January 19, 2016 (1:12 PM ET)
There are two college picks tonight.
1) Take St Bonaventure at +2 spread against Dayton for 3% of the bankroll.
This is an important matchup between two teams who are currently tied for second place in the A-10 standings. Both Dayton and St Bonaventure are tied for second place along with the St Joseph Redhawks and the winner of this contest will clear up some of the congestion in the standings and have a great shot at getting a potential at-large bid come tournament time.
This is one of those classic offense vs defense matchups as Dayton comes into this contest ranked 60th in the nation, allowing just 66.1 points per game. Meanwhile the Bonnies are above average offensively as they are tied for 93rd in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 77.4 points per contest this season. They have been extremely proficient form the floor, averaging 44.5 percent shooting from the field and 36.1% from beyond the arc. The old sports adage states that "defense wins championships" however with St Bonnie being at home, we believe that will give them a decisive advantage in this contest and it will be offense that prevails in this contest.
St. Bonaventure has been impressive recently, coming away with wins in 9 of their last 11 contests. They are coming off a loss to the Duquesne Dukes in their last contest and will no doubt be motivated for this contest against a quality team like Dayton. Meanwhile, the Flyers have rattled off two straight wins after their somewhat surprising upset to the La Salle Explores on the road. Dayton is perceived to be a quality team and for the most part they are, however, they have only competed in 3 true road games this season and have shown some struggles in each. The Bonnies are an impressive 8-1 on the home court this season and have already notched wins over quality teams like George Mason, Rhode Island and Davidson on their home court.
This is also somewhat of a revenge game for the Bonnies as this has been a completely lopsided series in recent meetings. The Flyers have managed to win 9 of the last 10 meetings in this series. Despite such a lopsided result, we find it interesting that the oddsmakers had only listed the Flyers as slight favorites in this contest and we believe that speaks volumes as to how they believe this game will play out. St Bonaventure is not a team that should be overlooked in the conference and matches up extremely well with the Flyers this season. Dayton has shown some struggles away from home this season and we believe the Bonnies will take advantage of that in this contest and come away with the outright victory. We expect this to be a back and forth and closely contested game. Even if St Bonaventure falls short of the outright victory, the points could prove to be valuable in this one.
Other notable facts to consider:
- St. Bonaventure has covered its last 4 home games!
- Dayton is 1-5 ATS in their last six after covering the spread.
- St. Bonaventure is 3-0-1 ATS following their last 4 losses.
- St. Bonaventure is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. Atlantic 10.
2) Take Mississippi at +1 spread against South Carolina for 3% of the bankroll.
This is an interesting SEC matchup that pits the 16-1 South Carolina Gamecocks team against the 12-5 Ole Miss Rebels. Looking at their overall records, one could possibly think that the Gamecocks are the better team in this contest, however we don't believe that is the case. South Carolina has not had the toughest road to get to their 16-1 record and now that the competition has risen, the Gamecocks are finding life much more difficult in conference play as they have put up some underwhelming performances lately. In their most recent road game, the Gamecocks were completely dominated by the Alabama Crimson Tide, 73-50. That was arguably South Carolina’s worst performance of the season, but with conference play getting into the heart of the order, one has to wonder if the step up in competition is starting to catchup up with the Gamecocks. While they did bounce back and pick up an 81-72 win over the lowly Missouri Tigers, that victory and performance in itself was quite underwhelming given how Missouri has performed this season. If the Gamecocks struggle in this contest as they did against Alabama, the Rebels will undoubtedly hand them their second loss on the season.
At just 12-5 on the season and just 2-3 in conference play, the Rebels will need to start picking up wins if they want to be in contention for the NCAA tournament this season. While they have struggled somewhat on the road this season, the Rebels have shown that they are a much different team at home as they own a near perfect 7-1 record on their home court this season. Interestingly enough, they are coming off what was a somewhat surprising loss the Florida Gators at home in their last contest. They fell behind on the scoreboard early in that contest and were never fully able to recover as they went on to lose 80-71. Being handed their first home loss on the season likely has not sat well with the Rebel players and we expect them to be extremely motivated in this contest not only to atone for that loss, but we don't believe they will allow themselves to drop two straight on their home court.
While the Rebels rank right in the middle of the pack in terms of overall offense and defense, they do have a player of the year contender in Stefan Moody who has seemingly been a one man show this season. Moody leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in scoring at 24.3 points per game this season. He is currently on a streak of 12 straight games with at least 20 points, good for the longest streak at Ole Miss since 1989. He has broken the 30-point mark three times and has made a three-pointer in 31 consecutive contests. He is also No. 5 in conference history in free-throw percentage at 87.7 percent. The Gamecocks have not seen a player like Moody this season and we believe he will give them a lot of trouble in this contest.
South Carolina has cooled off a bit after their (somewhat) impressive 15-0 start. A big reason for their early season success can be attributed to their work on the glass. They are a strong rebounding team, but they may not have the advantage against an Ole Miss program that currently ranks fifth in the SEC with a +2.9 rebounding margin. The Rebels have been out-rebounded by their opponents just five times this season and they are 10-1 when enjoying the rebounding edge. Ole Miss has played a very challenging schedule this season, much more so than their opponents which will make them the more battle tested team heading into this contest. They also hold a home win over the Kentucky Wildcats this season, which shows just how good a team they can be on their home court. We expect the Rebels to bounce back in this contest and win this game outright. The extra point is simply a bonus.
Other notable facts to consider:
- South Carolina is 8-18 ATS in their last 26 games against SEC teams!
- Mississippi is 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a loss!
- South Carolina is 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS loss!
- Mississippi is 5-1 ATS in their last six home games against teams with road winning percentages over .600!
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