Iona hosts Fairfield in MAAC action
The Fairfield Stags have a 5-1 spread record in their last six meetings with the Iona Gaels, including last March’s 85-75 victory as a 4 ½-point road dog. Friday’s college basketball betting has the MAAC rivals meeting again.
Gaels, Armand top Canisius
Iona’s latest victory came in Sunday’s 97-87 win over the Canisius Golden Griffins, cashing as a 6 ½-point home favorite. The Gaels shot a stellar 53.8 percent from the floor, including a 16-for-33 mark from three-point land.
Gaels guard Sean Armand piled in a season-high 32 points, while adding two of his side’s four blocks. Iona’s David Laury logged nine rebounds en route to 13 points, with mates Lamont Jones and DaShawn Gomez notching five assists each.
The duel’s combined 184 points leaped above the betting line ‘total’ of 165 ½, lifting the OVER to 3-1 in the Gaels’ last four matchups. Iona was edged out in boards, 32-30, while sinking 11-of-18 free throws.
Stags, Barrow fall to Niagara
Fairfield picked up a third straight loss in Sunday’s 67-64 defeat as six-point home ‘chalk’ against the Niagara Purple Eagles. The Stags were held to 38.8 percent field shooting, while logging 16 turnovers compared to Niagara’s five.
Stags forward Maurice Barrow grabbed a team-high nine boards, leading his squad to outrebound the Purple Eagles, 38-27. Barrow united with mate Justin Jenkins for 26 points, while Fairfield’s Keith Matthews logged four of his squad’s six blocks.
The battle’s combined 131 points ducked below the ‘total’ of 134, ending a 2-0 run for the OVER in the Stags’ prior pair of games. Fairfield notched a 21-for-32 day at the foul line, while draining 5-of-18 buckets beyond the arc.
Back Fairfield on the road
The NCAA basketball odds opened with Iona as a 5 ½-point home favorite, with early betting on the Gaels driving the number north a ‘hook’ to six. The ‘total’ was first listed at 142 ½, staying unchanged after initial wagers.
I am backing Fairfield in this road spot, looking for the Stags to stay within cashing range here. The Stags have held their opposition to 56.7 PPG in the team’s last seven games away from home and should give Iona’s high octane a challenge here.
Fairfield ranks in the MAAC’s top four squads for both blocks (3.89 BPG) and steals (7.2 SPG), while also connecting its share of buckets from the floor at a 43.8 percent clip. Last March’s win over Iona saw Fairfield’s Maurice Barrow and Colin Nickerson unite to knock down 8-of-11 field shots, combining for 23 points.
Iona’s numbers have lit up the board as of late, but the team has been overvalued in its share of spots. The Gaels are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 battles that followed a victory, while going 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against squads with winning records.
Look for Iona and their backers to be handed another losing sports picks ticket here, with Fairfield holding on to cash down the stretch.
College Basketball Picks: Fairfield Stags +6 (Bookmaker.eu)