Basketball Plays of the Day for December 9: Free NCAA Basketball Picks

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Trey McGowens #2 of the Pittsburgh Panthers dunks the ball. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

Pittsburgh has lost two straight games by one point against high-major opponents. Now they’ll get a home game against a mid-major opponent, getting three points in the game. Can Pittsburgh put a complete game together? Let’s dive into the college basketball odds and decide which way to lean at top betting sites.

Colgate Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Thursday, December 09, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Petersen Events Center

The Pittsburgh Panthers are just 2-6 to start the season. The Panthers have been sticking around against top-tier opponents but haven’t been able to finish the job. The Panthers lost to Virginia, on the road, 57-56, and lost to Minnesota, at home, 54-53. If those two games were won, Pittsburgh would be 4-4 on the year and we’d be talking about how they’ve improved since the start of the season.

On the other hand, Colgate was incredible last season in the Patriot League and was ultimately hard to beat. But despite defeating Columbia, at home 89-61 last time out, Colgate is 4-5 on the year with losses to four 150 or worse teams in college basketball. This isn’t the Colgate team we witnessed last season. Sure, the Raiders are capable of beating any team, but that style of play could also go against them. Colgate loves to shoot the long ball.

This season, 45.4 percent of points are coming from long range. Currently, the Raiders are shooting 39.3 percent from deep but struggle to dominate the offensive glass. On bad shooting nights, it’s hard to escape a loss. Colgate will have success shooting, as Pittsburgh has allowed teams to shoot 34.3 percent on the season.

However, the Panthers have also prevented offensive rebounds to 25.2 percent this season, which is an above-average number for the Pittsburgh defense. Pittsburgh limits foul and gets to the line at a very high rate. That could win them this game. The ratio between getting to the line and now allowing the other team to the line is very high. The Panthers won’t earn many turnovers and will turn the ball over plenty on the other end, but at the end of the day, Pittsburgh should be able to win the glass and earn second chances on the offensive end.

Forward John Hugley is 120th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and also ranks in the top 500 when it comes to defensive rebounding percentage. The team also has Mo Gueye who has dominated the offensive glass this season.


Pittsburgh, at home, as an ACC team going up against Colgate, a Patriot League team, needs this win. After two straight losses by one point, the Panthers are right there against high-quality teams. Colgate is a high-quality mid-major team and they’re extremely talented, especially shooting the long ball.

But Pittsburgh can limit second chances off misses and play to the crowd’s energy in this game. The place won’t be packed. Pittsburgh hasn’t earned that yet this season. But a home game should help Pittsburgh get back on track against a mid-major opponent. And Pittsburgh, an ACC team, is getting 3 points in this game.

For my NCAAB pick, I’ll gladly take those points with the ACC team, at home, even if Pittsburgh is the worst ACC team in the conference.

***This is not an official play as stated in NCAAB Basketball with Jason Radowitz.

NCAAB Pick: Pittsburgh +3 (-115) via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Pittsburgh +3 (-115)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.