NCAA Basketball Picks: Explosive Offensive Teams Prompt Fairfield & Monmouth To Go 'Over'

Ross Benjamin

Friday, February 5, 2016 5:13 PM GMT

Our college basketball analyst provides us with a detailed betting preview article on Friday’s game between Fairfield/Monmouth. Find out which is the best NCAA basketball pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 165.5 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Friday Night Lights In The MAAC
Monmouth will host Fairfield in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference battle on Friday. The opening tip at the Multipurpose Activity Center in West Long Branch, New Jersey is slated for 7:00 PM ET. Current NCAA basketball odds show a consensus of Monmouth being an 11.0 point favorite, and a posted total of 165.5, which looks good for our NCAA basketball picks. These teams met at Fairfield on 1/11, Monmouth came away with a 86-74 win, and the Hawks covered as a 5.0 point favorite. That contest narrowly stayed under the total of 160.5. Heading into today, Monmouth is on top of the conference standings at 10-2, and Fairfield resides in 6th place at 6-6.

 

What About The Stags?
Fairfield (12-10) had their three game win streak halted on Monday during a 64-59 home favorite (-8.5) loss to Quinnipiac. Heading into that contest, Fairfield had scored 71 points or more in six consecutive games. As a matter of fact, it was just a fourth time in their last 20 games that Fairfield failed to crack the 70 point barrier. The Stags prefer to play at a brisk offensive pace, evidenced by its average of 61 field goal attempts per game, and that’s a large number by college basketball standards. In their first meeting against Monmouth this season, Fairfield shot 50.0% from the floor, and was 12-for-29 (41.4%) from three point territory. The Stags are 4-5 in true road games this season, and that includes 3-4 ATS when there was a point spread posted.

 

Impressive Resume
When it comes to MAAC, no team possesses as stellar of a resume that Monmouth has compiled this season. The Hawks have quality non-conference wins over UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, and Georgetown. Although none of those power conference teams are nationally ranked, all four currently have a winning record. They also knocked off Rutgers of the Big Ten, and sustained a narrow 3 point defeat at #24 Dayton. Needless to say, Monmouth has been a huge money maker this season, going 14-7 ATS (66.7%) in games that had a point spread available.

 

High Flying Hawks
Monmouth is an explosive offensive team that averages 80.3 points per game. That ranks #36 out of 351 Division-1 teams. They’re also 3rd nationally in free throw percentage at 77.5%, and do so while averaging a lofty 25 attempts per game. They should receive plenty of opportunities tonight. Fairfield has allowed their opponents an average of 27 free throw attempts per game in its previous five contests. In a college basketball scheduling quirk, Monmouth (18-5) will be playing in only their seventh home game on Friday, and they’ve won each of its first six. They’ve converted on an excellent 42.9% of their three point attempts on their home floor. During their first encounter versus Fairfield in January, Monmouth shot 53.2% from the floor, and was 12-for-24 (50%) from three-point land.

 

Final Take & Pick
The total in this game is extremely high and for good reason. However, to borrow an old boxing cliché, “styles make fights”. Both of these teams love an up tempo style of play, and they’ll each get what they wish for on Friday. Regardless of this massive number, I’m not going to let it deter from making one of my college basketball picks today.