NCAA Basketball Pick: Fordham Rams vs. Rhode Island Rams

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Just because two of the worst teams in the Atlantic 10 are meeting in the Battle of the Rams, it does not mean there is no value when Fordham visits Rhode Island Wednesday.

The double-digit underdog could have value in a battle of two of the bottom teams in the Atlantic 10 Wednesday night when the Fordham Rams (9-18, 2-11 away) pay a visit to the Rhode Island Rams (13-17, 9-6 home) at the Ryan Center in Kingston, RI at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Fordham as a large underdog for this contest with the current line at +10 with odds of -106.

The Atlantic 10 is one of the best mid-majors in the country, boasting such potential NCAA Tournament Bracket Busters as Saint Louis, VCU and Massachusetts, but unfortunately these two identically named Rams teams have not had very much to do with the success of the conference as a whole.

The Fordham Rams bring up the rear of the conference in 13th place with a 2-12 Atlantic 10 record, although one of those two wins came vs. these other Rams from Rhode Island 85-79 on February 1st. Fordham has lost six straight games since that win however. Still, Rhode Island is only 11th in the conference and just one game ahead of Fordham in the loss column at 4-11, which has us questioning whether URI is worthy of being a double-digit favorite over anyone.

Yes Rhode Island has played a few of the better teams in the Atlantic 10 tough this season and it even comes off of a nice win over Richmond here at home on Saturday, but there is a different mindset this time with URI actually expected to win, and win handily at that. To give you an idea of what we are talking about, Rhode Island is actually an excellent 15-10 ATS overall this year, but it is 2-4 ATS as a favorite opposed to 13-6 ATS as an underdog!

Remember that this is still a losing team at 13-17 overall and these Rams are a poor shooting team that turns the ball over too much, which is hardly a good recipe for giving double-digits. To wit, Rhode Island is ranked 223rd in the country in effective field goal percentage while ranking 309th in three-point shooting at a scant 31.1 percent while making only 49.1 percent of its two-pointers, and it is 302nd in offensive turnover percentage.

Furthermore, Rhode Island is also a poor free throw shooting team at 66.5 percent, which make it hard to extend leads late in the game.

Now, Fordham is not a powerhouse by any stretch and teams do not go 2-12 in a conference by accident, but again, these teams are not really separated by all that much and Fordham has already proven that it can beat Rhode Island this year, a claim it can make vs. just one other Atlantic 10 team (George Mason).

The Rams are not a terrific offensive team, but they are actually above average in adjusted offensive efficiency grading out at 107.7 points per 100 possessions on the Pomeroy Ratings compared to a national average of 104.5, and unlike Rhode Island, Fordham does not turn the ball over much at 17.0 percent vs. the national average of 18.4.

Add this all up and we simply feel that Rhode Island does not deserve to have this much favoritism, giving Fordham value at an inflated price on Wednesday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Fordham +10 (-106)

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