Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Take the Points & Back Albany In AEC Rivalry Game

Mark Lathrop

Friday, January 22, 2016 4:22 PM GMT

In a matchup between the top two teams in the America East Conferency, our NCAAB handicapper spots significant value on one side. Read on as he explains his NCAAB Pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Albany +9
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

In a matchup featuring the two top teams in the America East Conference, the Stony Brook Seawolves (14-4, 5-0) host the Albany Great Danes (15-5, 4-1) on Friday night in a nationally televised game on ESPNU. Stony Brook has been on quite a roll lately and are perfect in conference, making it difficult for odds makers not to instill them as heavy favorites at home. The opening lines have the Seawolves favored by 9 points at Heritage as of Thursday afternoon. Bookmaker has the very early O/U NCAA basketball odds starting at 135 points.

Albany has been lights out at home this year, and won their 14th home game in a row at home on Monday versus Binghampton, 80-59. In that game Albany shot a blistering 58.7% from the field and five Danes players scored in double digits. Albany also out rebounded Binghampton significantly, bringing a 29-17 advantage to the stat sheet on the night. The win also brought Albany’s SU record to 8-2 in their last ten games.

The only conference loss for Albany this year was on the road at 6-11 Maine. Albany outrebounded and held the foul and free throw advantage in the game, but could not make up for allowing 56.9% from the floor.

Albany has some size on their bench with a pair of 6-10+ centers, but they rarely see the floor. Instead, the Danes are paced by a balance attack from 6-1 senior guard, Evan Singletary (12.8 ppg), 6-4 senior guard, Peter Hooley (12.5 ppg), and 6-4 senior guard, Ray Sanders (11.0 ppg). The Danes have an experienced roster this year, with 5 juniors to go along with 4 seniors, and only five under classmen on the bench.

Stony Brook is coming off of their 10th SU win in a row, a 77-43 spanking of the 6-13 Hartford Hawks. This represents the longest winning streak in that program’s history, so they are bringing a lot of momentum into this must-win matchup against Albany. The Seawolves are led by a true standout, senior forward, Jameel Warney. Warney averages a double-double, with 18.4 points per game and 10.7 rebounds. In the last two wins Stony Brook has blew teams out, giving Warney time to rest on the bench for part of the game. He should be rested and ready for a full game effort in this matchup.

Another senior, Ahmad Walker, pulled down 12 rebounds against Hartford and leads the Seawolves in assists with 4.8 per game. He is the court general of this team along with another senior guard, Carson Puriefoy.

These teams met three times last season, with Albany holding the series advantage 2-1 and more importantly knocking Stony Brook out of the AEC tournament. But looking back at the history between these two teams, one will see a lot of hard fought, close matchups. The last ten games played between Stony Brook and Albany have gone 5-5 SU. Albany does hold a 3-1 ATS advantage for games with published lines, however.

My lean in this game stems from the fact that only once in the last ten meetings has Stony Brook been able to beat Albany by more than 5 points. In fact, the only recent blowout in this series was at the hands of the Danes on the Seawolves court last January, 64-47. With the upper classmen on this roster signifying that a matchup could be similar to last year, I’m inclined to think this game will be much closer than the line is indicating. For that reason, I am taking the 9 points at Heritage and backing Albany as one of my Friday NCAAB Picks.