NCAA Basketball Pick: Delaware Blue Hens vs. Hofstra Pride

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

The Delaware Blue Hens have a two-game lead atop the CAA at 11-1 in conference, but the loss came in their last game as they look to bounce back at Hofstra on Wednesday.

The first place team in the CAA lost its first conference game of the season last game and it will continue to be without its suspended leading contributor as well as its sixth man Wednesday night when those Delaware Blue Hens (19-8, 8-7 away) pay a visit to the Hofstra Pride (8-19, 6-6 home) at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, NY at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Hofstra as a moderate home underdog for this contest with the current line at +5 with odds of -113.

Delaware is coming off of its first conference loss of the season 78-63 at Towson on Saturday to drop to 19-8 overall and 11-1 inside the CAA, although that is still good enough for a two-game lead over second place Towson.

Still, keep in mind that the Blue Hens suspended two players at the end of January until March 1st at the earliest including their biggest contributor Jarvis Threatt, and after beating three teams ranked 194th or worse on the Pomeroy Ratings following that announcement, the suspensions caught up to them vs. a good Towson team ranked 125th.

Now, Hofstra may be just 8-19 overall and in eight place in the nine-team CAA with a 4-8 conference mark, but the Pride are actually 12-8-2 ATS overall, which is not far off Delaware’s 12-7 ATS mark, and the Pride are outscoring there opponents by +1.3 points per game here at the Mack Complex despite a break-even 6-6 straight up mark (4-3-1 ATS).

Furthermore Hofstra covered the spread the first time these clubs met this season on the road at Newark in an 86-79 loss as a 13-point underdog, and that was when Delaware was at full strength. A major key to the Pride hanging in that game was that they grabbed an impressive 17 offensive rebounds compared to just six offensive boards for the Blue Hens, and that was not a total aberration that cannot be duplicated again tonight.

You see, Hofstra is a respectable 81st in the country in offensive rebounding percentage at 34.6 percent compared to a national average of 31.6 percent, and the Pride are fourth in the conference in that department. Conversely, Delaware is 234th in the country in offensive rebounding at just 29.7 percent and eighth in the conference.

The suspended Threatt may be only the third-leading scorer on the team this season, but the junior is a stat-filler that is sorely missed as he is averaging 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game this year. He and sixth man Marvin King-Davis were suspended for unspecified athletic department policies.

Yes, the Blue Hens still have four other starters averaging double-figures, but they have a very thin bench right now that has averaged a measly 6.3 points per game this year when you take away King-Davis’s production, and Delaware started one of those peripheral bench players in place of Threatt last game in Devonne Pinkard, who only averages 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds on the year and was held scoreless by Towson while grabbing just one rebound.

Thus, look for Hofstra to keep this game competitive at home on Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/258485/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Hofstra +5 (-113)