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Fordham at UMass (-13)
This game all depends on one player and one player only, Tre Mitchell. If he suits up, UMass -13 is very tempting depending on how many minutes Mitchell is expected to play. Either way, I like the Under here. The Minutemen are dealing with a plethora of injuries before their week-plus hiatus from game action, and Fordham is one of the worst scoring teams in the country, an excellent mix for the Under.
Mitchell came down with a shoulder injury in the second half of the 69-60 loss to Davidson. Mitchell averages 20.0 points and 7.4 rebounds on the season, and he terrorized Fordham for 24 points and eight rebounds in the previous meeting.
At Fordham, Umass had everything going for them in the 19-point win opening as -9-point favorites. Umass led at halftime 44-19 but only won by 19 after going an abysmal 1-of-14 from three in the second half, letting Fordham win the second half, 31-21.
UMass won 65-46 ultimately, and Fordham has lost three straight since then, falling to 1-8 on the season. Fordham has lost the last three games by 15 (Davidson), 10 (Rhode Island) and 24 (Duquesne). Umass won three straight before the loss to Davidson, beating La Salle by 16, Rhode Island by two and Fordham by 19 - all with Mitchell averaging 16.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in the last four.
Per a source, Mitchell may not play 30-plus minutes in this game if he does play, and being the teams leading scorer and rebounder, that is concerning. This game barely scratched 100 points with Mitchell dominating, and Fordham is one of the worst offensive teams in the country. Mitchell recorded 24 points and eight rebounds in the first meeting.
UMass finished with 65 points, Mitchell accounting for 36.9%. The Under looks like a great bet the second time around. If Mitchell plays or is out, how many points can they score with or without him?
UMass has scored 60, 65 and 72 (regulation vs. Rhode Island) points in the last three games, with Mitchell scoring 56-of-205 (27.3%) team points during that stretch. No one on the bench should be able to produce 27.3% to 36.9% of the Minutemen's final score in this matchup if he is out.
The Rams shoot the three at 26.4% (341st) and the two at 40.8% (344th). In terms of effective field goal percentage (346th) or average adjusted efficiency (344th), they are among the worst in the NCAA. Fordham averages 51.2 points per game, 347th, worst among all teams that qualify with enough games played. Do not expect fireworks in this game.
Game Pick: Under 133.5 (1u)
Saint Louis (-13) at La Salle
Here is a live bet spot for me. Saint Louis was a little rusty in their previous game, losing 76-71 to Dayton but get a much better matchup to end the night in the win column. The Billikens have been one of the most entertaining squads to watch out of the mid-majors, and their offense alone has been terrific at times.
Saint Louis' Team Total has been a good to bet for me, and I like it in this spot. I will have to wait and see what we are dealing with here. A road game and the spread jumping from -11 to -13 warrants attention, but the value is gone. The closing line could likely reach -13.5 or -14, but that is stepping too far for me.
La Salle has surrendered 73 or more in seven straight games this season, going 2-5 SU and losing by 16 (UMass), 33 (George Mason), 24 (Davidson), Rhode Island (13) and VCU (11) during that span. That is an average of 19.4 points per game and 11 or more in all five. That is why the line moved. After opening at 74.5, the Team Total has shot up to 76.5 on most books, which is a little too high to take prior to the game. 75 was my key number but asking for 77 is basically needing 80 points from the Billikens and that is a lot to ask for after losing the last outing on 51.8% from the field.
In La Salle's last two wins, they won 90-83 and 84-78 versus two top 100 paced offenses, and Saint Louis is similar.
The Billikens' offense is ranked 41st with 15.9 seconds per possession and 147th in adjusted tempo (69.3). Richmond was 85th (16.3) and 142nd (69.4), and Saint Joseph's was 89th (14.6) and 32nd (72.2). Both teams were two-of-seven teams to score 73 or more versus La Salle in the last seven games.
Saint Louis has only played one road game, a 90-82 loss to Minnesota, one-of-two losses on the season. La Salle will be a far easier opponent defensively as they allow 54.1% inside the three-point arc (292nd). Saint Louis ranks 27th with 55.6% of their two-pointers good and also hits the three at 39.5% on the season (14th). Saint Louis only attempted 13 three-pointers versus Dayton, hitting three.
Saint Louis has won five straight in this series and won by an average of 8.3 points per game with two double-digit wins. They seem like a safe bet to win this game, but by how much? They will have to earn my trust for a few minutes live before I place a wager on them, but I cannot lie -- It is tempting too with how much I love betting on this Saint Louis squad.
I am going to live bet Saint Louis' spread or the Team Total. With a slow start in the first five minutes, you could probably get Saint Louis' Team Total around the 70-point mark for their live team total, a bargain for this team. Saint Louis has scored 70 or more in eight-of-nine games this season and 77 or more in seven-of-nine -- not the last two. That will be my goal for the night outside of watching what should be a brick-fest in Umass-Fordham.
Game Pick: Live Bet Saint Louis Team Total