College Basketball Betting Preview: Fordham vs. Ole Miss
Last week's hoops picks record: 3-2
Can Fordham pull an upset far from home? Or will the Rebs send the Rams back to the Bronx with a loss? And which way might this game fall along the pointspread?
Rams-Rebs Betting Lines
Most online sportsbooks we sampled Friday morning opened Ole Miss as a 20-point favorite for this game, then dropped the Rebs to -19.
Also, BetOnline was listing the total on this game at 146.
Rams-Rebs Game Preview
Fordham has four starters back from a team that went 10-19 last year, so improvement is expected. And while the Rams struggled to begin this season, they've looked a little better as of late.
Fordham started 1-8 this season, losing to, among others, Pitt, Penn, Harvard and St. John's, while playing eight of its first nine games away from home. The Rams also played six early games without their leading returning scorer and rebounder, F Chris Gaston, who hurt his knee and had to have arthroscopic surgery.
But with Gaston back in action the Rams have actually won three of their last five games. They knocked off Princeton, lost at Connecticut, beat Siena, then lost at Georgia Tech 73-48. And while the final score against the Yellow Jackets might indicate a blow-out, Fordham only trailed by six points early in the second half.
Last time out Fordham overcame a five-point halftime deficit to beat Monmouth 82-71 Monday night.
On the chalked side of this match-up Ole Miss has three senior starters back from a team that went 20-14 last year, and the Rebs are off to a pretty good start to this season, as they try to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade. However, Mississippi hasn't exactly been playing much of a schedule.
Ole Miss started 6-0 this year, beating the likes of Mississippi Valley State, Coastal Carolina, McNeese State and Lipscomb. The Rebs then lost a game to Middle Tennessee. A couple more wins over similar competition were followed by an overtime loss to Indiana State. Ole Miss since has beaten San Francisco and, last time out, Christmas day out in Honolulu, Hawaii by a score of 81-66.
But that win over the Warriors was nowhere as easy as the final score might indicate; that game was tied at 63 with under four minutes to go.
The Sagarin ratings at USATodaySports ranks the Rebels' schedule as the 308th-toughest in CBB so far this year.
Fordham's schedule, meanwhile, ranks as 67th-toughest by Sagarin.
Rams-Rebs, Statistically Speaking
On the season Fordham is shooting just 41 percent from the floor, and allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent.
Ole Miss, meanwhile, is shooting 45 percent from the field, and holding foes to 38 percent shooting.
Also, the Rams are out-rebounding opponents by about three boards per game, while the Rebs are winning their battles on the boards by about five per game.
Rams-Rebs Betting Trends
Fordham is actually a moneymaker so far this season, going 8-3 ATS. The Rams have covered the spread as 10-point dogs against Fairfield, seven-point dogs against Manhattan, 14-point dogs against Harvard, 13-point dogs vs. St. John's, nine-point dogs vs. Princeton and 16-point dogs against UConn.
In an example of how weak Mississippi's schedule has been so far this season, the Rebs have only played seven lined games, going 4-3 vs. the numbers. Also, Ole Miss couldn't cover as 10-point favorites vs. Loyola-Marymount, nine-point favorites vs. Indiana State or as eight-point chalk vs. San Francisco.
Rams-Rebs Free Pick
According to Sagarin's PREDICTOR ratings Mississippi should be favored by 24 points for this game, but that figure seems a bit much. Fordham has actually played a decent schedule, while the Rebs have been beating up on -for the most part- a fairly weak slate of opponents. Ole Miss should still win this game, but I'm putting the Rams, with Gaston back as a pick on my college basketbakk ticket to keep things interesting.