SMU vs Cincinnati Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/5/23

Cincinnati Bearcats (19-11) vs SMU Mustangs (10-20)

Game Info: Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 2:00 pm (Fifth Third Arena)

Betting Odds: Cincinnati Bearcats -11.5 -- Over/Under: 146 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Cincinnati Bearcats will host the SMU Mustangs in AAC play from the Fifth Third Arena on ESPN+.

SMU fell to 10-20 following a road loss to Memphis. The Mustangs trailed to the Tigers early, and never recovered to suffer a 19-point defeat, 81-62. SMU is scoring 70.1 points per game, while allowing 67.3 ppg, and shooting 42.2% from the field.

SMU has struggled to find consistency in conference play, and they’ll look to avenge a two-point loss to Cincy back in January. The Mustangs are 5-12 in AAC play, with a 1-9 road record. Sophomore guard Zhuric Phelps played very well in February, scoring 22 points or more in four of the last six games to bring his team-lead to 17.4 ppg. Fifth-year senior Zach Nutall reached double figures in seven of the last eight games, and he’s second on the team at 13.3 ppg. Senior forward Efe Odigie double-doubled against USF, and he’s up to 11.4 ppg and 7.0 rpg.

Cincinnati dropped to 19-11 following a road loss to Memphis. The Bearcats nearly rallied back from a double digit halftime deficit, but they’d fall to the Tigers by three, 76-73. Cincinnati is scoring 77.3 points per game, while allowing 67.3 ppg, and shooting 45.1% from the field.

Cincinnati’s loss to Memphis may have put them on the wrong side of the bubble for good, and they’ll look to respond here in their home finale. The Bearcats are 10-7 in AAC play, with a 14-3 home record. Landers Nolley II double-doubled in the first win over SMU, and he leads the Bearcats in scoring (16.3), while grabbing 5.8 rpg. Longtime Cincy guard David DeJulius has scored 15 points or more in each of the last four games, and he’s up to 14.6 ppg and a team-lead 5.2 apg. Sophomore forward Viktor Lakhin leads the Bearcats in rebounding (7.1), while scoring 12.3 ppg. Veterans Jeremiah Davenport (9.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Mike Adams-Woods (9.0 ppg, 3.2 apg) round out the starting lineup for Cincinnati.

SMU is 12-16-2 against the spread this season, with a 19-11 over/under record. Cincinnati is 19-10 ATS this year, with a 15-13-1 o/u record.

Cincinnati can nail down coveted win number twenty here, and I think they come through. The Bearcats may end up being victims to a strong field across the board in college basketball when it comes down to the bubble, but a win here in their home finale followed by strong effort at the tournament could leave the door open for them. SMU has been a tricky squad to gauge, but they have shot noticeable worse away from home, so I like targeting the total versus the double digit margin. Take the under for this AAC matchup.

Corey’s Pick Under 146.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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