Rider Broncs are the NCAA Basketball Pick on Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 12, 2015 6:13 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.

 

The home team could have the advantage Monday night in a matchup of two teams that are both 4-1 inside the MAAC when the Monmouth Hawks (7-8, 4-4 away) pay a visit to those Rider Broncs (10-6, 5-0 home) at Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, NJ at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Rider as a moderate home favorite for this contest with the current line at -4 with odds of -110.


Battle for Early MAAC Supremacy
The winner of this contest will be in first place in the MAAC at the end of the night as these teams are part of a three-way tie along with the conference favorites from Iona, which is off this evening. Home standing Rider is currently riding a six-game winning streak since suffering its only conference loss to that very good Iona team on the road, and the Broncs remain perfect at home at 5-0 after a fairly easy 68-55 win over St. Peter’s here on Saturday.

Monmouth may have struggled with the non-conference portion of its schedule going just 3-7, but the Hawks already have four wins inside the conference including being the upset winning NCAA Basketball picks over Iona at home 92-89 back on December 7th in a very early MAAC game on the schedule. They do come off of their first conference loss though, and it came back at home to Quinnipiac on Friday 68-64.


Rider Should Dominate the Glass
Rider has gotten hot at the same time their seven-foot center Matt Lopez has, and Monmouth does not really have anyone to contain him with its tallest starter being just 6-foot-7. Lopez missed the Broncs’ 69-59 road win over Marist on January 2nd with an illness, but in the five games he has played during the six-game win streak, he has averaged 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds, scoring double-digits in all five games and posting three double-doubles!

The Broncs figure to dominate the interior in this contest, not only because they rank 59th in the country in two-point percentage at 51.1 percent but also because they have a huge edge on the boards on both ends of the court.

Rider is just above average in offensive rebounding percentage at 32.0 percent vs. a national average of 31.3 percent, but that should be good enough to get plenty of second chances with Monmouth being a dismal 310th in defensive rebounding percentage, allowing opponents to grab their own misses 35.1 percent of the time. Meanwhile Monmouth is also 287th in offensive rebounding percentage at 27.5 percent, with Rider yielding a 30.2 percent success rate.


Some Bad Losses for Hawks
Meanwhile it is not as if a tough non-conference schedule was to blame for the bad Monmouth start. Yes the Hawks had three “good” losses to West Virginia, Maryland and SMU, but they also lost to a St. Francis NY team ranked 159th on the Pomeroy Ratings, 273rd ranked Towson and 149th ranked Rutgers all at home, as well as to 262nd ranked Fordham on the road.

Furthermore besides the home shocker over Iona even the other three MAAC wins are vs. the bottom half of the conference in Marist, Niagara and Canisius, so they have yet to beat a decent team on the road this season.

And despite that weak schedule Monmouth is just 239th in the country in offensive efficiency as it has been loose with the basketball ranking 242nd on offensive turnover percentage at 20.8 percent vs. a national average of 19.7 percent. That is another area that Rider can take advantage of as the Broncs are 41st in defensive turnover percentage at 22.5 percent.


Head-to-Head Dominance
Finally, Rider has dominated this head-to-head series winning the last nine meetings straight up including three wins last season as after sweeping the two regular season meetings the Broncs beat Monmouth again during the MAAC Tournament fairly handily 71-60.

This seems like a rather cheap line for Rider at home with all things considered so we recommend giving the moderate spot with the Broncs hosting Monmouth on Monday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Rider -4 (-110)