Elon & Weber State A Pair Of Betting Gems in Loaded Hoops Card Saturday

Jay Pryce

Saturday, January 20, 2018 4:11 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 4:11 PM UTC

Mining the more then 100 games on the college basketball oddsboard Saturday, we unearthed this pair of gems to pad your wallet. Check out our top picks and predictions for William and Mary at Elon and Portland State at Weber State here.

William and Mary at Elon (-2.5)

Elon (12-8 SU, 7-10 ATS) is 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS in its last 12 CAA games at Alumni Gym, covering a -3.4 average line by 5.3 points per game. The offense averages 80.6 points with the defense holding opponents to 40.9 percent shooting (71.8 ppg).

The Phoenix has slowed its fast-paced scheme (266 in tempo) some in coach Matt Mathney’s ninth year in charge, but the poise, communication, and craftiness are off the charts. The squad carries a ton of experience returning five starters from last season. All are upperclassmen as well. Although the team’s efficiency numbers are mediocre at best, ranking 176 in adjusted offense and 209 in defense nationally per KenPom, its discipline and smart approach proves to frustrate opponents.

Elon best represents this advance in its ability to get back on defense. The Phoenix yield just 26.5 percent of shot attempts at the rim, the 25th lowest rate in Division I hoops. With a paltry block rate of 2.6 percent per jumper, they excel at stopping transition play and hugging the rim. William and Mary (12-6 SU, 9-4 ATS) will find few easy opportunities in and around the paint.

The Tribe enter an X’s-and-O’s machine under head coach Tony Shaver. A variety of backdoor cuts, ball screens, and inside-out plays often leaves defenses spinning; the squad ranks 39th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Raining down 3-pointers is its strength, pouring in 10.9 per contest.

The home/away splits are dramatic when handicapping William and Mary. In contests hitting the college basketball odds-board, it scores 85.8 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting at Kaplan Arena, while sinking to 76.7 points on 47.8 from the floor on the road.

The 80-point threshold is vital for betting this contest. The Tribe hasn’t won a conference away game scoring fewer than this since February 2016 (Elon). The ‘under,’ in fact, is 18-2 in last two years when they put up less than this on the road against league and non-league opponents. Elon has allowed just one CAA opponent to score more than 80 points at Alumni Gym in the last calendar year. The Tribe are equipped to score in bunches, but the Phoenix do just enough on defense to see this through. Lay the 2.5 points with Elon.

Free NCAAB Pick: Elon -2
Best Lines are at Heritage (-105)

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3349785, "sportsbooksIds":[169,238,93,180,139], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]Portland State at Weber State (-2.5)

Portland State’s (13-6 SU, 12-4 ATS) modus operandi is to run opponents out of the gym. They rank as the fourth fastest team in tempo according to KenPom. This attack will not fly against Weber State (11-7 SU, 7-6 ATS). The Wildcats field nine players averaging double digits in minutes. They are deep, equipped, and ready for the race.

The Vikings average 89.9 points per game. Defense is an afterthought. The team shows weakness against opponents that shoot the ball well. In games hitting the board, it is just 1-4 SU versus those averaging better than 45.5 percent from the floor for the season, surrendering 88.2 points per game. It is 8-2 SU versus lesser, yielding just 79.5 points per tilt overall. The Wildcats average 50.6 from the floor. Here are some of that shooting prowess on display in a 80-64 win over Sacramento State last time out:

Lots of highlights from tonight's win. Wildcats back home Saturday night to host Portland State. #WeAreWeber ?? pic.twitter.com/McPyKYU0i4

— WeberStateMBB (@WeberStateMBB) January 19, 2018

Weber State is a perennial Big Sky powerhouse. In 12 years under Randy Rahe, it is 96-14 SU (87.3 percent) at home hosting conference opponents. Tipping off a 9.4 favorite on average, its winning clip is still an eye-popping 79.2 percent (42-11 SU) when going off a shorter price. Coaches picked the program to finish second in the conference behind Idaho in the preseason poll. Lay the points here for the cover.

Free NCAAB Pick: Weber State -1.5
Best Lines are at Heritage (-105)

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