February 9, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Editor's note: Brian Edwards owns a 31-17 record (64.6%, +12.79 Units) on his guaranteed plays since Dec. 8, so don't miss out on tonight's pay-if-it-wins-only selection!
**Davidson at Rhode Island**
-- Rhode Island (19-3 straight up, 12-7 against the spread) is flying solo atop the Atlantic-10 standings with its perfect 11-0 record. URI enjoys a three-game lead over second-place Davidson, which is 8-3 in league play. As of Thursday evening, most Vegas books had the Rams installed as seven-point home favorites.
-- Danny Hurley’s team is No. 5 in the RPI Rankings and 18th in the latest edition of the Associated Press Top 25. URI is 3-3 versus the RPI Top 50 and 4-3 against the Top 100. The Rams have home wins over Providence, St. Bonaventure and Charleston, in addition to a neutral-court victory over Seton Hall. Their three defeats have come at Alabama (68-64), at Nevada (88-81) and vs. Virginia on a neutral court (70-55).
-- Rhode Island is unbeaten in 12 home games with a 7-3 spread record.
-- Hurley’s team hasn’t played since last Friday’s 81-68 win at VCU as a 5.5-point road ‘chalk.’ E.C Matthews led the way with 18 points and five rebounds, while Jared Terrell finished with 16 points, four boards and three assists without a turnover.
-- Terrell is averaging a team-best 18.0 points per game while knocking down 42.2 percent of his 3-balls and 86.7 percent of his free throws. Matthews is scoring at a 14.0 PPG clip.
-- Davidson (13-9 SU, 11-9 ATS) has won three in a row both SU and ATS, including Tuesday’s 91-62 win over St. Joseph’s as a 10.5-point home favorite. Peyton Aldridge scored 32 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked one shot and dished out four assists without committing a turnover. Kellan Grady added 15 points on 6-of-7 field-goal attempts and 3-of-4 makes from 3-point range. KiShawn Pritchett was also in double figures with 12 points and nine assists without a turnover. Pritchett knocked down 4-of-6 launches from long distance.
-- Going back further, Davidson has won eight of its past 10 games while posting a 7-2-1 spread record. The two defeats during this span came by three combined points, as the Wildcats lost 65-64 at Dayton before dropping a 66-63 decision to Richmond as 11-point home ‘chalk.’
-- Davidson is No. 128 in the RPI with a 1-4 record against both the Top 50 and 100. We should note that three of the Wildcats’ losses have come by five combined points.
-- Aldridge is third in the A-10 in scoring with his 20.2 points-per-game average. The senior forward is averaging 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
-- Bob McKillop’s team has compiled a 4-6 SU record and a 4-5-1 ATS mark in 10 true road assignments.
-- The ‘under’ is 12-9 overall for the Wildcats, 6-4 in their road outings, but they’ve seen the ‘over’ hit in three consecutive contests.
-- The ‘over’ is 11-9-1 overall for URI, but the ‘under’ is 6-4 in its home games.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**Minnesota at Indiana**
-- Time could be running out on Richard Pitino as the men’s head basketball coach at Minnesota. The Gophers have lost six games in a row and nine of their past 10, going 2-8 ATS during this stretch. The 35-year-old son of Rick Pitino is in his fifth season at the helm. He has taken Minnesota to only one NCAA Tournament appearance, although he did win the NIT in his initial campaign. Pitino has an 89-73 overall record. His team needs to get hot immediately starting Friday night at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
-- Most books had Indiana (13-12 SU, 14-11 ATS) listed as a seven-point favorite Thursday night.
-- Archie Miller’s first IU team is 10-5 both SU and ATS in 15 home games, but it has ripped off seven straight spread covers at home.
-- Indiana is No. 110 in the RPI, going winless in eight games against Top-50 opponents. The Hoosiers are 4-8 versus the Top 100, posting wins at home over Penn St., Northwestern and Maryland, in addition to a neutral-court scalp of Notre Dame.
-- Indiana snapped a four-game losing streak in Monday’s 65-43 win at Rutgers as a two-point road favorite. The spread cover improved IU’s ATS record to 10-3 in its past 13 games. Juwan Morgan was the catalyst for the Hoosiers, producing 24 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, one steal and two assists without a turnover. Morgan knocked down 10-of-14 FGAs and 3-of-4 from downtown. Robert Johnson added 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.
-- Morgan leads the Hoosiers in scoring (16.8 points per game), rebounding (7.3 RPG), field-goal percentage (59.1%) and blocked shots (1.3 BPG).
