NCAA Basketball Pick on Prairie View A&M in SWAC Action

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 26, 2015 2:28 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 2:28 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.


The underdogs may have value Monday night in a SWAC matchup where the home team may not deserve to be favored over anyone when the underdog Prairie View A&M Panthers (5-14, 2-11 away) pay a visit to the Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions (5-15, 1-3 home) at H.O. Clemmons Arena in Pine Bluff, AR at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

The point spread at Bet365 has Prairie View A&M as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +3 with odds of -110.

Panthers Won Three Straight
The SWAC gets some national exposure Monday night and will continue to do so for several Mondays to come on ESPNU. Alabama State is generally considered the favorite to win the conference this season, with these two participants considered to be middle-tier teams mostly picked to finish between fourth and sixth in the conference during the preseason.

Prairie View did not get off to the best start beginning 0-3 in SWAC play, but the Panthers are now on a roll having been winning NCAA Basketball picks in three straight games after a nice 72-65 road win at Mississippi Valley State on Saturday. The slow start in conference was a bit disappointing considering that Prairie View faced an excellent non-conference SOS ranked 11th in the country according to the Pomeroy Ratings, but that appears to be paying off now with the Panthers playing their best ball.

The Golden Lions started 0-4 inside the SWAC with the first three losses coming here at home, but they have now won two straight and rather remarkably come off of their first home win of the entire season over Texas Southern 66-62 on Saturday.

Terrible Shooting Golden Eagles
These teams look like mirror images stylistically when looking at their Pomeroy profiles, but Pine Bluff is the worse shooting team ranking 339th in the country in overall field goal percentage at 37.6 percent and 346th out of 351 Division I teams in points scored with 56.4 per game! That last stat alone tells us that the Golden Eagle should be virtual automatic fades when giving more than a couple of points.

The Eagles are 335th in the country in offensive efficiency, 333rd in effective field goal percentage at a disgusting 43.3 percent and an identical 333rd in offensive turnover percentage at 23.2 percent vs. a national average of 19.5 percent, and this game could easily turn into a turnover-fest for them considering that Prairie View is amazingly ranked seventh nationally in defensive turnover percentage at 24.8 percent!

Offensive Rebounding Could Prove Huge
Now, Prairie View A&M is not exactly an offensive juggernaut, which is why games between these teams in recent years have generally been low scoring, but the Panthers’ 40.2 percent shooting overall this season actually makes them seem like Duke when compared to the Arkansas Pine-Bluff shooting, and bear in mind the brutal non-conference schedule that the Panthers partly accumulated that percentage against.

Prairie View has a nondescript 44.4 percent effective field goal percentage overall, which is still better than the Golden Eagles, but the Panthers’ non-conference slate served its purpose because that effective field goal percentage is up to 46.8 percent in their six SWAC games. Comparatively, Alabama-Pine Bluff has not improved much with an effective field goal percentage of just 44.7 percent in conference play.

But perhaps the biggest advantage that the Panthers may have in this contest is in second opportunities, as they are above average in offensive rebounding percentage overall at 32.4 percent vs. a national average of 31.2 percent, but they lead the SWAC in that category at a robust 40.0 percent in conference play. Meanwhile Pine Bluff is 348th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage and only eighth inside the conference.

What Home Court Advantage?
Finally, it is interesting that Arkansas-Pine Bluff did not play a single home game while going 3-11 during the non-conference portion of its schedule! Thus the 1-3 home record inside the conference also serves as the Golden Eagles’ overall home mark, and while one of the losses came to conference kingpin Alabama State, the other two losses to Alabama A&M and Mississippi Valley State were both to teams ranked lower than Prairie View A&M on Pomeroy.

Thus we simply feel that Prairie View is the better team here, and with Pine Bluff failing to prove that it has much if any of a home court advantage, the Panthers look like the play as road underdogs on Monday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Prairie View A&M +3 (-110)

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