Cincinnati Bearcats at SMU Mustangs – NCAAM January 7

Cincinnati (2-6, 0-3) at SMU (6-1, 2-1)

  • Time: 4PM PST | 6PM CST | 7PM EST
  • Location: Moody Coliseum, Dallas, TX
  • NAT TV: ESPNU

Series

The Bearcats hold a 13-5 ledger as Cincinnati has won seven in a row including a 65-43 decision last year in Cincinnati. Sixteen of the 18 meetings have occurred since the two teams have been in the AAC with the other two meetings coming in 1975 and 1966. The last Mustangs win was in the AAC Tournament in 2017 when they beat the Bearcats, 71-56.

Vs. The Spread

The Bearcats have been a terrible choice so far this season as they are 1-7 ATS and they face an SMU team that is 5-2 vs. the line. The total has gone OVER in six of the Bearcats’ last seven games and it has also gone OVER in six of their last seven AAC contests. SMU is 13-2 SU in it’s last 15 games at Moody Coliseum, but the total has been UNDER in six of the Mustangs’ last seven games at home.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Cincinnati +6 (-110) +210 O 142 (-110)
SMU -6 (-110) -250 U 142 (-110)

Last Time Out

Cincinnati trailed Tulsa almost wire-to-wire in it’s 70-66 loss to the Golden Hurricane on Saturday. Keith Williams made a layup and the subsequent free throw to tie the game 63-63 before Brandon Rachal had his own And-one on the next possession to give TU the lead for good. Williams led the Bearcats with 18 points as they ahot only 34.4 percent from the field.

Houston’s Quentin Grimes hit the go-ahead triple to start a 10-0 second half run as the Cougars defeated SMU, 74-60, on Sunday evening to hand the Mustangs their first loss of the season. Kendric Davis led the Ponies with 23 points while Feron Hunt had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. SMU led throughout the first half as the Mustangs took a 35-34 lead into halftime.

From the ‘Nati

Cincinnati Bearcats LogoThe Bearcats’ 5-game losing streak is the longest since 2007-08 as their effective field goal percentage is 237th in the nation and they average 15 turnovers per game which yields a turnover percentage of 21.1, 244th. Williams is eighth in the league in scoring at 15.5 points per game and he is also the only Bearcat who averages double digits. Jeremiah Davenport (9.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg) comes off the bench and is second in scoring.

Mustangs Know ‘D’

SMU Mustang Logo 101x101SMU has been solid on defense through it’s first seven games as opponents shoot only 38.1 percent while the Mustangs force 15.3 turnovers per game. Defensively, the team speed and quickness of SMU looks like it will take advantage of the Bearcats’ shooting woes and cause slots of havoc in the half court. SMU has held six of it’s seven opponents under 40 percent and the Mustangs are 58-7 under coach Tim Jankovich when they hold opponents under 40 percent.

Deep in the Heart

  • Kendrick Davis (19.7 ppg) leads the AAC in scoring where he has made 54.5 percent of his shots while making 12-of-24 triples.
  • Feron Hunt (12.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) brings the defense underneath while working as the Ponies’ primary scoring threat in the paint.

SMU is a high level offensive team who leads the league in scoring (80.1 ppg), field goal percentage (47.1%), and 3-point field goals made (8.3). This is not a vintage Cincinnati defense as opponents shoot 45.3 percent and then score 15.4 points per night off the 15 turnovers that UC averages. The potential is there for this to get ugly if the numbers hold serve on both ends of the floor.

Winner: SMU (-6) 80, Cincinnati 67
Over-Under: Take OVER 142

The Bets
SMU Mustangs -6
-110
OVER 142
-110
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.