George Washington -5 The NCAA Basketball Pick in Rare National TV Game

Mark Lathrop

Friday, January 22, 2016 3:54 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 3:54 PM UTC

If you were dying to see some A-10 action you are in luck, because this game will be nationally televised on ESPN2. Our NCAAB handicapper analyzes the matchup and gives his NCAAB Pick!

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: George Washington -5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

In a Friday night A-10 matchup that has two teams trying to keep up with conference leaders, the Rhode Island Rams (11-7, 3-2) travel to visit the George Washington Colonials (14-4, 3-2). With both teams being 3-2 in conference and tied for 5th place in the division, they can’t afford a loss with 6-0 VCU being the class of the A-10 in this one-bid conference. The Colonials hold the better overall record and home court advantage, and as such have been instilled as the favorite in this game. Right now in very early lines you can grab George Washington at -5 at Heritage. No available NCAA basketball odds on the total at time of writing.

In a bit of rare publicity for each of these teams, the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

Rhode Island hasn’t played since last Saturday, but are coming off of a home win against LaSalle, 73-62. That win was an ATS loss as Rhode Island was a heavy 15-point home favorite. The game started off as if they were to cover the chalk, with the Rams holding a 31-22 halftime lead, but they went on cruise control in the second half and didn’t increase the margin of victory enough to cover. Rhode Island continued their balanced scoring attack in this matchup; with sophomore guard, Jarvis Garret, scoring 19 points, junior forward, Hassan Martin, scoring 15, and junior forward, Kuran Iverson, chipping in another 12 points.

Rhode Island’s top three scorers, Martin, Four McGlynn, and Garret all average just under 13 points per game in the balanced offense of the Rams. That offense has had a bunch of trouble on the road this year, where Rhode Island is just 1-5 SU. They are even worse ATS, going an imperfect 0-6 on the year.

George Washington has had an even longer layoff, as they are coming off of a seven-point loss to Dayton on the road last Friday. The Colonials’ season scoring leader was again big in that game, as senior forward Tyler Cavanaugh scored 18 points on 7-10 shooting from the field. Senior forward, Kevin Larsen, and senior guard, Patricio Garino, also added 16 and 15 points to the tally, respectively. Another senior, Joe McDonald, also logs significant minutes and averages 28.9 points per game.

I really like the upper classmen experience on this squad, which has helped George Washington log some bigger wins already this season over the likes of Virginia, Tennessee, Seton Hall, and Penn State. They have yet to lose at home this year at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington D.C.

Although these teams are 5-5 SU in their last ten meetings, the current ATS trends strongly favor the Colonials in this matchup at their home court. Rhode Island is of course terrible this season on the road, but they’ve also been awful at George Washington in the past, going 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games on the road against the Colonials.

With the seniors on this George Washington squad having memory of the season sweep at the hands of the Rams last year, I think we can safely say the revenge factor will be in play here. Add that this will be a nationally televised game and I think the home crowd will also play a major factor in giving the Colonials an advantage. With the other trends in place, I think that 5 points is a reasonable amount of points to lay with George Washington and I will be taking them at Heritage as one of my Friday NCAAB Picks

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