CAA Serves Up Trio of Picks in College Hoops Sunday

Jay Pryce

Sunday, January 7, 2018 1:18 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 1:18 PM UTC

It’s a tricorne special on Sunday as we offer up three Colonial Athletic Conference basketball picks. Check out our betting predictions and hopefully you'll cash some tickets.

NCAAB Sunday: Charleston at Towson

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Free NCAAB Pick: Towson -2Best Line Offered: Heritage

This is easily Sunday's most intriguing small-conference matchup. Charleston (11-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) ranks No. 3 in College Insider’s Mid-Major Top 25, while Towson (11-5 SU, 6-5 ATS) sits at No. 14. This is the second meeting this season; the Tigers are looking to avenge a 73-62 loss at TD Arena on December 30. The Cougars shot a surprising 51.2 percent from the floor in the win. Towson, which ranks 93rd in adjusted defensive efficiency, has allowed just one other opponent (Oakland) to hit 48.5 percent or better all season. Charleston will fight to reach 60 points against this group in tougher environs.

What impressed most in Towson’s head-to-head defeat was the fact it hit 44.4 percent of its shots, the ninth-highest allowed to a CAA opponent for Charleston at home since defensive guru Earl Grant took over head coaching duties in 2014. The Tigers match up well in the interior, which helped them score 21 of 38 2-point attempts. Look for a stronger performance Sunday. Lay the bucket on the NCAAB odds boards with Towson. Revenge is on the menu.

Sunday NCAAB: James Madison at Northeastern

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Free NCAAB Pick: James Madison +9.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

Northeastern (9-6 SU, 5-6 ATS), winners of seven of its last nine games, is led by the stellar play of reigning CAA Player of the Week Vasa Pusica. Since November 20, the junior guard is averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 assists and 1.1 steals per 33.7 minutes a game. Pusica is picked up down low by 6-foot-10 center Anthony Green. The junior is hitting 71.2 percent of his shots, ranking fourth nationally. Overall, the offense scores 104.5 points per 100 possessions in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings (145th).

The question is, do the Huskies have enough firepower to cover a near double-digit spread (-9.5) against a conference opponent? In the last calendar year, they are averaging 68.4 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting versus CAA foes at Matthews Arena. JMU (4-12 SU, 6-8 ATS) enters with the second-worst scoring defense in this stretch, allowing 78.0 points per game. This should boost Northeastern’s final tally some, but even in four games against visitors surrendering 74 or more on the season, it only averages 72.8 per game. That’s 4.3 less than the betting market projected. The offense here is too inconsistent. Take the points with the Dukes for your NCAAB Picks.

NCAAB Sunday: William & Mary at Drexel

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Free NCAAB Pick: Drexel +1Best Line Offered: Heritage

The Drexel Dragons (7-9 SU, 5-5 ATS) burned William & Mary (10-4 SU, 8-1 ATS) in this meeting last year 79-61 as 5-point underdogs. It was Drexel’s last home matchup of the year against a high-paced offensive team with little shot-stopping abilities. The Tribe rank 41st in adjusted offensive and 318th in defensive efficiency this season, playing at the 93rd-quickest tempo. The Dragons shut down an arguably more efficient and faster Rider squad 89-77 in their only home defense of Daskalakis Athletic Center versus similar competition this season.

The difference is guarding against the 3-pointer. Drexel allows an average 35.8 percent on the season. The Dragons are not strong in many areas of the game, but these types of opponents play up to their team strengths. Pick Drexel straight up for a little extra value. Defense does just enough to win in this back-and-forth affair.

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