NCAA Basketball Picks: Iona vs. Manhattan

Jeff Grant

Friday, February 15, 2013 1:04 PM GMT

The campuses of the Iona Gaels and Manhattan Jaspers are separated by less than 10 miles, which is the closest distance between any Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams.


Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for this in-state rivalry between two New York metropolitan area schools on Friday night.

February blues

Iona snapped a three-game losing streak last Saturday, as it captured a 78-71 victory over the Rider Broncs as 9.5-point home favorites on the, hile going UNDER the posted total of 150.5.

The Gaels have failed to cover the number in all three games this month, while compiling a money-burning 6-12-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record in February the last two-plus seasons.

Heating up

Manhattan is 9-15 overall on the season, which may cause college basketball handicappers to look past the squad on the odds board, but it has won its last three games.  The Jaspers earned a 62-40 blowout victory over the Fairfield Stags as 9.5-point road underdogs Tuesday night.

Over their last five games, the team has managed to knock down 46 percent of its shots, while opponents are shooting just 34 percent in that span.

Series history

It’s not very surprising that the road team is 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series, considering the short distance between the two schools.  Iona is 44-36 all-time against Manhattan, but holds a slim 5,645 to 5,636-point advantage in overall scoring.

The Gaels picked up a 78-70 victory as 13-point home favorites on Jan. 6, while going OVER the posted total (143.5) for the fifth time in the last six meetings.

Jones is the player to watch

Senior guard Lamont Jones will definitely be featured on ESPNU’s broadcast tonight, considering he leads the Gaels in averaging 22.9 points per game, which paces the conference and ranks third nationally.  He finished with 30 points in the first meeting—knocking down 8-of-17 shots from the field, while cashing in on all 10 attempts from the charity stripe.

[gameodds]14/220790/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Jaspers as one of their college basketball betting picks Friday night, as they’ve won and covered the spread in all three games when revenging a same season loss during the 2012-13 campaign.  The Gaels will fall to 0-5 ATS as road favorites.

College Basketball Pick:  Take the Manhattan Jaspers +2.5 at 5Dimes for your college basketball picks.

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