NCAA Basketball Picks: Fairfield In A Romp Will Take Down Quinnipiac

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 1, 2016 4:42 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 4:42 PM GMT

It is the Battle of Connecticut in Monday night MAAC action, and home standing Fairfield appears to have a decided edge over Quinnipiac. Don't miss our NCAA basketball picks.

 

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Fairfield -8½
Best Line Offered: at The Greek

 

The home team appears to have the decided edge Monday night in an in-state Connecticut MAAC rivalry when the struggling Quinnipiac Bobcats (6-13, 4-7 ATS) pay a visit to the Fairfield Stags (12-9, 8-8 ATS), winners of three straight games in conference, at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT at 7:00 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

 

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Fairfield as a decided home favorite for this contest with the current line at -8½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -102.

 

Legitimate Threats to Win MAAC Tournament
Fairfield currently looks like a longshot to win the regular season MAAC title as it is currently 6-5 inside the conference, three games behind MAAC leading Monmouth at 9-2, but the Stags could be starting to peak at the right time as they have won three straight games and four of their last five, and their offense is certainly good enough to make them prime challengers to Monmouth and other top conference contenders once the MAAC Tournament rolls around.

On the other hand Quinnipiac was the losing NCAA Basketball pick in five straight games before breaking through with an 82.68 win over Niagara on Saturday, a Niagara team that is the lowest ranked MAAC team overall on the Pomeroy Ratings at just 313th in the country overall. That win still leaves the Bobcats at only 3-7 in the conference and they have yet to beat a team that is as good as Fairfield this season.

 

Fairfield Can Score on Anyone
The Stags opened up this season with three straight losses all vs. teams ranked in the Pomeroy Top 100 in North Carolina, Yale and Northwestern, but those experiences have served them well as they have since gone 12-6, thanks to an offense that can score on anyone as Fairfield is 39th in the entire country in scoring with its 79.9 points per game.

The Stags have been particularly deadly inside the three-point arc as they are making 52.4 percent of their two-point attempts, and they have been above average beyond the arc too at 36.3 percent vs. a national average of 34.6, all leading to a very nice effective field goal percentage of 53.3 percent that is ranked 40th in the nation. Additionally, the Stags’ scoring average goes up to 81.3 points at home and to 82.8 points over the last five games, during which they are 4-1.

The problem for Fairfield is defense as that unit is ranked 279th in the country in defensive efficiency and 212th in effective field goal percentage allowed. Luckily though, that becomes less of a concern here vs. a Quinnipiac offense that is severely challenged. Besides, many of the points that the Stags allow are a function of playing at the 18th fastest tempo in the country, as their field goal percentage allowed is not too terrible at 44.2 percent.

 

Bobcats Yet to Beat Quality Team
Quinnipiac is currently in 10th place in the 11-team MAAC at 3-7, ahead of only 1-10 Marist, although the Bobcats are actually ranked slightly lower on the Pomeroy Ratings (304th) than the Red Foxes (298th). Part of that has to do with who the Bobcats have beaten, or more to the point, which teams they have not beaten.

Quinnipiac has won just six games all season and that includes three non-lined wins over the likes of Holy Cross, North Carolina Central and Hartford. The Bobcats have yet to post a real quality win as their three lined Division I wins have not come over any team ranked higher than 173rd on Pomeroy, and now they must deal with one of the most potent offenses they have seen all year.

And the Cats simply lack the firepower to keep up if Fairfield gets its running game going like it usually does here at home, as Quinnipiac is one of the very worst offensive teams in the country ranking 340th out of 351 Division I teams in offensive efficiency and 346th in effective field goal percentage at a mere 41.7 percent. In fact, Quinnipiac is dead last in the entire land in two-point shooting at a disgusting 36.3 percent!

 

Stags Taking Care of Business
Finally, Fairfield has done a good job of taking care of business vs. lesser teams when playing at home, going 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games vs. teams with losing road records. Conversely, Quinnipiac is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games vs. teams with winning records, and the Bobcats are also 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games.

Look for those trends to continue in this Battle of Connecticut with Fairfield posting a safe, double-digit win at home in Bridgeport vs. Quinnipiac Monday on ESPN3.

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