William & Mary the NCAA Basketball Pick as Road Chalk

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 5, 2015 3:34 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 3:34 PM UTC

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.


It could be a comfortable win for the road favorite in CAA action Monday night when those William & Mary Tribe (7-5, 1-5 away) pay a visit to the Drexel Dragons (2-10, 1-5 home) at the Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia, PA at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has William & Mary as a road favorite for this contest with the current line at -4½ with odds of -113.

Year of the Tribe?
William & Mary is one of the few original Division I teams to has never reached the NCAA Tournament, although the Tribe came excruciatingly close last season while going 20-12 overall and 10-6 in CAA play, falling just one point short 75-74 to Delaware in the CAA Tournament Championship Game! This could most certainly be the Year of the Tribe though as they must be considered the favorite to win the CAA and earn that NCAA auto-bid.

Drexel was also a perennial CAA contender its first several years under Coach Bruiser Flint, but the Dragons have taken a step backwards it appears this season with the 2-10 start as they have been the losing NCAA Basketball picks in six straight games. The offense has been a concern for Drexel for several years, and that continues to be the case. The most disturbing part about this season though is that the defense has not been there either after carrying this team recent years.

Nice Start in Quest for Elusive NCAA Bid
William & Mary went 6-5 in non-conference play vs. an ambitious schedule ranked 35th in the country in non-conference SOS according to the Pomeroy Ratings, so escaping that portion of the slate with any winning record at all must be seen as a positive. That schedule also skews the Tribe’s 1-5 road mark in the early going as they lost at such difficult venues as Florida, North Carolina and Old Dominion and they covered the spread in a one-point loss ay Richmond.

That tough slate apparently prepared the Tribe well in their quest for a CAA Championship and NCAA bid as they opened up conference play with an emphatic 75-45 rout of College of Charleston on Saturday while shooting a blistering 55.2 percent from the field (32-for-58) including 40.0 percent (6-for-15) from beyond the three-point arc!

And that shooting should be there all year for probably the best perimeter shooting team in the CAA, thanks to boating the only returning member of the all-conference CAA first team in the entire conference last season in Marcus Thornton, as well as the return of CAA 2013-2014 Rookie of the Year Omar Prewitt. That duo has propelled William & Mary to a 26th national ranking in effective field goal percentage at 54.1 percent.

And do not think for a minute that the Tribe absolutely have to make their three-point shots to win, as may have been the case in some recent seasons, as this 2014-15 edition almost always works for the best shot from all points on the floor, and thus ranks 15th in the country in two-point percentage at 55.0 percent.

No Pressure to Stop Tribe Offense
William & Mary swept both meetings vs. the Dragons last season because what was then a better Drexel defense than the Dragons have now was unable to prevent the Tribe from shooting 51.1 percent and 48.9 percent respectively in the two meetings, so we certainly do not see Drexel slowing the Tribe down this year.

That is because this year’s Dragons are down to 206th in effective field goal percentage allowed at 49.6 percent no thanks to ranking 292nd in three-point defense, but perhaps the biggest concern of all is that Drexel has applied basically no pressure under a coach in Flint that favored trapping defenses in the past when he had the personnel to do it, as the Dragons are just 255th in defensive turnover percentage at 18.3 percent vs. a national average of 19.9 percent.

And the offense is certainly not a threat to match points with William & Mary on that end ranking 284th in offensive efficiency and 294th in effective field goal percentage at a measly 44.4 percent.

Bettor Friendly
Finally, William & Mary has usual been a good investment lately regardless of the opponent as it is 21-8 ATS in its last 29 games overall, and the Tribe certainly seem to have Drexel’s number going 12-4 ATS in the last 16 head-to-head meetings.

While we get that backing road favorites in conference play can be treacherous, we simply feel that William & Mary can name the score offensively here en route to a safe win at Drexel on Monday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: William & Mary -4½ (-113)

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