Mid-Major Monday Hoops Action Features Pair of 'Under' Games

Jay Pryce

Monday, February 5, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Get your mid-major college basketball betting fix here as we seek some winning wagers with the Bucknell-Lehigh and Siena-Fairfield matchups Monday night.

Monday College Basketball: Bucknell vs. LehighFree NCAAB Pick: Under 159.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Bettors do not see many Patriot League games hit the main NCAAB odds board, nor broadcasted on national television. That’s the case tonight as Bucknell (17-8 SU, 3-2 ATS) and Lehigh (10-13 SU, 1-1 ATS) clash on CBS Sports Network (7 p.m. ET), with the visiting Bison laying 7.5 points.

These two are the class of the conference, winning five of the last eight titles. Bucknell is the team to beat this season. It is 11-1 SU in conference play, returning all five starters from last year’s title run. Preseason Player of the Year Nana Foulland is the toughest matchup in the league. The 6-foot-9 senior center (15.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is a force on both ends of the court, ranking second in the conference in blocks (1.8) and field-goal percentage (.603). Senior forward Zach Thomas tops all in points (21.2) and defensive rebounds (9.3) per game. Overall, each first-teamer is capable of playing multiple positions. Four of them are on pace to join the 1,000-point club by season’s end. Check out this 3-point barrage last time out:

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Here's a look at the 3-point barrage to start the second half. pic.twitter.com/5OxKw0JUiY

— Bucknell MBasketball (@Bucknell_MBB) February 4, 2018
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TheMountain Hawks are arguably the closest to Bucknell in terms of talent. Four players average double figures in points: Lance Tejada (15.7), Kahron Ross (12.0), Pat Andree (11.6) and Kyle Leufroy (10.4). Tejada, a transfer from East Carolina who is a game-time decision after sitting out the last two, leads the Patriot League with 58 treys. The team is proficient from long range; its 40.4 3-point percentage is 21st-highest nationally. There are few signs the team will cool off anytime soon. Lehigh is 36-of-62 from behind the arc in its last three games and 70-of-142 through six.

Both teams love to get up and down the court, playing at the 39th (Bucknell) and 63rd (Lehigh) quickest tempo in Division I hoops. The game total opened at a steep 159.5, but we’re not sure they hit the mark. Bucknell’s defense is a force in conference play, holding opponents to 66.5 points per game. Outside of Patriot League action, it yields 83.8 per game. That’s largely due to the team owning the 35th-strongest non-conference schedule in the country, playing the likes of North Carolina, Arkansas, and Maryland.

Since Nathan Davis took over coaching duties for the Bison, they have matched up with Lehigh six times. The two have never combined for more than 158 points in a game, averaging a 149.2 final tally. This might be Bucknell’s best offense of all, but Lehigh’s has slipped a bit. For your NCAAB picks, go "under: 159.5 for your best bet.

Monday College Basketball: Siena vs. FairfieldFree NCAAB Pick: Under 139.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Siena (7-17 SU, 6-10 ATS) owns Fairfield (9-13 SU, 8-10 ATS) behind Coach Jimmy Patsos, winning seven of nine meetings, and has tipped off -4.0 favorites on average. Tonight's 9-point spread on the NCAAB odds board is the widest of any in this stretch, and only the second time the Saints will go off underdogs.

Defense is Siena’s strength, holding Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference competition to 67.2 points per game on 41.8-percent shooting. The unit is good at flooding the paint, yielding a 56.7 percent opponent field-goal percentage at the rim (88th nationally). It invites teams to the area as well, with a trio of quick guards (Ahsante Shivers, Christian Bentley, and Kadeem Smithen) surrendering just 33.6 percent of opponent shot attempts from behind the arc. This will prove advantageous against the Stags.

Fairfield is armed with a pro-caliber player in guard Tyler Nelson. The unanimous all-conference senior leads the MAAC with 21.5 points per game. Nelson and backcourt teammate Ferron Flavors Jr. are adept from long range, ranking in the top five in treys with 65 (Nelson) and 62 (Flavors), respectively. Slowing these two will be in Siena’s game plan.

Fairfield has squared off against four conference teams allowing fewer than 7.5 3-pointers per game. They are 1-3 SU and ATS overall. The Stags hit a wall scoring, putting up 61.5 points per game on 42.1 percent from the floor. The Nelson-Flavors partnership has combined for 29 points or fewer in each. Siena surrenders just 6.5 3-pointers per game, and 5.7 against MAAC competition.

The "under" is a perfect 4-0 in the above-mentioned scenario, staying a whopping 15.5 points south of a 143.2 average total. That’s your best bet in this matchup for your NCAAB picks, with Siena ranking No. 299 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. Also, take the points (+9) with Saints, and don’t be shocked to see them flirt with a big money-line upset.

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