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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. East Carolina Pirates February 15 Betting Preview
The East Carolina Pirates will look to win consecutive games for the first time since before Christmas on Wednesday when they host the Bearcats of Cincinnati. The Pirates were able to record a home victory over Southern Methodist over the weekend and will look to avenge a near 30-point beat down from early January.
Despite both teams belonging to the American Athletic Conference, the two programs have only met a total of 21 times. Predictably, Cincinnati has been dominant in the series leading 19-2 all-time, and has won seven consecutive matchups. The last time the Pirates were able to defeat the Bearcats, they were led by now-Virginia star forward Jayden Gardner back in 2019.
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East Carolina Pirates Team Overview
The Pirates have really struggled in league play this season under first-year coach Mike Schwartz. East Carolina entered league play with a respectable 9-4 record on the season but has gone just 3-8 in league play and lost seven of their last nine games. Much of their recent struggles can be attributed to them playing without their leading scorer Javon Small over the last six contests.
In their recent victory over Southern Methodist, the Pirates received a much-needed performance from Brandon Johnson. The 6 '8 sophomores forward poured in 27 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists en route to his best stat line of the campaign. Johnson has been inconsistent on the season but has logged three double-digit scoring efforts in ECU’s last four contests, so he may be emerging as another star on this roster.
Cincinnati Bearcats Team Overview
Wes Miller’s Bearcats team is a difficult one to figure out this season. They certainly have star power in Landers Nolley and David DeJulius, who combine to score over thirty points per game.
Coach Miller’s style has always been a slow it down, grind it out, almost Virginia style, but the difference is that when you play in big-boy conferences, you also need to be very efficient with your own limited opportunities.
The Bearcats have not been overly impressive on the road this season, as they are just 3-4 against both the spread and on the scoreboard. As a road favorite, Cincinnati is just 2-3 against the spread on the season and is underperforming the number by -3.3 points per contest. Their margin of victory number in those games is just a single point.
It is difficult to trust either team in this game, to be honest. Cincinnati has the star power and the coaching, so the lean is in their direction, but 9.5 is a really big number to cover on the road when you’re not a team that puts a whole lot of points on the board. If you think that the Bearcats are going to win this game, you may want to take a hard look at the under.
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