VCU (14-3 SU; 11-6 ATS) @ Davidson (8-7 SU; 7-8 ATS)
Time: 2 PM ET
Venue: John M. Belk Arena
Location: Davidson, North Carolina
Spread: VCU -1
In a clash of Atlantic Ten Conference foes, VCU heads south to do battle with Davidson College this Saturday afternoon. The Rams are on a roll, having won eight straight contests. To the contrary, the Wildcats are reeling because of losses in three of their last four games. Davidson looks to right the ship Saturday afternoon, and pick up a monster win against the best the A-10 Conference has to offer: Virginia Commonwealth.
Rams are steamrolling the competition
VCU is heating up, and proving they’re the class of the Atlantic Ten Conference once again. The Rams have won eight straight: 67-64 at Old Dominion, 80-77 versus Middle Tennessee, 78-65 versus UL-Monroe, 85-51 versus Howard, 73-64 at George Mason, 94-87 at Duquesne, 81-64 versus UMass and 85-55 versus George Washington. Starting off 4-0 in the Atlantic Ten Conference, the Rams are winning Conference games by 15.8 points per game. Their recent surge has catapulted the Rams to the 28th ranking in the College Basketball RPI.
As a team, VCU scores 75.9 points per game, and allows just 65.7 points per game (58th in the nation). They’re also averaging 8.7 steals per game (16th in the nation), and 16.5 assists per game (48th in the country). Overall, VCU is a very solid team, which no major conference squad will want to face in the Big Dance this upcoming March. The Rams are led by a trio of upperclassmen: JeQuan Lewis (15.4 points per game, 4.5 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game), Justin Tillman (10.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game) and Mo Alie-Cox (10.6 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game). Last year, a similar VCU squad handled Davidson in three contests: 79-69 at Davidson, 70-60 versus Davidson and 76-54 versus Davidson.
Wildcats off to a shaky start
Davidson‘s off to a rough start, losing three of four games to commence A-10 play. Losses were accrued: versus Richmond (82-80), at George Washington (73-69), and versus Fordham (60-54). Their lone win came against lowly Saint Louis (77-66), a game in which the Wildcats failed to cover the spread. In fact, the Wildcats are 0-4 against the spread in Conference play thus far. To say it’s been a disappointing start for the optimistic Wildcats would be an understatement. However, a monumental victory against a fairly certain NCAA Tournament team in VCU is just the medicine that the doctor ordered for Davidson’s current malady.
The Wildcats are led by upperclassmen stars Jack Gibbs (21 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game) and Peyton Aldridge (20.8 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game). Gibbs shoots: 40.1% from the field, 38.6% from deep and 82.6% from the charity stripe. His teammate, Aldridge, shoots 51.7% from the floor, 41.3% from beyond the arc and 85.9% from the line. Unfortunately, outside of this dynamic duo, the Wildcats are lacking in depth and talent. As a team, Davidson averages 75 points per game, while allowing 70.8 points per game. Bob McKillop’s crew aims to snag a colossal victory on their home floor, and avenge last year’s three losses to this similar VCU contingent.
- Rams are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games.
- Rams are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Saturday games.
- Rams are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 vs. Atlantic 10.
- Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
- Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Wildcats are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Wildcats are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic 10.
Hate to take the road team in big-time conference match-ups, but this one is a no-brainer. Not too sure how Vegas justifies this current line. VCU’s won eight straight games, and they’re 4-0 against the A-10 thus far. Not to mention, they’re defeating A-10 opponents by an average of 15.8 points per game. Davidson just lost to perennial cellar-dweller, Fordham, on their home floor no less. If Davidson wins this game, it’d be an absolute shocker. Expect VCU to stifle the Wildcats in front of their home fans Saturday afternoon. Don’t be surprised if the Rams take this one by close to double-digits.