NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Peter’s +8 over Manhattan Jaspers

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, February 3, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Manhattan has been a major disappointment because it has not shot the ball well and is among the worst teams in the country in committing turnovers. Take the points with St. Peter’s.

The mistake prone home team looks like an overlay when the St. Peter’s Peacocks (7-14, 3-6 away) pay a visit to those Manhattan Jaspers (6-15, 3-3 home) at Draddy Gymnasium in the Bronx, NY at 3:00 ET.

The point spread at Heritage Sports has St. Peter’s as a sizable underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with odds of -108.

Manhattan was considered a contender to win the MAAC this year when the season began as the team won 21 games last season and returned four starters from that team, which won a game in the CIT on the road at Albany.

However, at 6-15 this team already has more losses than all of last year and it has not helped that its leading scorer from 2011-12 George Beamon has only appeared in four games and has not played since December 2nd due to an ankle injury. Beamon remains out indefinitely, and he was the only Jasper to average double-digits last season with his 19.0 points per game while also adding 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, and the offense has been atrocious as a result.

The Jaspers have skidded to a 4-7 conference record in the absence of Beamon by ranking 290th in the country in offensive efficiency, 243rd in effective field goal percentage at 46.9 percent and, worst of all, 344th out of 347 Division I teams in offensive turnover percentage, losing the ball on 25.9 percent of their possessions!

The defense has been more respectable but not great, ranking 137th in efficiency and 168th in effective field goal percentage allowed, and it has been especially prone to giving up three-point buckets, ranking 279th in that category. Add all of this up and it is easy to understand why the Jaspers have lost four of their last five games, and the last time they played here at Draddy Gym, they lost by 10 points to Loyola-Maryland.

And this is a team favored by eight points today?

That should give you an idea of just how lightly regarded St. Peter’s is, and the Peacocks did just narrowly but the brakes on an eight-game losing streak by just two points in overtime vs. Marist on Thursday.

Still, while the Peacocks rank 287th in effective field goal percentage at 45.5 percent is that really significantly worse than Manhattan this season? More importantly, St. Peter’s is good at forcing turnover, ranking 92nd nationally and third during MAAC games in that department, making for a nightmarish matchup for the poor Manhattan ball-handlers.

All things considered, taking these seemingly big points seems like the prudent move on Sunday as you build your bankroll for some football game going on in New Orleans later on where, if we are not mistaken, two brothers are coaching the opposing sides?

NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Peter’s +8 (-108)

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