Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

Friday's Tip Sheet

Buffalo (-2 ½, 156) at Toledo – 7:00 PM EST – ESPNU

Two of the top three teams in the Mid-American Conference hook up on Friday night as both these clubs have eyes on the NCAA tournament. Buffalo (21-3 SU, 13-9-1 ATS) turned heads in last season’s Big Dance by dispatching fourth-seeded Arizona, 89-68 before losing by 20 points to Kentucky in the second round. However, the Bulls are looking to take that next step in the tourney next month, but look to get on track from an ATS standpoint.

The Bulls started MACtion at 5-0, but are 4-2 in the last six games to own a 9-2 conference mark, tying them for the top spot in the Eastern division with Bowling Green. Buffalo has burned bettors lately by putting together a 2-6 ATS mark in the past eight contests, as the Bulls failed to grab a cover as an eight-point road favorite at Akron in Tuesday’s 76-70 victory. CJ Massinburg scored 21 points in the win for Buffalo, as the Bulls have slipped to a 1-4 ATS mark in their last six road affairs.

Toledo (20-4 SU, 14-8-1 ATS) enters Friday’s contest atop the Western division at 8-3, while being the only team on that side of the MAC owning a winning conference record. The Rockets are riding a five-game winning streak, while posting an 8-1 SU and 6-2-1 ATS mark in the last nine contests since getting blown out at Buffalo on January 8. The most recent victory for Toledo came in last Saturday’s 78-71 triumph at Bowling Green to hand the Falcons their second conference loss.

Circling back to Buffalo’s 110-80 rout of Toledo last month, the Bulls opened up a 13-point halftime lead before grounding the Rockets in the second half, 65-48 to easily cash as 9 ½-point favorites. Jeremy Harris posted a career-high 34 points for Buffalo, as the guard has scored 34 points total in the last three games combined. The Rockets own a 4-2 ATS record in the underdog role this season, while receiving points for the first time in 2018-19 at home.

St. Joseph’s at Davidson (-11, 134 ½) – 7:00 PM EST – ESPN2

Three teams have racked up nine wins in Atlantic 10 play, as one of those squads takes the court on Friday. Davidson (18-6 SU, 13-10 ATS) sits atop the league at 9-2, tied with VCU and one-half game ahead of George Mason. The only two A-10 losses suffered by the Wildcats came by one point at St. Joseph’s and a three-point setback at UMass.

St. Joseph’s (11-14 SU, 9-16 ATS) has been a disappointment in conference play at 4-8, but one of those victories took place as a 4 ½-point home underdog against Davidson on January 15 in a 61-60 upset. The Hawks erased a five-point halftime deficit by outscoring Davidson, 35-29 in the second half, capped off by Chris Clover’s go-ahead three-pointer with 1:03 remaining to hand the Wildcats their first conference loss.

The Hawks destroyed Saint Louis last Friday by 30 points as a short home underdog, but St. Joe’s couldn’t capitalize off that upset as it lost, 76-51 to St. Bonaventure on Tuesday at home. Phil Martelli’s team has struggled on the road in conference play by posting an 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS mark with the lone cover coming in an 85-84 setback at Duquesne as 2 ½-point underdogs on January 12.

Davidson owns a 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS ledger as a double-digit favorite this season, while failing to cover as 15-point chalk in a 73-62 home win over George Washington last month. St. Joe’s has been listed as an underdog of more than 10 points only once this season, losing to Big 5 foe and defending national champion Villanova, 70-58 as 11 ½-point ‘dogs on December 8.

Friday Night MAACtion

Following an 0-12 start to the season, Monmouth (10-16 SU, 14-12 ATS) has an opportunity to qualify for the NCAA tournament. How is that possible? The Hawks have caught fire in MAAC play by posting a 9-4 mark to sit in first place of the league as they seek their first Big Dance invite since 2006. Monmouth seeks its fifth straight win as it travels to Rider (12-13 SU, 6-19 ATS), who is on a free-fall of late. The Broncs jumped out to a 7-1 MAAC record before losing five straight, while failing to cash in nine consecutive games. The latest meltdown came in Tuesday’s 98-88 overtime setback at Quinnipiac as the Broncs squandered a seven-point lead with under 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

Canisius (11-13 SU, 11-13 ATS) sits in a second-place tie in the MAAC with Quinnipiac at 8-4 as the Golden Griffins are fresh off back-to-back road wins at Rider and St. Peter’s. The Golden Griffins return home to host Fairfield (7-18 SU, 9-14-2 ATS), who has failed to bust the 50-point mark in three of the last four games. Canisius won at Fairfield last month as three-point underdogs, 73-68, as the Griffins try to improve on a 2-3 home record in the league. The Stags are in the midst of a nine-game UNDER streak, while Fairfield seeks its second road MAAC win six tries this season.

Just like Monmouth, Iona (9-15 SU, 6-18 ATS) started slowly in non-conference play with a 2-9 record. However, the Gaels have put together a 7-6 mark in the MAAC, while coming off consecutive victories over Niagara and Siena by a combined eight points. Prior to those two wins, Iona lost games by one, two, and four points, so this team is a few bounces away from being atop the MAAC. Iona hosts St. Peter’s (6-17 SU, 9-14 ATS), as the Peacocks have won only once in 13 tries on the highway this season. The Peacocks have dropped five straight games, while being limited to 60 points or less in each of those defeats.

Quinnipiac (13-10 SU, 14-8-1 ATS) has heated up lately by winning five of its last six games, including the dramatic comeback late in regulation to stun reeling Rider on Tuesday, 98-88 in overtime. The Bobcats have covered in each game during this three-game hot streak, all in the underdog role. QU is listed as a favorite for only the second time in the last seven contests in Friday’s home contest with Marist (10-14 SU, 12-11-1 ATS). The Red Foxes are looking to avenge a 92-78 home loss to Quinnipiac last month, while Marist has won each of its last two games against Canisius and Niagara.

Niagara (11-14 SU, 13-12 ATS) is going backwards of late by losing three consecutive games, including a 79-76 defeat at Iona as seven-point underdogs on Sunday. The Purple Eagles host Manhattan (7-17 SU, 12-12 ATS), who have played better since a 2-11 start to the season. Included in their last five wins since January 5 is a 90-80 triumph as 2 ½-point home underdogs against Niagara, the fifth victory in the previous six meetings. The Jaspers have covered four straight games and six of their past eight contests, but own a 1-4 road record in the MAAC.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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