We are all aware of the dog days of summer when baseball hits that point where the season is all but decided, but the playoffs are still a ways away. College basketball doesn’t have dog days, it is fantastic from start to finish, but we do have “the wall.” The part of the season when cracks start showing in the foundation. There are no down days in sports betting. However, only opportunities. Here are Friday night’s opportunities on a small college basketball slate!
College Basketball Best Bets on a Small Slate for 1/20/23
Iona Gaels (-12) at Manhattan Jaspers
This is an interesting spot for the Manhattan Jaspers. While Head Coach RaShawn Stores has struggled to a 6-10 record this season, the Jaspers look to be in a pretty good spot to at least cover the spread in this game.
The Rick Pitino led Gaels may be the highest-profile team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, but they are not without their faults. On the road, Iona is just 1-3 against the spread while underperforming the spread by a league-worst -6.8 points per contest. Pitino’s group has a margin of victory number that is also concerning at -2.3 points per game which is actually third BEST in the MAAC, which tells you much of what you need to know about the conference.
Despite their losing record, Manhattan has been at least mediocre at home against the spread at 4-4 while outperforming the number by +0.8 points per contest. Their margin of victory is minimal at home at just +0.5 points, but when you combine it with the Iona performance on the road, this looks like a solid spot to play the home dog.
Virginia Commonwealth Rams at Richmond Spiders O/U 129
This total introduces a fairly convoluted situation for bettors. While both teams are the epitome of inconsistency in terms of the total, their metrics suggest that this total is destined to go under.Richmond has always been a defensive stalwart under long-time head coach Chris Mooney, and lately, that has again become the norm. The Spiders have gone under the total in four of their six games this season while surrendering just 64.5 points on defense this season. The Spiders have held two of their last three opponents to just 57 points, as well as they dial in their defensive prowess.
Virginia Commonwealth, on the other hand, is 9-10 against total this season but has also gone under recently after a run of overs. Despite an uptempo style, the Rams have hit the under in each of their last two games. Mike Rhoades’ team may enjoy the quicker tempo, but their offensive efficiency ranking (174th) doesn’t exactly equate to a high-scoring club. The Rams are one of the best teams in the nation at turning their opponents over, but the Spiders are the third-best team in the A-10 in protecting the ball on offense.
Both of these groups aren’t efficient on offense while being solid on defense. Both rank outside the top 75 in three-point shooting and within the top 65 of adjusted defensive efficiency. All signs point to a grind-it-out rock fight in an A-10 battle.