When and where: January 12, 2019, Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center, Cincinnati, OH, 8:00 PM ET
The Cincinnati Bearcats will try to pick up their fifth win in six games on Saturday when they host the visiting UConn Huskies. After losing three consecutive games, the Huskies bounced back with a convincing win over SMU. Meanwhile, the Bearcats had to dig deep to knock off Tulsa in overtime on Thursday.
Huskies get SMU in foul trouble
The Huskies took the game to SMU on Thursday night by being aggressive for 40 minutes and getting the Mustangs into foul trouble. There were four starters for SMU playing with four fouls, which is a serious problem considering how it affects a player’s ability to play defense. With four fouls, a player might be more content to give the opponent room to work on offense to avoid picking up a fifth personal and fouling out.
That appeared to be the strategy for the Huskies against the Mustangs, who could never play themselves back into the game after falling behind 42-31 in the first half. They ultimately went on to lose the game 76-64.
Senior guard Jalen Adams had a team-high 21 points and three assists for the Huskies, while Alterique Gilbert put up 19 points and three assists.
Cincinnati survives Tulsa
There was nothing simple or easy about Cincinnati’s road trip to Tulsa on Thursday night. After falling behind in the game, The Bearcats fought their way back and forced an overtime, where they went on to steal a 70-65 win on the road.
— Cincinnati Men’s Hoops (@GoBearcatsMBB) January 11, 2019
Bearcats junior guard Jeff Cumberland struggled early in the game, but he came on strong down the stretch and hit key baskets to help put the team over the top. It was one of those games that could have easily gone the other way.
Tulsa got hot from long-range in the game, finishing with a 60.9 3-point shooting percentage. The Bearcats, on the other hand, didn’t need to be splashy. They stayed true to their game and came away with the win. Cane Broome came off the bench for a team-high 16 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals.
- Bearcats are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games
- Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS loss
- Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head meetings.
- Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head meetings in Cincinnati.
- Huskies are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 road games against teams with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Huskies are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 road games against teams with a winning home recor
- Huskies are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games
- Huskies are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s a reason why the Bearcats are heavily favored in this clash between American Athletic Conference rivals. UConn was clearly a team trending in the wrong direction before a win over SMU put them back on the winning track. However, they clearly weren’t playing their best basketball before that win after losing three straight games to Villanova, South Florida and Central Florida.
Granted, none of those losses came against scrubs, but they also didn’t help build much confidence the Huskies would have a shot at competing on the road against the Bearcats.
UConn hasn’t shot the ball well on the road so far this season. They are averaging a 41.7 shooting percentage away from their home court, and they’re also giving up an average of 80.6 points to opponents per road game, as opposed to 66.6 points at home.
Prediction: Cincinnati Bearcats (-11)
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 4-1 in the Bearcats’ last five games overall and 7-2 in the Huskies’ last nine games on the road. I don’t have much faith in the Huskies being able to stop the bleeding when the points start piling on. They haven’t been the same team on the road, and those same defensive struggles will be highlighted once again in this game. Cincinnati, on the other hand, has played well in limiting opponents in scoring. However, I do believe the Huskies are one of the stiffer tests they’ve faced offensively, and it’ll show on game day. Take the over in this one.
Prediction: Over (138)