-- Minnesota (14-12 SU, 10-15 ATS) has limped to a 2-6 SU record and a 3-5 ATS ledger in eight road assignments this year.
-- Minnesota is No. 123 in the RPI with its 2-5 record against the Top 50 and 3-10 mark versus the Top 100.
-- Reggie Lynch remains on suspension and hasn’t played since Jan. 3. He was averaging 10.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.1 blocked shots per game. Amir Coffey (14.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG & 3.3 APG) has missed three consecutive contests and is ‘questionable’ at IU due to a shoulder injury. Dupree McBrayer (9.5 PPG, 2.5 APG & 2.3 RPG) is also ‘questionable’ after leaving the Nebraska game with a lower-leg injury.
-- Minnesota returned home Tuesday after dropping a 76-73 decision at Michigan in overtime last weekend. The Gophers raced out to a 7-0 lead vs. Nebraska to force Tim Miles to call a timeout. Before long, though, the Cornhuskers had a 15-point lead and it wasn’t even halftime yet. Pitino’s bunch would rally to make it interesting, but Miles’s team improved to 13-1 ATS in its last 14 games by collecting a 91-85 triumph as a 3.5-point road underdog. In the losing effort for Minnesota, Jordan Murphy contributed 22 points, 13 rebounds, one block and four assists compared to just one turnover. Nate Mason dropped 34 points on the Cornhuskers, draining 7-of-9 from deep, and he also had six assists and only one turnover. Isaiah Washington finished with 10 points, four rebounds and eight assists without a turnover.
-- Murphy paces the Gophers in scoring (17.7 PPG), rebounding (11.7 RPG) and FG percentage (53.5%). Mason (16.4 PPG) is burying 41.4 percent of his 3-balls and has an excellent 109/34 assist-to-turnover ratio.
-- Indiana has won four of the last five head-to-head meetings, going 3-2 ATS in the process. When these teams met at The Barn on Jan. 6, IU captured a 75-71 win as an eight-point road underdog. The 146 combined points fell ‘under’ the 149.5-point total. Johnson dropped 28 points on the Gophers, making 3-of-7 attempts from 3-point land. Johnson also had seven rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals. Morgan and Justin Smith added 20 points apiece, while Morgan snapped 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Nate Mason scored a team-best 22 points and dished out nine assists compared to only one turnover in the losing effort. Jordan Murphy finished with 18 points and 10 boards for the Gophers, who also got 18 points out of McBrayer.
-- The underdog is 21-7 ATS in the past 28 meetings of this Big Ten rivalry.
-- The ‘under’ is 7-0-1 in Indiana’s past eight games to improve to 15-9-1 overall, 8-7 in its home tilts.
-- The ‘over’ is 14-11 for the Gophers, 5-3 in their road contests. They’ve seen the ‘over’ cash in four straight games.
-- Fox Sports 1 will provide the telecast at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Harvard’s Bryce Aiken is ‘doubtful’ for tonight’s home game vs. Princeton due to a knee injury. Aiken is averaging 14.1 points and 2.9 assists per game for the Crimson, which is 5-2 SU and 4-2-1 ATS in its last six outings. Tommy Amaker’s team returns home after six consecutive road games. As of early Friday, most books had Harvard listed as a two-point favorite with a total of 133. The ‘over’ has hit in three straight for the Crimson, but they’ve seen the ‘under’ go 11-6-1 overall. Princeton is playing its first road game since Jan. 6. The Tigers are looking to avoid a three-game losing streak (SU) and snap a 0-3 ATS slide. They’ve watched the ‘over’ cash at a 6-1 clip in their seven road assignments.
-- Bettors need to be paying attention to the Montana Grizzlies, who improved to 10-0 SU and 7-0 ATS at home with last night’s 80-60 win over Portland State.
-- Utah is now 10-2 SU and 6-2 ATS at home following last night’s 75-60 win over Stanford as a 5.5-point home favorite. Justin Bibbins was the catalyst against the Cardinal, draining 7-of-9 FGAs and all four of his 3-pointers. Bibbins handed out four assists without committing a turnover as well. Utah will host Cal on Saturday.
-- Joel Berry led North Carolina to an 82-78 win over Duke as a 1.5-point home favorite last night in Chapel Hill. Berry scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds, made two steals and dished out six assists without committing a turnover. Kenny Williams knocked down six 3-balls in a 20-point effort, while Cameron Johnson finished with 18 points and 13 boards. UNC had a remarkable 15/2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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