Back the Road Dog in Tonight's Sun Belt Clash for Your NCAA Basketball Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, February 5, 2015 8:14 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 8:14 PM GMT

At 8:30 ET tonight, LA Monroe visits Arkansas Little Rock in a Sun Belt clash between teams at the opposite end of the conference standings. Arkansas LR is 3-8 SU for the season in league play, good for 11th and last place.  LA Monroe stands at 8-3 SU with the 8 victories tying for the best in the league.

LA Monroe vs. Arkansas-LR (-2) 8:30 ET
At 8:30 ET tonight, LA Monroe visits Arkansas Little Rock in a Sun Belt clash between teams at the opposite end of the conference standings. Arkansas LR is 3-8 SU for the season in league play, good for 11th and last place. LA Monroe stands at 8-3 SU with the 8 victories tying for the best in the league.  When these teams met on January 17th, LA Monroe prevailed (64-52). In that game, the Trojans shot just 29% from the field.  It was the 3rd consecutive time in the last 2 years that LA Monroe won this matchup. Last year, the Warhawks prevailed (66-65 and 65-49). The numbers below will reflect why they again will prevail in this matchup.

Arkansas LR is led by 12th year mentor Steve Shields. In the last 5 years, Shields’ teams have averaged just 15 wins per season. They will be fortunate to reach that mark this year. The Trojans have never had much success on their home court in this role, as under Shields, they are just 38-53 ATS as home chalk. This year, their problems are on the offensive end, where they shoot just 41% from the field and 33% from the arc and dish out only 12.3 assists. With a negative rebound margin and a defense that allows 71 PPG, the prognosis is not great for them to evacuate the basement.

Check Out These Total Picks for Tonight's Games to Increase Your Profit

But, the real story here is LA Monroe under 5th year HC Richards. Richards returned to his alma mater 5 years ago, with the Warhawks’ program in total disarray. The team was on academic probation, there was poor attitude, bad chemistry and virtually no quality players. As a result, Richards has rebuilt this program from the bottom, up, which is another reason to back them up with your NCAA basketball picks.  In the last 3 seasons, his Warhawks went from 3 to 4 to 10 wins.  This year, they are 14-8 SU with an 8-3 SU record in Sun Belt play. Credit their mark as Defensive Dandy for their success. LA Monroe allows just 60 PPG, 38% from the field, 29% from the arc. They also feature a +2.4 rebound margin, a positive A/TO ratio and a positive TO margin. As we know from our research on Defensive Dandies, these are all characteristics of a winning team. Richards’ coaching personality profile has been clear through the years.  His teams are 86-53 ATS as road dog, including 6-1 ATS in that role this season. 

Wrong team favored on the NCAA basketball odds in a game where the visitor holds all the fundamental and technical advantages!

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take LA Monroe +3.5 at 5Dimes

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