NCAAB Odds: Little Rhode Island Will Be Too Much For Valparaiso

Rhode Island basketball

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 4:56 PM GMT

The unheralded University of Rhode Island is ranked 21st in the country and will try to maintain that lofty ranking when it travels travel to Valparaiso on Wednesday. Let’s review the NCAAB odds and get on the right side in our college basketball picks.

URI (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) At Valparaiso (6-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)

This is a rematch from a little more than a year ago when Valparaiso traveled to Rhode Island and notched a 58-55 victory as a 1.5-point dog. The Rams will be seeking revenge against the Crusaders. However, Valparaiso will have something to say about that as it is a good program and tied for first in the Horizon League with Oakland and Wright State.

URI is averaging 82.2 points per game (57th) and allowing 69.5 PPG (135th), while Valparaiso is bucketing an average of 77 ppg (130th) and surrendering 70.9 ppg 159th). Thus the Rams have almost a 13-point differential, while the Crusaders own a six-point differential in scoring vs. defending.

The Rams are coming off an 82-73 victory over Belmont on Friday, but those who backed URI in their NCAA basketball picks were disappointed as they failed to cover the 15-point impost. That was the team’s second consecutive blown cover after being installed as a 7.5-point underdog and dropping a 75-65 decision, URI's first loss of the season, to Duke on a neutral site in the previous game.

Valparaiso has won three straight and covered the NCAA basketball odds in two of those contests. In their last game, the Crusaders defeated Ball State at home by the score of 79-73 but failed to cover the 10-point handicap. The Crusaders' only loss came in Oregon as the Ducks waxed the 12-point road dogs 76-54 on Nov. 17.

This is an interesting matchup, but the spread is small enough for me to back the visiting chalk in this one. Rhode Island is on the national radar and has enough offensive weapons to overwhelm a Valparaiso squad that does little in the way of defending. It should be noted that URI is not stellar defensively, either, but I like the makeup of this team and the fact that it is playing a big fish in a small pond when they meet the Crusaders on their home court.

Despite the fact that the Crusaders are undefeated at home, they have not met a team of Rhode Island’s caliber, and in their past four home games that were lined the Crusaders are 0-2 ATS and 0-4 ATS dating to last season. Let’s go with the class here giving up a meager amount.

NCAAB Free Pick: Rams -2.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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