Robert Morris the NCAA Basketball Pick in Northeast Tourney

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 1:55 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 Tuesday.

 

The road team could have the edge in the Northeast Conference Tournament Championship Game Tuesday night when those second seeded Robert Morris Colonials (18-14, 7-8 away) pay a visit to the top seeded St. Francis NY Terriers (23-10, 12-4 home) at Peter Aquilone Court in Brooklyn Heights, NY at 7:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN2, with a berth in the NCAA Tournament on the line.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Robert Morris as a moderate road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5 with odds of -110.


Seeding Has Held Up
Robert Morris is seeking some redemption from last season when it won the regular season Northeast Conference title and also advanced to this championship game of this tournament as the top seed, only to get upset at home by Mount St. Mary’s, thus allowing the Mountaineers to get to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the First Four.

This year the seeding has held up in this tournament so far, so the top two seeds are squaring off here for all the marbles. The difference this season is that Robert Morris finished second in the conference during the regular season and thus must go on the road to visit the regular season champions from St. Francis. The Colonials do come in with great momentum though while being the winning NCAA Basketball picks in their last five games.


Three-Point Shooting the Key to Victory
One major reason for that Robert Morris five-game winning streak has been three-point shooting, and the Colonials figure to have a huge advantage beyond the arc again tonight. In fact, the three-point disparity here figures to be so great that it may propel Robert Morris to the outright upset above all other factors in this game, or at the very least keep the underdogs close in this game until the final buzzer.

For starters, Robert Morris is a very good 52nd in the entire country in three-point shooting at 37.7 percent, and the Colonials are facing a St. Francis three-point defense ranked 273rd allowing a 36.3 percent success rate. But perhaps most importantly, the Colonials lead the Northeast Conference in three-point shooting during league play at a hefty 41.5 percent, while the Terriers are dead last in three-point defense during conference games at 36.6 percent!

Furthermore, Robert Morris has raised that three-point percentage even further to 44.9 percent during the current five-game winning streak.


Terriers Seeking First Ever NCAA Tournament Bid
Now the Terriers are seeking history, as they are one of five Division I schools that has been in that upper division since its inception in 1948 to have never qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Thus, it should be a great atmosphere in Brooklyn Heights this evening as St. Francis seeks its first ever bid, but will they pull it off or will they succumb to the pressure of actually being favored to do something that it has never accomplished?

Whether St. Francis relishes this opportunity or feels the pressure could become moot if the Terriers do not figure out a way to at least maintain Robert Morris’s three-point shooters. If they cannot, it may also counteract the big advantage that St. Francis has here, which is in offensive rebounding as it is amazingly ninth in the entire nation in offensive rebounding percentage.

While that could lead to a lot of easy put-back buckets, Robert Morris would gladly trade three-point baskets for two-pointers all game long, and it is not as if there is much the Terriers can do about that disparity offensively as they are a dismal 338th out of 351 teams in three-point shooting at 29.0 percent, dead last during Northeast Conference play and shooting a dreadful 20.0 percent from three-point land the last five games.


Road Teams Won Both Meetings
The road teams won both regular season meetings between these schools with the most recent meeting taking place here at Peter Aquilone Court, with the visitors from Robert Morris prevailing 67-65.

Another outright win with so much more at stake is certainly within reason, but we recommend taking the points with Robert Morris here as it attempts to thwart the NCAA Tournament dreams of St. Francis in New York on Tuesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Robert Morris +5 (-110)