the weekend in Houston where the Cougars romped past the cold-shooting Shockers, 73-59. Wichita State was favored by 3 in the contest, and shot a season-low 33% while hitting just 4-of-20 from 3-point range. The combination of a defensive letdown against the Mustangs and an offensive outage vs. Houston leaves Marshall and his staff scrambling to get their team back on track quickly.

Just as the Shockers are hoping to start a new win streak, so am I after a run of 12 winning free college basketball picks ended last night. Wichita State gets it done this time around in front of a packed house.

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