NCAA Basketball Pick: Buffalo Bulls -2 over Canisius

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

The Buffalo Bulls have won four straight games since an 0-2 start and their expected big edge on the offensive glass should make the difference vs. Canisius on Wednesday.

Offensive rebounding could be the deciding factor on a neutral court on Wednesday when the Canisius Golden Griffiths (5-3, 0-2 away) take on the hot Buffalo Bulls (4-2, 0-2 away) from First Niagara Arena in Buffalo, NY at 8:20 ET.

The point spread at Bet365 has Buffalo as a small favorite for this contest with the current line at -2 with odds of -110.

Buffalo is coming off of a 14-20 season, although the Bulls did advance all the way to the MAC Tournament semifinals before lost just 70-68 to Kent State. They are looking to build on that experience this season with two senior returning starters, as well as the addition of senior Alabama State transfer Josh Freelove, a shooting guard that is the team’s second leading scorer after returnee Javon McCrea.

Canisius comes off of a 20-14 season that included two wins in the CIT before a one-point third round loss at home to Evansville. The Golden Griffiths returned three starters, but they lost a combined 25.4 points per game from the two that did not return in graduating seniors Harold Washington and Isaac Sosa.

The Bulls did not get off to the best of starts this season while losing true road games at Texas A&M and Niagara, but they then won four straight on a four-game home stand and are looking to take that form with them here to First Niagara Arena, which is reasonably close to both of the campuses of these two schools.

It appears that the Buffalo defense is ahead of the offense at this early stage of the season as the Bulls are limiting opponents to a 47.6 percent effective field goal percentage, but are only putting up a 46.2 percent effective field goal percentage themselves. However, they have made up for that low percentage by getting off more shots thanks to being a very good offensive rebounding team, and that has keyed their winning streak.

That expected edge on the offensive glass is also a crucial reason why we like the Bulls in this contest because Canisius does not seem equipped to keep them off that glass. That is because while Buffalo is grabbing its own missed shots 36.1 percent of the time, well above the national offensive rebounding percentage average of 31.9 percent, Canisius ranks a disastrous 341st out of 351 Division I teams in defensive rebounding percentage!

The Golden Griffiths hail from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and they have already played two conference games, beating Saint Peter’s and Siena in their last two contests after beginning the year 3-3 in non-conference play. That may not be a good thing though with the MAAC currently ranked just 21st among all conferences on the Pomeroy Ratings.

Furthermore, in their last non-conference game before the early conference affairs, the Griffiths lost outright to a Division II school in Metro State by 14 points 83-69 on a neutral floor in North Carolina. Canisius has yet to face a team currently ranked higher than 148th on Pomeroy, and yet it ranks just 244th in defensive efficiency, which does not bode well for this slight rise in class following two MAAC games.

In the end, the expected edge in second chance opportunities should make the difference in a Buffalo victory on Wednesday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Buffalo -2 (-110)

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