Lafayette Enjoys Rebounding Advantage Over Little Rock

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns player

Monday, January 2, 2017 2:50 PM GMT

A quality week of college basketball picks are in the books, and our expert handicapper is ready to start the new year right by picking up some value in lesser-known Sun Belt action.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns vs Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans

In a conference matchup in the Sun Belt, two 10-4 teams meet as LA-Lafayette travels to Arkansas-Little Rock. Opening NCAAB odds have the Ragin' Cajuns as slight 1.5-point favorites across the board. An initial Over/Under line has been set at 146 over at BookMaker, famous for having the earliest lines on the board.

Little Rock has been very good at home this year, compiling a 6-1 SU record. However, only three of those games have had lines offered where they went 1-2 ATS. They come into this game with Lafayette on a 4 game ATS losing streak.

Little Rock has a balanced offensive attack with 5 players averaging double-digits in scoring on the year. They are a little undersized in the backcourt, but that is more than made up with 6' 11” Serbian center, Lis Shoshi, who averages 10.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Their starting five sees the floor most of the time and are the only players on the team averaging more than 16 minutes of play per game. Needless to say, foul trouble for any of the five starters would be troublesome for Little Rock.

Lafayette comes into this game ranked 25th in scoring in the country and averages 85.6 points per game. They shoot a hot 47.6% from the floor but also give up a 48.4% field goal average on the road. The Ragin' Cajuns are led by Brigham Young transfer and 6' 3” senior guard, Frank Bartley, who is averaging 16.1 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field. Not too far behind Bartley is 6' 6” forward, Bryce Washington, who is averaging 14.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game – a double-double. Washington has some size to him and is listed at 248 pounds, and has more than 10 rebounds in all games this year except for one.

This head-to-head Sun Belt matchup has some strong trends going for it. First of all, the Under is a perfect 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams. Second, Lafayette has not performed well against Little Rock in the last few years, going 0-4 ATS in those games. Their last game was in the Sun Belt conference tournament and Little Rock won 72-65, covering the spread as a 3-point favorite.

In that last game, though, Lafayette turned the ball over 18 times against just 9 for Little Rock, and Bryce Washington showed he was dominant on the boards even though he is giving up some inches to the Serbian, Lis Shoshi. I like this spot for Washington to shine again and for Lafayette to get a bit of payback. I'm with the books in thinking that Lafayette has the advantage, and will be laying the 1.5 points as one of my Monday college basketball picks.

Free NCAAB Picks - Louisiana-Lafayette -1.5

Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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