Tuesday's Tip Sheet
December 12, 2017
By Brian Edwards
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**Mississippi State at Cincinnati**
-- Mississippi State (8-0 straight up, 1-3 against the spread) is the only remaining SEC team with an unbeaten record. Ben Howland’s team takes that unblemished ledger into the Queen City to take on Cincinnati tonight. As of early this morning, most betting shops had Cincinnati (7-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) installed as an 11-point favorite. One offshore had the total at 139 points.
-- Mississippi State is playing its first true road game and is an underdog for the first time. MSU is ranked 21st in the nation in scoring defense, limiting oppoents to a 61.9 points-per-game average. The Bulldogs are 17th in the country in field-goal percentage defense (37.5%).
-- Mississippi State is No. 29 in the RPI Rankings, posting three victories over RPI Top-100 foes. The Bulldogs have wins over Dayton (61-59), Stephen F. Austin (80-75) and North Dakota State (83-59).
-- Cincinnati is undefeated in four home games with a 1-1 spread record. The Bearcats won their first seven games before dropping back-to-back contests. They’ll be looking to avoid a three-game slide tonight after Saturday’s 66-60 loss to Florida at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The 126 combined points easily stayed ‘under’ the 147-point tally. Cane Broome scored a team-best 15 points in the losing effort. Jacob Evans finished with 13 points, six rebounds and two seals, but he committed five turnovers, made only 4-of-13 shots from the field and didn’t have any assists. Gary Clark contributed nine points and 13 boards.
-- Cincinnati is ranked 25th in the Associated Press’s national rankings, but it is just No. 111 in the RPI. Mick Cronin’s squad is 1-1 against the RPI Top 50 and 2-2 versus the Top 100. The Bearcats beat Wyoming (78-53) and Buffalo (73-67) in the Cayman Islands Classic. They lost at Xavier (89-76) and vs. UF.
-- Clark is averaging team-highs in scoring (13.2 PPG) and rebounding (8.6 RPG). Evans (13.1 PPG) paces the Bearcats in assists (3.6 APG) and blocked shots (1.4 BPG). Broome (10.4 PPG) is shooting at a 40.9 percent clip from 3-point land and has a team-best 1.3 steals per game.
-- MSU sophomore guard Tyson Carter is averaging a team-best 14.0 PPG. He is shooting at a 37.5 percent clip from 3-point land, 49.4 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line. Quinndary Weatherspoon (13.2 PPG) is averaging team-highs in steals (1.4 SPG) and assists (3.6 APG). Nick Weatherspoon, the true freshman who is Quinndary’s younger brother, is averaging 10.9 PPG and has a 23/10 assists-to-turnovers ratio. True freshman center Abdul Ado (7.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG) has a team-high 17 rejections.
-- UC owns a 3-2 spread record in five games as a double-digit favorite.
-- UC is ranked 20th in the nation in scoring defense (61.8 PPG) and 11th in FG percentage ‘D’ (36.8%).
-- The ‘under’ is 5-2 overall for the Bearcats, 1-1 in their home outings.
-- The ‘under’ is 3-1 overall for the Bulldogs.
-- These schools haven’t met since MSU visited U.S. Bank Arena in 2008 when the Bearcats captured a 75-63 win as five-point home ‘chalk.’ Bets on the total (138) resulted in a push.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**Michigan at Texas**
-- As of early this morning, most spots had Texas listed as a six-point home favorite. One offshore shop had the total at 128 points.
-- Michigan (8-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) is winless both SU and ATS in a pair of road assignments. John Beilein’s team lost 86-71 at North Carolina as a nine-point underdog on Nov. 29, in addition to dropping a 71-62 decision at Ohio State last Tuesday.
-- Michigan bounced back from the loss at Ohio State to capture a 78-69 overtime win Saturday over UCLA. The Wolverines took the cash as seven-point home favorites, hooking up their backers with a super-fortunate spread cover. Charles Matthews, a transfer from Kentucky who sat out last season, scored 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Moritz Wagner dropped 23 points on the Bruins thanks to 10-of-16 shooting from the field. The junior forward knocked down 3-of-5 launches from long distance. Zavier Simpson added 15 points and four steals, hitting 6-of-9 attempts from the field in 24 minutes of playing time from off the bench.
-- Wagner is averaging team-highs in scoring (16.1 PPG), rebounding (8.0 RPG) and field-goal percentage (56.0%). Matthews (14.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG) has made 55.2 percent of his shots from the field, while senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahim (9.6 PPG) has a stellar 39/6 assists-to-turnover ratio.
-- Michigan is No. 70 in the RPI, but it has lost both games it’s played against Top-100 competition. The Wolverines’ best wins have come over Central Michigan (72-65) and UCLA at home, in addition to their 68-60 triumph over VCU at the Maui Classic. Beilein’s bunch took another loss in Maui when it went down against LSU (77-75).
-- Texas (6-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) is unbeaten in four non-lined home games to date. The Longhorns are 55th in the RPI, going 2-1 versus the Top 50 and 2-2 against the Top 100. They have taken their two defeats vs Duke (85-78) and Gonzaga (76-71) at the PK80 Classic in Portland over the Thanksgiving holidays.
-- Texas beat Butler 61-48 in Portland and has also defeated Lipscomb (#42 RPT) in Austin by an 80-57 count. The Longhorns are off this past Tuesday’s 71-67 win at VCU as 6.5-point road favorites. Andrew Jones led the winners with 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting from downtown. Dylan Osetkowski finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Mohamed Bamba finished with 13 points, 13 boards and four blocked shots. Eric Davis Jr. was also in double figures with 11 points.
-- Jones paces Texas in scoring (15.2 PPG) and is shooting at a 44.4 percent clip from 3-point land. He also averages 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. However, he sustained a wrist fracture in the win at VCU and is out indefinitely. Head coach Shaka Smart put a positive spin on the injury, though. Smart told the media late Monday, “He’s going to miss at least the next few games coming up before Christmas, but he shouldn’t be out for an extended period of time. It’s a tough injury for us, because he’s our leading scorer and has done a phenomenal job for us this year. We’re really hopeful and excited to get him back as soon as we can.”
-- Osetkowski (14.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG) is a transfer from Tulane who sat out last season. He and Bamba are forces in the paint. Bamba, a true freshman who was ranked by many publications as the No. 2 player in the nation coming out of high school, has not disappointed. He is averaging 10.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots per game. Bamba is ranked third in the nation in rejections. Kerwin Roach (11.1) is also scoring in double figures.
-- Shaka Smart’s squad is 35th in the country in scoring defense (63.8 PPG), 22nd in FG percentage ‘D’ (37.8%) and 18th at defending the 3-point line (28.2%).
-- The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for the Wolverines, 1-1 in their road contests.
-- Totals have been an overall wash (2-2) for UT.
-- ESPN2 will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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