Cincy’s ‘under’ surge ends due to Jackson’s injury
Published on Monday, 1/27/14, at 2:45 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Editor’s note: Brian’s college hoops picks are absolutely on fire. He went 5-0 on Saturday and since Jan. 12, Brian owns a 30-15 record (67%) for 13.8 units of profit. Sign up for Monday’s three picks or you can win from now through March Madness with his season package.
The incredible streak of Cincinnati ‘unders’ came to a screeching halt in Sunday’s 80-76 win at Temple. The 156 combined went ‘over’ the 133.5-point total with nearly four minutes to spare.
The ‘under’ is now 13-2 for the Bearcats this season, 26-4 in their last 30 games.
As I’ve stated many times, these low-scoring games for Cincy are largely based upon the defensive presence provided by Justin Jackson, who protects the rim and cleans the glass. Jackson injured his ankle early in the first half and did not return.
Nevertheless, the pace for another ‘under’ looked decent at halftime when Cincy had a 36-26 advantage for 62 combined points. But Temple’s Dalton Pepper caught fire in the second half, burying seven 3’s and scoring 27 of his 33 points. Cincy led by 19 early in the second half, but a triple by Pepper evened the game up with 25 seconds remaining.
Mick Cronin’s team pulled it out, though, and Sean Kilpatrick finished with 29 points. Jackson’s status for Thursday’s crucial AAC showdown at Louisville is very iffy. He wasn’t able to play in a loss at the Yum! Center last year, either. Before Temple struck for 76 on the Jackson-less Bearcats, they had not given up more than 67 all season.
If Jackson is going to be out Thursday and/or beyond, I’d suggest bettors lay off what has been an automatic play (Cincy ‘under’) for me over the last several weeks.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–SMU point guard Nic Moore is one of the nation’s most underrated players. Moore scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Mustangs to a 75-68 win at Houston as 4.5-point road favorites. Larry Brown’s team trailed by six at intermission, but Moore scored 22 in the second half and put the game on ice, in addition to securing the spread cover, with his free throws in the final minute. SMU is now 16-4 and the hiring of Brown is looking like a stroke of genius. A five-game streak of ‘unders’ for the Mustangs came to an end.
–If you haven’t added Baylor to your list of teams to fade, then it’s time to do so. Just like last season, the Bears got off to a fast start but are rapidly taking on the look of an NIT squad. Again, like last year, they look NIT-bound despite having Sweet 16 talent on the roster. Scott Drew’s team went 12-1 in non-conference play, but it has lost outright in five of its first six Big 12 games. The Bears are mired in an abysmal 2-7-1 ATS slump.
–I’m more impressed every time I see UCLA. The Bruins covered for me again in last night’s 76-64 win over California as seven-point home ‘chalk.’ Kyle Anderson was the catalyst with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
–Utah gave top-ranked Arizona a stiff challenge in Sunday’s 65-56 loss as a 13.5-point road underdog. The Utes improved to 12-2-1 ATS.
–Michigan won its ninth straight game when it took out Michigan St. in come-from-behind fashion at Breslin Center in East Lansing on Saturday night. Injuries finally caught up to the Spartans, who were playing without their two best frontcourt players in Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne. Dawson is out until late February. Payne, who has sat out five straight games, should return soon.
–Georgetown center Joshua Smith is out for the rest of the season due to academic issues. The UCLA transfer was averaging 11.5 points per game. The Hoyas have lost four in a row both SU and ATS since Smith was ruled out.
–For my breakdown of tonight’s Pitt-Duke and Oklahoma-Oklahoma St. games, check out this link at VegasInsider.com.