Iona is on a roll right now having won 11 of its last 12 games, and although East Tennessee State is 13-1 at home, the loss came to just about the only quality opponent they hosted in Belmont.
There is no need to wait for the Elite Eight contests in the NCAA Tournament tonight, as you can build you bankroll for the big games with this NCAA Basketball matchup in the College Insider Tournament when the Iona Gaels (24-11) pay a visit to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (24-11) at the Memorial Center, Johnson City, TN at 2:00 ET.
Yes, these teams have identical records and East Tennessee State is 13-1 straight up at home with the only loss coming vs. a Belmont team that was easily the class of the Atlantic Sun Conference, but Iona grades out much more favorably on the Pomeroy Ratings and we are looking for the Gaels to post a big road win here.
The NCAA Basketball latest line from Pinnacle Sports for this contest is Iona -2½ on the road, with the betting odds set at -104.
Believe it or not, Iona ranks 23rd in the country in offensive efficiency at 1.14 points per possession and an incredible ninth in effective field goal percentage at a whopping 54.5 percent. More importantly, the Gaels were able to bring that game on the road with them, as they went 10-6 in true road games while winning by a nice average of +7.8 points per road game.
Iona is also in raging current form, having won 11 of their last 12 games, with the only loss unfortunately coming to St. Peter’s in the MAAC Tournament, which cost the Gaels a chance to go to the Big Dance. Still, that does not seem to have fazed them, as they have won their two CIT games vs. Valparaiso on the road by eight points and vs. Buffalo at home by 15 points, covering the NCAA Basketball odds on both occasions.
The Gaels rank eighth in the country in two-point offense at a fat 53.5 percent and they rank 45th in three point offense at 37.5 percent, and that fine perimeter shooting could very well turn out to be the difference in this contest. That is because East Tennessee State ranks just 141st in the land in three point defense.
As for the Buccaneers, most of their success has come in non-lined games, as they are only 6-7 in NCAA Basketball betting overall when they have faced the better lined teams, and they even went 0-2 against the spread during the Atlantic Sun Tournament with a chance to advance to the NCAA Tournament, just barely nipping Campbell by one point as nine-point favorites and then getting eliminated in an upset loss to North Florida as 8½-point favorites.
Now the Bucs deserve credit for beating the teams that they are supposed to at home, but Iona is one of the two best teams they have faced in Johnson City all year, and they lost to Belmont by 10 points on the other occasion.
We as looking for the Gaels to prevail safely on the NCAA Basketball betting odds here to advance to the CIT Championship.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Iona -2½ (-104)