NCAA Basketball will start to heat up after the ringing in of the New Year, but there are still plenty of options in the last couple days of 2013 to build your bankroll.
Fordham (7-5) vs. Siena (4-8)
Odds makers Lean Towards the Home Team In Weaker Conferences
It doesn’t matter what a team’s record is in conferences like the MAAC or Ivy League; the home team usually gets the nod where the college basketball odds are concerned and that’s what we have here as Siena is an undeserving 2 point favorite over the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Fordham Rams. Should we take the home team as the favorite or follow our gut and pick the team who has played better this year?
Fordham is coming off of a 94-86 loss to the Ivy League’s best, the Harvard Crimson. Fordham had one dry spell in this game in which they didn’t score for over 5 minutes and although the Rams attempted to make a comeback, it was too late.
Harvard was on top of their game, shooting 56.6% from the field and 50% from 3-point territory. Against Siena, Fordham’s defense will need to tighten up, but Siena’s offense poses less of a challenge than Harvard.
One bright spot coming from the loss was the play of senior guard Branden Frazier. Frazier had a game high 31 points and 7 assists after 2 poor games previously. Look for Frazier to carry this momentum over tonight as Fordham plays in Siena’s building.
A “Severe” Night For Siena
One player to keep an eye on is Fordham’s freshman Jon Severe. In his last 3 games, Severe has been on fire, averaging 28 points per game and his shooting has improved from earlier in the season. Fordham has a fierce 1-2 combination in Severe and Frazier and don’t expect Siena to be able to stop the dynamic duo.
Siena had lost 4 games in a row, but has recovered and won 2 out of their last 3 games. Siena has a deep squad without a definitive go to guy. The most consistent performer on the Saints is Rob Poole. The junior guard is averaging 14.3 points and 6 rebounds per game and that’s exactly the number that he provided in the win over Hofstra. Expect more of the same from the steady guard out of Haddonfield, New Jersey.
I’m fading the odds makers; Fordham appears to be the much better team in this game. The points are a gift.
College Basketball Pick: Fordham +2 at Bet 365
“Holy Toledo” the Undefeated Toledo Rockets Are a 14.5 Point Underdog
I don’t know how many of you are horse racing fans, but a perfect analogy for this game is a horse that never loses (Toledo) steps up in class and faces a thoroughbred like freshman Andrew Wiggins and the Kansas Jayhawks and the odds aren’t so favorable for the Rockets.
You look at Toledo’s schedule and it has “cupcake city” written all over it. Yes, Toledo defeated Boston College earlier this season, but B.C. is a lousy 4-9 this season. Does Toledo have any chance of making a game of this against the top 25 Kansas Jayhawks?
Toledo has 5 players that average in double figure scoring, led by senior Rian Pierson and Pierson is coming off of a very nice performance in which he scored 22 points in 26 minutes in a 19 points blowout of Coppin State. Kansas has a fairly solid defense, allowing 67.5 points per game, but I still expect Pierson to play well and for Toledo to be fairly effective on the offensive end.
Kansas is 44-1 in its last 45 games at Allen Fieldhouse against unranked non-conference opponents.
Andrew Wiggins is one of the most highly touted freshman in the nation, but his offensive game is a bit raw. In his last 2 games, he’s 6 of 21 from the field while averaging 11.5 points. This is a player that’s the complete package and will be a major obstacle for Toledo on the defensive end. Expect Wiggins to have a strong game tonight as Toledo hasn’t faced an opponent of his or Kansas’ caliber. I’m expecting big numbers out of Wiggins tonight.
Kansas has a lot of young talent and expect them to win this game. That said, I’m going to take the points with the undefeated Rockets for my college basketball pick.
College Basketball Pick: Toledo +14.5 at Bet 365