Two of the better defensive teams in the country will meet up at Fifth Third Arena Friday night, with the Cincinnati Bearcats hosting the Georgetown Hoyas.


Let’s take a closer look at the betting line for this Big East Conference matchup that tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Red hot

Georgetown has won and covered the spread in six consecutive games, including a 63-55 victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles as five-point home favorites Monday night, while going UNDER the total for the first time in four opportunities.

The Hoyas have compiled a 9-2 against-the-spread (ATS) record versus Big East opponents.

Failing to cover at home

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Cincinnati is 2-9 ATS at this venue during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season, but did manage to come away with a convincing 68-50 triumph over the Villanova Wildcats as 7.5-point home favorites Tuesday night, while going UNDER the total for a sixth consecutive time.

It’s important to note that the Bearcats are 4-1 SUATS as home favorites of three points or less the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER cashing in each of those affairs.

Defensive intensity

College basketball oddsmakers definitely caught my attention in sending out a betting total of 117 in this affair—even with both sides holding foes to 38 percent or less shooting from the field for the entire season.

I believe this is basement level pricing in the market, considering the Bearcats haven’t played a game with the total being 119.5 or less since at least the 1997-98 campaign. 

From a betting trends perspective, the UNDER has gone 5-2 in the last seven meetings in this series.

Recent history

Early wagering has clearly landed on the road underdog due to the movement that we are seeing on the NCAA Basketball odds boards, but I’d be very careful in getting involved at this level, especially since the Bearcats are 4-0 SUATS in the last four meetings in this series.  Cincinnati has also won 10 of its last 16 games versus ranked opponents.


Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their college basketball picks Friday night, as some of Cincinnati’s key offensive players have enjoyed some success in this series, especially leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick.  It’s also hard to ignore that Georgetown shoots 48.3 percent from the field when playing away from home. 

College Basketball Pick:  Over 117 at Bookmaker