St. Joseph’s is the NCAA Basketball Pick at Fordham

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, February 15, 2015 3:25 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 Sunday.

 

The road favorites seem undervalued Sunday in Atlantic 10 Conference action on Sunday when those St. Joseph’s Hawks (11-12, 2-9 away) pay a visit to the Fordham Rams (6-16, 6-7 home) at Rose Hill Gym in New York, NY at 2:30 ET in a game televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has St. Joseph’s as a small favorite for this contest with the current line at -1½ with odds of -110.


Atlantic 10 Doormats
Fordham is a long-standing member of the Atlantic 10, but while the conference as a whole has improved over the years, the Rams are lagging in that improvement and have become the doormats of the conference. Fordham had won a grand total of 10 conference games over the last six years and this season has not been any better with the Rams last in the conference again at 1-10.

In fact, Fordham has not been to any post-season tournament since the 1992 NCAA Tournament!

St. Joseph’s was the winning NCAA Basketball pick by 11 points 66-55 the first time these teams met this season back home in Philadelphia, and although the Hawks are in a down year compared to their usual standards under Coach Phil Martelli at 11-12 overall and 5-6 in conference, that is still significantly better than what Fordham has done and St. Joseph’s at least has some wins over good competition, especially lately.


Playing a Little Better but Still Weak on Both Sides
Now the Rams have been playing a little better as of late after beginning 0-9 inside the Atlantic 10. The ninth loss was a competitive one 78-72 vs. Massachusetts, followed by Fordham’s only conference win so far vs. an extremely young Saint Louis team here at home, and then followed by a narrow 73-71 defeat at Richmond on Wednesday.

Still, we feel this decent spell has the Rams overvalued with this game rated so close to a toss-up considering their overall record. After all, this is still a team that grades out poorly on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, Fordham is 250th in offensive efficiency and 310th in effective field goal percentage at a mere 45.1 percent. And to compound matters, the Rams have been extremely sloppy with the basketball ranking 333rd out of 351 Division I teams in offensive turnover percentage.

The news is not any better defensively where the Rams are 209th in efficiency and 271st in effective field goal percentage allowed at 51.4 percent. They have been especially shoddy on the interior as they are 298th in two-point defense allowing a 51.4 percent success rate.


Three Wins in Last Four Games
Now St. Joseph’s was not off to the best of starts in conference either, sitting at 1-4 after five Atlantic 10 affairs with the lone win being the first meeting with the Rams. But then the Hawks topped Massachusetts on January 21st to begin a 4-2 conference stretch since, including three wins in their last four games. Included in those three wins were triumphs over a Davidson team ranked 39th on the Pomeroy Ratings and also over 61st ranked Rhode Island.

And remember that the Hawks beat 46th ranked Temple earlier in the season out of conference in a Pennsylvania Big Five game, giving St. Joseph’s three Pomeroy 100 wins. Comparatively, the highest ranked Pomeroy team Fordham defeated this season was 190th ranked Monmouth, and that win required overtime.

Also, Fordham is a team that does most of its scoring inside the three-point arc because the Rams are a dismal 347th in the country in three-point shooting at 26.8 percent. That should make them fairly easy to defend for a St. Joseph’s team that leads the Atlantic 10 in two-point defense, allowing just a 44.7 success rate during conference play.


Head-to-Head Dominance
Finally, as you might expect, the first meeting this year continued the head-to-head dominance that St. Joseph’s has had in this series as the Hawks have now beaten the Rams 10 straight times straight up while going 8-1-1 ATS in those contests.

We really do not see that changing today despite the recent slight improvement by Fordham, especially with St. Joseph’s playing well recently too, so give the seemingly small spot with the Hawks in Manhattan on Sunday.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Joseph’s -1½ (-110)