Tulane vs. Cincinnati Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide
Pictured: Viktor Lakhin #30 of the Cincinnati Bearcats. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
- Cincinnati and Tulane open up conference play on Thursday night.
- These teams are extremely similar on paper, but our expert sees value on a side.
- Keg looks at the odds and offers up a pick below.
Tulane vs. Cincinnati Odds
After a non conference schedule that saw Cincinnati play teams ranked either inside the top 30 per Kenpom, or outside the top 150, the Bearcats will finally get an opponent within their own range. The Bearcats open up conference play on Thursday night against a familiar foe in Tulane, who they’ve only lost to three times since 1992.
Tulane comes into the contest after a non conference performance similar to the Bearcats. The Green Wave are 7-4, but lack an impressive win on their schedule.
Led by five different players averaging at least 10 points, the Green Wave offense is one of the best in the American. Jalen Cook leads the bunch, averaging 20.2 points, two rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.
However, Tulane isn’t a great shooting team. The Green Wave offense benefits considerably from pushing the pace and putting up as many shots as possible. Tulane ranks 34th in adjusted tempo, and is inside the top 150 when it comes to both field goal and three point attempts. The good news is Cincinnati hasn’t been one to limit shots or slow down games. The Bearcats rank 108th in adjusted tempo and are allowing opposing teams to average 58.9 field goal attempts per game (229th).
Overall, Tulane’s defense has been solid. However, it likely won’t force as many turnovers against Cincinnati as it has against inferior competition. The Bearcats give up an average of just 10.8 turnovers per game.
The Green Wave won’t have a height advantage over Cincinnati on the interior. And to make matters worse, they could seriously be in trouble when it comes to perimeter defense. Opposing teams have hit 36.3% from beyond the arc against Tulane this season. Cincinnati is hitting 34.3% from deep and if it can get hot from three, that could be a major issue.
The Cincinnati offense has been slightly better than Tulane, and has done so against tougher competition. The Bearcats might not have five players scoring in double digits, but they do have one of the best trios in the American in David DeJulius, Landers Nolley and Viktor Lakhin, who is also one of the most improved players in the country.
Lahkin is the difference maker on this Cincinnati team, and he’s been on an absolute tear since Thanksgiving. Over the past five games Lahkin is averaging 16.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest. He’s also been one of the most efficient shooters in the country, hitting 71.7% of his shots. I expect Lahkin to be a huge factor at both ends of the floor against the Green Wave because Kevin Cross is the only Tulane player taller than 6’6″.
Much like the offense, the Cincinnati defense is roughly neck-and-neck with Tulane, holding opposing teams to just 69.8 points per game.
Tulane vs. Cincinnati Betting Pick
Cincinnati’s non conference schedule wasn’t particularly strong — it ranks 284th — but Tulane had one of the 10 easiest non conference schedules in the nation (353rd).
I think Cincinnati can find offensive success beyond the perimeter and Lahkin should cause problems for Tulane at both ends of the floor. Back the Bearcats as high as a six-point favorite over the Green Wave.
Pick: Cincinnati -6 or Better