(Image Credit: guhoyas.com)
Penn State @ Georgetown
6:30 p.m. ET FS1
(Odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Opening Spread: Georgetown PK
Current Spread: Georgetown -2.5
Opening O/U: 149.0
Current O/U: 149.5
Projected Spread: Georgetown -4.5
Projected O/U: 147.0
Through three nights, the fifth installation of the Gavitt Games has one again provided high-quality early-season competition. While it is still only November, having these type of litmus test games early on will truly benefit each program as the season progresses.
Tonight’s tilt between Georgetown and Penn State should provide another entertaining 40 minutes of action. Both teams enter Thursday undefeated at 2-0. Penn State was able to handily defeat their first two opponents in Maryland Eastern Shore and Wagner. In doing so, the Nittany Lions outscored their opponents by an average of 32.5 ppg.
The Hoyas needed a 56 point second half outburst to put away Mount St. Mary’s in their first contest, and followed that up with another close win over Central Arkansas 89-78 last Saturday. The sophomore backcourt of James Akinjo and Mac McClung are looking to build upon successful freshman seasons in which both players averaged double figures in scoring. The addition of NC State transfer Omar Yurtseven is a much-needed boost to Patrick Ewing’s frontcourt. Yurtseven played against Penn State back in 2017 and was nothing but efficient, scoring 19 points on 6-7 shooting and adding 11 boards. Look for the Hoyas to try and get Yurtseven going early, while also trying to force Penn State big man Mike Watkins in foul trouble.
While Pat Chambers has arguably one of his best teams since coming to State College, going on the road and winning at Capital One Arena is still a tall task. While Lamar Stevens can be a mismatch for most teams, the Hoyas have the bodies to limit his offensive production. Stevens will be forced to beat the Hoyas on the perimeter. Through his first two games, Stevens is 2/7 (28%) from the three-point arc and shot 22% from deep a season ago.
My projected odds have Georgetown winning 76-71. I hit the Hoyas as soon as it opened, and although some value has been lost, I still side with the Hoyas at the current -2.5. I don’t see an edge in this total, and as a result will be passing.
Pick: Georgetown (-2.5 up to -4.5)