No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers at No. 8 Georgetown Hoyas
Pittsburgh Panthers (13-0) +2.5 at Georgetown Hoyas (10-1) -2.5
McDonough Arena, Washington, D.C., 12:00PM Eastern, Saturday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Conference play is beginning to take over the college basketball season and that means big match-ups in the Big East. The Big East is very possibly the best top to bottom conference in college hoops with 8 teams ranked in the top 25 in the ESPN/USA Today polls. The beginning of Big East play stages two huge names in the national spotlight when the No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers travel to battle the No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas. The game presents two top ten teams battling for early season rights to be among the best in the new powerhouse conference in college basketball.
Georgetown is fresh off their biggest win of the season when they man-handled the no.2 Connecticut Huskies. The Hoyas are among the best defensive group in America . Georgetown has held opponents to a measly 56 points per game that ranks them 11th in the nation in scoring defense. Georgetown held a high scoring Connecticut team that averages over 80 points per game to a season-low 63 points and they will shut down the scoring from the Pittsburgh Panthers. Georgetown ranks 3rd in all of college basketball for field goal percentage against holding opposing offenses to an amazing 34% from the field. Georgetown will look to shut down another strong scoring team in Pittsburgh this Saturday in a huge Big East Match-up.
The Pittsburgh Panthers own the 7th best ranking in terms of field goal percentage against as well holding teams to 36% from the field. The Panthers are the only unbeaten team left in the Big East this season and will likely move up to the no. 2 ranking in the country if they can pull off the victory. Pittsburgh averages a strong 77 points per game led by the play of senior forward Sam Young. Young is averaging a stout 20 points per game this season along with 6 rebounds. Sophomore standout DeJuan Blair is averaging a double-double this season while being absolutely dominating on the boards. Blair has been responsible for 13.7 points this season and is averaging an amazing 12.1 rebounds per game. Blair ranks 5th individually in college hoops in rebounds per game and looks to give the Panthers an advantage on the boards this Saturday.
has opened the betting line with this being a tight game favoring the Hoyas by 2.5 points over the 3rd ranked Panthers. ML numbers have Georgetown listed as -140 favorites and Pittsburgh as +125 underdogs in some offshore odds. Look to catch the opening moneylines at Betus.com Saturday morning before the lines have a chance to shift before game time.
Pittsburgh could have an advantage in this game if they can control the rebound game. Georgetown has not faired well in rebounding this season averaging 31 rebounds a game while allowing 30 rebounds per game. However, Pittsburgh ranks in the top 40 in both categories averaging 38 rebounds per game while only allowing 28 rebounds. The Panthers will look to control the inside game in what could turn out to be a low-scoring affair. The Panthers bench has performed well this season averaging nearly 20 points per game and that could be another difference maker to keep in mind for this battle.
Georgetown has four players averaging right at 13 points or more for the season. Junior forward DeJuan Summers has been the most consistent this season averaging 15 points per game while shooting 54% from the floor. The Hoyas have four standouts in starters DeJuan Summers, Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Greg Monroe that are all averaging over 50% field goal percentage. The Hoyas rank 20th as a team shooting a strong 49% from the field. Every shot could be important in this clash of titans this weekend and Georgetown looks to continue their stellar shooting.
Georgetown is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games while going 3-0 ATS in their last 3 games against the books. The Hoyas have reached the under total in 4 of the previous 6 games as well. The total has gone on the over side in 6 of the last 8 games for Pittsburgh . The Panthers are also 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road. Pittsburgh has also won the last two meetings straight up against the Hoyas.
Jays Pick - Look for Pittsburgh to come out on top of a nasty dogfight of a game.
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