College Basketball Picks - Niagara Purple Eagles vs Iona Gaels

Joe Catalano

Sunday, December 4, 2016 6:28 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 6:28 PM UTC

You don't get many lopsided matchups in the MAAC Conference as any team can beat their respective opponent at any time, but the Iona Gaels and Sam Cassell Jr. are off to a fast start this season. Can the Gaels seal the deal with a blowout and put the "icing" on this cupcake?

   Niagara Purple Eagles vs Iona Gaels


Going In Opposite Directions

While the Purple Eagles can't seem to buy a victory, the Gaels are on a 4 game winning streak. All 4 of Iona's wins have one thing in common and that is that Iona played exceptionally well on the defensive end. Aside from playing an efficient offensive game, the Gaels must focus on Niagara's two leading scorers, Matt Scott and Kahlil Dukes. Together, they've produced a combined 35.3 points out of Niagara's 74 points per game. This is almost half of the team's offense and if Iona finds it difficult to convert on their shots, this game can be more competitive than people think.

 A Work In Progress

Although the Gaels have been finding success this season, they're never going to be in the class of an AP Top 25 team. Leading scorer, Sam Cassell Jr. is a multi-faceted player that can do so many things, but his lack of efficiency from the field on the offensive end could hurt the Gaels against some of the stronger teams that they face.

Cassell Jr. is averaging 16 points per game but is shooting a mere 36.8% from the field. That simply won't cut it. Another issue with Iona is their team depth. Six players score 8.2 points or more, but after that, not one player averages over 2 points per game. Point being is that while this is a good team, they are far from great and even though Niagara seems like a "trainwreck", they possess key players that can put the ball in the ocean. 17 points is a lot here, take that into account for your NCAA basketball picks.


Free NCAAB Pick: Niagara Purple Eagles +17 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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