NCAA Basketball: Friday Picks of the Day

Joe Catalano

Friday, January 10, 2014 2:44 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 2:44 PM GMT

The MAAC Conference takes centerstage on Friday as the top schools in the land get a day off until the weekend. Let’s see what we have in store for us with our picks as the home team usually get the benefit of the doubt in the MAAC and other small school conferences.

Fairfield (3-12) at Iona (6-7)

Stop the Bleeding

The Iona Gaels started off this season fast and furious, but have collapsed as of late, losing 5 out of their last 6 games. The perfect game has come along at the right time for Iona as they face a Fairfield Stags team with no offense to speak of and are at the bottom of the MAAC Conference. You rarely ever see the Gaels as a 13.5 point betting favorite in the NCAA basketball odds, but that’s what you’ve got here. This is a must win situation for Iona.

Best Offense vs. Worst Offense

This is the perfect matchup matchup for Iona, who ranks 22nd in the nation in points and 6th assists as they face a Stags team that can barely manage 60 points per game and are near the bottom of almost every offensive statistical category known to man. Iona’s one weakness aside from defense is its rebounding, but that shouldn’t be a problem here.

The Gaels feature the duo of Sean Armand and A.J. English. This tandem leads Iona as they collectively account for 37 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. Both players are also excellent 3 point shooters, shooting well above 40% per game. Iona has been slumping as of late and Armand’s lack of production in their last few games is a key reason why they’ve been losing.

Look for a bounce back performance from the senior guard as the Gaels destroy a very weak Fairfield squad. Fairfield doesn’t have the offensive ammunition to deal with Iona.

Pick- Iona -13.5 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/254329/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Radford (11-5) at High Point (4-10)

A Pick’em???

Yes folks, this game is offered on the odds boards in betting shops and I just couldn’t resist. You see the record and just naturally assume that Radford’s losses must have come on the road and High Point’s wins have come at home and we see that this is the case. High Point has lost 8 out of its last 9 games with their lone win at home. That said, 7 out of their last 9 games have been on the road and they’ve faced powerhouses such as Syracuse and Georgetown. Are the High Point Panthers the NCAA basketball pick here?

Radford has proven that they can win on the road and have won 5 out of their last 6 games. Junior forward, Javonte Green leads the Highlanders in points (15.9) and rebounds (6.5) and plays equally well on the defensive end. Green has hit a cold spell as of late, averaging  just 7.5 points in his last 2 games and has shot very poorly. Along with R.J. Price, Green will be a key factor in this game. His defense hasn’t suffered and this should be the right opponent for him to put up a 20 point game.

High Point Or Low Point?

With so many battles on the road, this might be a low point for the High Point Panthers. Online sportsbooks are telling us that the tide might turn for the Panthers and their record is deceiving. I for one, believe it as forward, John Brown, leads the Panthers at 17.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

Without Allan Chaney in the lineup, Brown has had to shoulder the offensive load and has done a decent job. In his last 2 games, Brown is averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds. He’s not facing Syracuse and expect Brown to go off at home as the Panthers haven’t seen their home court very often.

The odds say it all as most people will be fooled and side with Radford. High Point gets a much needed home game and is the play in this game at great odds.

Pick- High Point –pk at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/254328/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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