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College basketball handicapper Chris Smith gives us two picks for Tuesday

Cincinnati vs. UCF Predictions

The Bearcats are losers of three straight while the Knights are coming off a huge upset win over Florida State in Tallahassee over the weekend. This one tips off at 4pm eastern time in one of those strange, late afternoon starts during Christmas week. This is more of a situational play for me than anything else with Cincinnati in desperate need of a victory as they begin Conference play.

These two teams split their games last season with both road teams coming away with wins on the opposing team’s home court. UCF was lights out down the stretch in the aforementioned Florida State upset shooting 9 of 19 from beyond the arc and 23 of 26 from the charity stripe. While I’m not suggesting this is necessarily a let-down spot for the Knights, both of these teams average right around 68 points per game and I think Cincinnati is more than comfortable turning this one into a rock fight. Cincinnati shot an abysmal 5 of 29 from long range themselves last time out, but I think they are due for some positive regression.

The Bearcats will need someone other than Keith Williams to score in this one, but if Jeremiah Davenport can build off his 18 point effort against Georgia in a sixth man role, Cincinnati should be able to come away victorious. I’ll lay the two points and count on the Bearcats to break out of their slump.

BET: Cincinnati -2 @ -110

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma Predictions

This line seems slightly off to me. Texas Tech has one of the best coaches in the country in Chris Beard. They have the best player on the floor in Mac McClung and the Red Raiders boast an elite defense that can slow down even the most dynamic of offenses.

Texas Tech suffered a rough, one point home loss Kansas over the weekend, while Oklahoma has gotten fat off three consecutive wins over sub-par opponents. The Sooners are averaging 85 points per game but can’t stop anyone defensively. While their overall record of 5-1 looks nice on paper, Oklahoma gave up 99 points to Xavier the last time they faced a quality opponent.

I’ll take the elite defense over the above average offense here, especially when factoring in the edge in coaching for the Red Raiders. I’m expecting a bounce back performance from Texas Tech in this spot and can’t pass on laying less than two points.

BET: Texas Tech -1.5 @ -110


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