Friday night in college hoops offers up an interesting Atlantic Sun Conference inter-city battle as the Dolphins of Jacksonville University and the Ospreys of the University of North Florida clash at UNF Arena.
Betting: Atlantic Sun Action in Jacksonville
Both teams started slowly this season, but have been getting
better results as of late. Which team will continue that recent trending Friday
night? And might there be some money to be made betting on this game?
As of early Friday morning betting odds had not yet been lined out. When and
if a spread does come out we would expect North Florida to be favored by
somewhere around seven or eight points.
Here's how we break down this game.
Jacksonville returned three starters from a team that went
8-22 last year, and was expected by those supposedly “in the know” to finish
somewhere in the bottom third of the ASC this season. However, the Dolphins
have already topped last year's win total, with their 9-10 start.
Jacksonville started 5-8 this season, which included losses
to Georgia, Miami, South Carolina and Indiana, as leading scorer Keith
McDougald missed three games because of a shoulder injury. But the 'Fins have
actually won four of their last six games, including two in a row. Last
Thursday Jacksonville out-lasted Kennesaw State in triple-overtime 99-92, and
last Saturday the Dolphins won an ugly 49-47 affair over the favorite to win
the ASC this season, Mercer.
North Florida, meanwhile, returned four senior starters from
a team that went 16-16 last year, and is expected to finish in the upper
division in the ACS this season, maybe even make a run at the conference title.
However, the Ospreys are off to an 8-11 start, which must be considered
UNF started 3-8 playing a decent schedule, with losses to
Memphis, Kansas State, Florida State, Minnesota and Pitt. The Ospreys also took
a hit personnel-wise when senior G Jerron Granberry left the team in
mid-December to deal with a family situation, and hasn't returned.
But with the schedule getting a little easier recently, the
Ospreys have won five of their last eight games, a solid money-line NCAA basketball pick.
North Florida dropped a couple of games, to Florida Gulf Coast and Mercer, a
couple weeks ago, but last time out, last Saturday, defeated Kennesaw State
So, Jacksonville is 4-2 and tied for second place in the
ASC, while North Florida sits in sixth place in the conference at
So far this season Jacksonville is shooting just 40 percent
from the floor, 29 percent from 3-point land and 69 percent from the FT line.
On the other end of the court the Dolphins are allowing opponents to shoot 46
percent from the field, and they're getting out-rebounded by about a board per
North Florida is shooting 44 percent from the floor this
season, 35 percent from long range and 68 percent from the line. The Ospreys
are also allowing foes to shoot 44 percent, and they're getting out-rebounded
by about five boards per game, second-worst in the conference.
Jacksonville games are averaging 139.5 total points this
North Florida games are averaging 137 points.
Our guess is the OVER/UNDER on this game will come out at
right around 138.
North Florida has beaten Jacksonville three times in a row.
Last year the Ospreys swept the two-game season series from the Dolphins by
scores of 80-58 and 70-64. So, is backing UNF the right choice my my free picks for you?
North Florida has done well in overcoming the loss of
Granberry, and seems to have Jacksonville's number. The Ospreys also shoot the
ball a little better and play a little better defense. We'll set our limit on
this point-spread at eight; less than that, we'll give the points with UNF. Anything
more than that and we'll take the points with Jacksonville.
Free NCAAB Pick: Jacksonville
if +8.5 or more – UNF if -8 or less