Cincinnati vs. Wichita State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide
Pictured: Cincinnati Bearcats forward Viktor Lahkin (30). (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
- Cincinnati has struggled on the road this season, but will be looking to rectify that against Wichita State.
- However, our analyst feels there more value on the total than a side for the contest.
- Keg digs into the matchup and offers up a best bet below.
Cincinnati vs. Wichita State Odds
The Bearcats will hit the road once again as they travel to Wichita to take on the Shockers. Cincinnati’s first conference road test didn’t go quite as it had hoped, losing outright to Temple as a 4.5-point favorite.
Wichita is still in search of its first conference win of the season, and has struggled offensively since the beginning of the year. However, the Shockers defense has posed problems to nearly everyone on the schedule.
Can that defense shine against Cincinnati? Let’s dig into the odds and make a betting prediction.
The Bearcats are an experienced team, ranking 43rd nationally in experience and 67th in minutes continuity. They’re also a top 50 team in scoring, averaging 78.3 points per game. But away from home, they’ve struggled consistently.
Cincinnati’s only win away from home came on a neutral court in the Maui Jim Invitational against Louisville — one of the bottom power six teams in the nation. The Bearcats can score in bunches, but are also susceptible to scoring droughts. The Bearcats have gone on scoring runs of 10 or more unanswered points 10 times, but they’ve also give up five such runs.
They’re an elite scoring team with a 53.2% effective field goal percentage, but things can go south quick for the Bearcats. Cincinnati sees the majority of its scoring come from its starters and averages just 16.6 points per game off the bench.
On the defensive side of the ball, Cincinnati could give an already struggling Shockers offense even more problems. Cincinnati has been solid when it comes to creating turnovers, and is even better defending at the rim. The Bearcats have held teams to just 58.9% shooting at the rim, which is where the Shockers score a majority of their points.
However, that advantage could be nullified if Viktor Lahkin finds himself in foul trouble.
The Shockers offense has been bad all season, but it’s getting worse. Wichita State has posted a 48.2% effective field goal percentage on the season. However, over the past five games, that number has dropped down to 45.2%. Wichita State doesn’t come close to Cincinnati in terms of experience. Additionally, one of its best players, Craig Porter, has been working through an injury.
Kenny Pohto has stepped up with Porter seeing less minutes. Pohto went off for an impressive 21 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal against ECU, a game Wichita may have lost without his efforts.
Wichita State’s defense has been a saving grace. The Shockers bring the game to a screeching halt, ranking 313th in adjusted tempo. They’re also holding opposing teams to an effective field goal percentage of just 42.5%, fifth-best in the country.
Cincinnati vs. Wichita State Betting Pick
The Bearcats have proven time and again they are not the same team on the road that they are at home. Wichita State was awful against ECU in terms of giving up points off the fast break, something I’ll expect the Shockers to focus on specifically against the Bearcats, who rely heavily on the break and average 13.5 points per game off of it.
Wichita State should also be able to slow this game down and limit Cincinnati’s shot attempts. The Bearcats rank in the 93rd percentile in field goal attempts per game and rely on getting a high volume of shots up. I don’t think they’ll be able to do that against the Shockers.
Foul trouble could also a game changer Thursday night. Cincinnati’s offense could stall if it goes to the the line often. Both teams have shot worse than 70% from the line.
I’d feel comfortable taking this total down to 128.5. Getting 134.5 feels huge and wasn’t something I could pass up. The Shockers are 10-4 to the under this season, and even better as an underdog (4-1).
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