(15-1, 4-7 ATS)
(12-4, 9-6 ATS)
Two of the biggest and baddest teams in the Big East are going to duke it out in our nation’s capitol on Wednesday night in what should be one of the best games on the college basketball betting slate of a crowded day of hoops, as the Pittsburgh Panthers take on the Georgetown Hoyas.
Without a doubt, this is the toughest game of the year to date for the Panthers, as they are clearly going to have the NCAA basketball betting odds stacked against them in DC in just their second legitimate road game of the season. They’ll put their 3-0 mark in the Big East on the line as well at the Verizon Center. We used to think of this U-Pitt team as one that just tries to grind it out with you on a nightly basis, but Head Coach Jamie Dixon has really unleashed the reins on this club and has it running up and down the court with its veteran leaders. The threesome of Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, and Gilbert Brown is just tremendous, and there is no reason why these guys won’t bring the Panthers a long, long way in the NCAA Tournament this year. Gibbs is shooting 45.9 percent from the outside and is leading the Panthers in scoring at 16.4 points per game, but having Wanamaker and Brown on either flank is a heck of a support system. Wanamaker is averaging 12.9 points and 5.3 helpers per night, while Brown, who started the year off slowly, is up to 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
If you’re Head Coach John Thompson III, you have to be scratching your head right now and wondering whether your team really could go on a five game losing streak in the Big East. That could be the dangers if this one is lost, as the next two are on the road. Even though games against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Seton Hall Pirates aren’t the most difficult that this conference is going to have to offer, every road game is a dangerous one in this, the best conference in America. The Hoyas have dropped four games since December 9th, and they only have four wins to show for that period of time since then as well. Austin Freeman, who is still the team’s leading scorer at 17.9 points per game, has watched his average plummet over the course of the last few weeks. He only has 14.9 points per game over his last nine, numbers which aren’t going to cut it for a team that badly needs his outside touch to complement its inside strength.
We are fully expecting the oddsmakers to punish the Hoyas in this one, and the Panthers might even be favored on the college basketball odds. If that’s the case, we just have to back the hosts. Georgetown is going to get out of this funk eventually, and there is no better time to do it than against one of the Top 10 teams in the nation.
College Basketball Free Pick: Georgetown Hoyas