NCAA Basketball Picks: William & Mary -3½ over Old Dominion

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

Three-point shooting could make all the difference for the home team when the William & Mary Tribe host the Old Dominion Monarchs in an old CAA rivalry Wednesday.

In a game where three-point shooting could make the difference, the home team appears to have the edge in that department Wednesday night when the Old Dominion Monarchs (5-8, 1-4 away) pay a visit to those William & Mary Tribe (6-5, 3-2 home) at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, VA at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has William & Mary as a modest home favorite for this contest with the current line at -3½ with odds of -106.

This would have been a CAA conference matchup until last season, but it is now a non-conference game with Old Dominion jumping to Conference USA this year. The transition has not gone smoothly during the non-conference portion of the Monarchs’ schedule as they are 5-8 overall and 1-4 in true road games like this one, mainly because of an awful offense that is ranked 299th in the country in efficiency and 268th in effective field goal percentage.

William & Mary has fared a tad better while prepping for the CAA season as the Tribe are 6-5 overall, and although they have not exactly been setting the house on fire offensively, their three-point shooting continues to be the strongest suit of the entire team, much like last season when William & Mary finished 31st in the country from beyond the arc at 37.5 percent.

No, the Tribe have not been as good this year at 35.5 percent, but that is still above the national average of 34.0 percent and the reason that William & Mary has been able to get away with ranking 276th in defensive efficiency. Luckily, Old Dominion does not seem equipped to take advantage of that, so the success of the Tribe’s perimeter shooters could decide this game, and they should appreciate the drop in class after a blowout loss at West Virginia Sunday.

The Tribe uncharacteristically went 6-for-25 from beyond the arc in that 82-45 beatdown, but keep in mind that West Virginia is a Big 12 school that is ranked 60th in the country overall on the Pomeroy Ratings. Look for the Tribe’s success from three-point land to return here vs. the 212th ranked Monarchs, especially returning to the comforts of home where the William & Mary three point percentage zooms all the way up to 39.2 percent!

Old Dominion stumbled to 5-25 overall and 3-15 in conference play in its final season in the Colonial and the Monarchs graded poorly on both ends of the court, ranking 231st in offensive efficiency and 288th in defensive efficiency. The offense has actually been even less efficient in the early portion of this season as mentioned earlier, but the defense is showing improvement, ranking a respectable 95th in efficiency and 83rd in effective field goal percentage allowed.

However, the breakdown of that effective field goal percentage allowed should be of major concern here as Old Dominion is ranked a very good 56th in two-point defense but a distressing 220th in three-point defense allowing a 35.4-percent success rate. That makes the three-point matchup the biggest mismatch in this game where the teams basically wash out against each other in most other areas.

When you further add how much better the Tribe shoot their three-pointers at home, William & Mary appears to offer good value as a modest home favorite on New Year’s night Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/253535/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: William & Mary -3½ (-106)