Top College Basketball Picks for Friday, December 18th, 2020

Top College Basketball Picks for Friday, December 18th, 2020
Thu 17th December 2020

San Diego State vs BYU 

The BYU Cougars are heading to San Diego this Friday to take on the No 18. San Diego State Aztecs. 

The Cougars have been one of the most active teams this college basketball season having already played eight games and boasting a 6-2 record to start the year.  

Given their 5-2 record at home this season, BYU’s one win on the road came last Saturday when they defeated Utah State 67-64 in Utah.  

Yet to play a ranked opponent in 2020, this Friday’s matchup will be the biggest test that the Cougars have faced this season, as they look to become the first first team to conquer the undefeated Aztecs.  

San Diego State have a 5-0 record to start the college basketball season having defeated UCLA, UC Irvine, St Katherine’s, Pepperdine and most recently the then ranked Arizona State.  

Senior guard Jordan Schakel has been the Aztecs best scorer this season, averaging a team high 15.2 points per game. Schakel also scored a game high 25 points in San Diego’s recent upset win over Arizona State. 

Fresh off defeating an AP top 25 ranked opponent, the Aztecs should carry their good form into Friday’s home matchup against the Cougars maintaining their undefeated record for the 2020 season. 

College basketball pick – San Diego State by 11. 

Tennessee vs Tennessee Tech 

The No. 10 ranked Tennessee Volunteers will host the in-state rival Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles this Friday, in what will likely be the most lopsided result of Friday’s college basketball fixture.  

Following their 0-6 start to the season, it’s tough to mount any case for the Golden Eagles to succeed regardless of their opposition. Now, coming up against the 2-0, No. 10 ranked Tennessee Volunteers, it gets even tougher.  

Despite their winless record, Tennessee Tech have been competitive in some games this season. With single digit losses against Chattanooga (62-54), Northern Kentucky (74-65), WCU (76-75 in Overtime) and Jacksonville State (73-67).  

However, the Golden Eagles have also suffered multiple 30+ point deficits in their games against Indiana (89-59) and Xavier (76-48). Both of which are unranked teams.  

Contrastingly, the Volunteers have had a clinical start to their 2020 campaign, recording wins against Colorado (56-47), Cincinnati (65-56) and most recently defeating Appalachian State (79-38) to start the season 3-0. 

The 41-point victory over Appalachian State showed just how ferocious Tennessee’s defense can be. The Volunteers held the Mountaineers to 38 points on just 27.9% field goal shooting, while also forcing 18 turnovers.  

Tennessee will have no trouble picking apart the winless Tennessee Tech on Friday and will likely hand the Golden Eagles their third big loss for the season. 

College basketball pick – Tennessee by 26. 

Missouri vs Prairie View 

UPDATE: This game has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. 

The Prairie View A&M Panthers will head to Missouri this Friday to take on the No. 16 ranked Missouri Tigers.  

The Panthers are currently 1-2 to start the season, having defeated Evansville while suffering losses to Little Rock and most recently Louisville.  

Friday’s game against the Tigers will be Prairie View’s second consecutive game against a ranked opponent, with the Panther looking to bounce back from their 22 point loss to No. 23 ranked Louisville.  

Like Prairie View, Missouri will also enter Friday’s matchup fresh off a game against a ranked opponent. However in the Tiger’s case they will be coming off a win.  

Missouri upset the Illinois Fighting Illini in an 81-78 thriller on Saturday, led by Kobe Brown (12 points, 8 rebounds), Dru Smith (18 points), Xavier Pinson (17 points) and Javon Pickett (14 points off the bench). 

In what was their best team performance of the year to date, Missouri’s leading scorer Mark Smith (15 points per game) was kept to just five points against Illinois, proving how well balanced the Tigers are. 

There is no doubt that Missouri are the better team in this matchup and given that the Tigers are at home and coming off their best win of the season, they will comfortably knock off the Panthers on Friday, to remain undefeated in season 2020. 

College basketball pick – Missouri by 16. 

West Virginia vs Iowa State

The No. 8 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers will host the Iowa State Cyclones in both teams’ Big 12 conference opener. 

After recording defeating AR-Pine in their opening game of the 2020 college basketball season, the Cyclones have since lost to SD State, Iowa and Kansas State, falling to a 1-3 record.

After being on the wrong side of a 40-26 opening half against Kansas State on Tuesday, the Cyclones pegged the lead back in the second half, before ultimately being defeated 74-65. 

Rasir Bolton inspired Iowa State’s comeback with 19 points and seven assists, while Xavier Foster and Tyler Harris both chipped in with 10 points each off the bench. 

West Virginia entered the top 10 of the AP rankings this week, improving from No. 11 to No. 8. 

In their most recent matchup, West Virginia ’s offense was clicking in their 87-71 victory against the then No. 21 Richmond Spiders on Sunday. The Mountaineers shot at 58.3% from inside the three point line and 57.1% from behind the arc in the teams 16 point win over the Spiders. 

Miles McBride was the star of their win against Richmond, scoring 20 points and shooting 100% from three while also adding five assists and three steals. McBride leads the Mountaineers in points per game with 14.6 and assists per game with 4.6.  

The Cyclones have already suffered a 28 point loss against a top 10 ranked opponent this season (losing to Iowa 105-77) and they may be in for another this Friday coming up against an in form Mountaineers team, fresh off their best win of the season. 

College basketball pick – West Virginia by 22.

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Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.