Siena is the NCAA Basketball Pick to Get Home Revenge

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, February 19, 2015 3:46 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 Thursday.

 



The home underdogs have big revenge in mind Thursday night in MAAC Action when the Canisius Golden Griffiths (13-12, 5-7 away) pay a visit to those Siena Saints (10-15, 5-7 home) at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY at 7:00 ET in a game available on Time Warner Sports.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Siena as a tiny home underdog for this contest with the current line at +1½ with odds of -120.


Reigning CBI Champions
Siena is the reigning CBI Champions after defeating Fresno State in three games in the best-of-three championship series of that tournament, but the Saints have not used that championship as a springboard to better things this season as they had hoped. The Saints are just 7-9 in MAAC play as well as 10-15 overall, but they are only one game behind this Canisius team and Quinnipiac in the conference with those two schools tied for fifth place at 8-8.

Canisius got back to one game over .500 overall by defeating St. Peter’s 69-55 on Sunday after being the losing NCAA Basketball picks in each of their previous four games following a 7-4 MAAC start. These games now become critical for seeding purposes for the MAAC Tournament with both of these teams having just three more regular season games remaining following this contest.


Seeking Revenge for Canisius Rout
The first meeting this season between these teams is one that Siena would love to forget after getting destroyed 83-49 on the road in Buffalo on January 16th. However, keep in mind that the Saints were without both leading scorer Rob Poole (14.7 points per game) and third leading scorer Lavon Long (11.3) for that contest, and revenge could now be easier to attain as both of those players are back and healthy.

And that is not to mention how much better the Siena offense has performed here at home this season where it is averaging 70.6 points on 44.8 percent shooting. In fact the Saints are commendably in the top 100 in the country in offensive efficiency in 98th overall and they are second in the MAAC in that department vs. conference foes.

Also their scoring average goes up a tad more to 71.6 points at home vs. MAAC opponents, and they are interestingly 4-4 both straight up and ATS in those games while alternating wins and loss both straight up and ATS. Siena would love to see that pattern continue as its last conference home game was a loss to Monmouth.


Canisius a Poor Shooting Team
While Siena is good offensively, the Golden Griffiths are offensively challenged so perhaps the oddsmakers are putting a bit too much stock into their earlier 34-point home win over a Saints’ team missing two top scorers when installing Canisius as a small road favorite here.

After all the Golden Griffiths appeared to be in a freefall while losing those four straight games before Sunday’s win, and beating St. Peter’s at home is not saying much. Canisius has still lost three straight road games and four of its last five with the only win coming at a Fairfield team ranked 295th on the Pomeroy Ratings.

We simply feel that Canisius is not good enough offensively to be favored by any amount of points on the road, where the Golden Griffiths are averaging just 61.1 points on a woeful 39.3 percent shooting overall. Canisius is 253rd in the country in offensive efficiency and 303rd in effective field goal percentage at only 45.4 percent.


Siena Home ATS Dominance in Series
Finally, Canisius has not enjoyed its trips to Albany in the past as Siena is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings in this building.

Now that Poole and Long are back in the lineup for Siena, look for the Saints to get revenge for the earlier blowout loss at Canisius with a mild home upset on Thursday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Siena +1½ (-120)