Contributed by Doc’s Sports Service
Conference play is underway in college basketball in the Big East, and an early showdown on the schedule pits the Pittsburgh Panthers against the Georgetown Hoyas this Tuesday night at the Verizon Center. The game is set to tip off at 9 p.m. and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Pittsburgh comes into this matchup searching for its first conference victory of the season after back-to-back losses to No.21 Cincinnati and Rutgers. The Panthers are now 12-3 straight up on the season and 3-5 against the spread after failing to cover in both of those games as a favorite. The total went ‘over’ in both losses as well.
The Hoyas lost their Big East opener with a 49-48 setback to Marquette as 3-point road underdogs this past Saturday. The loss dropped them to 10-2 SU and 3-5 ATS with the total staying ‘under’ the 127.5-point line. The total has now stayed under in their last three games with a posted line.
The Panthers may have shown their true colors in their last two games with a combined total of 123 points after averaging 74.5 points a game in the nonconference portion of their schedule. If they are going to have any shot at getting back on track with a win in this contest, then they will need a much better effort from Talib Zanna and Tray Woodall, who have been the team’s leading scorers so far. Zanna is averaging 13.1 points and 5.9 rebounds a game, while Woodall is scoring 11.5 points and averaging a team-high 5.8 assists.
Overall, the team remains near the top of the rankings shooting the ball with a field goal percentage of 50.4, but it shot just 44.2 percent in the loss to the Bearcats and a dismal 37.5 percent against the Scarlet Knights. The Panthers have also struggled under the boards all season long with an average of 34.9 rebounds a game.
Georgetown had its share of problems against the Golden Eagles the other day; most notably it’s shooting from three-point range. This has been a problem all season long with a 33.2 percent conversion rate from beyond the arc. They are hitting a respectable 45.8 percent from the field but have also had trouble from the foul line at 64.8 percent.
The big man so far for Georgetown this year has been Otto Porter Jr. He leads the team with 13.2 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 49.6 percent from the floor. Greg Whittington and Markel Starks are also scoring in double figures and averaging better than 46 percent shooting from the field. Overall, the Hoyas are scoring 65.1 points and pulling down 33.2 rebounds a game.
Odds and Trends by BetOnline
BetOnline has established Georgetown as a two-point home favorite with the “over/under” line at 115.
The Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss but just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The total has gone over in their last four games on the road.
The Hoyas are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games but 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss. The total has stayed under in eight of their last 10 home games.
Head-to-head, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has stayed under in six of the last eight games played at Georgetown. Pittsburgh is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings overall.
Both teams find themselves in need of a quality win in the conference after a couple of bad losses. Pitt also has the past trends in this series on its side, especially with a 7-3 ATS record in its last 10 road games against Georgetown. This game should remain tight until the end, but stick with the Panthers to bounce back with a much better performance on Tuesday night.
Take # 525 Pittsburgh (+2) over Georgetown (Tuesday, Jan.8, 9 p.m.)
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