College Basketball action on Saturday evening and a pair of teams from Conference U.S.A will square off as the Old Dominion Monarchs grapple with the Florida International Golden Panthers at Ocean Bank Convocation Center (FIU) in Miami, Florida.
The Monarchs enter this contest off an 80-73 road loss to Florida Atlantic to fall to 1-2 in league play, while FIU comes in off a hard-fought 69-66 home win over Charlotte to move to 2-1 within Conference U.S.A.
ODU is ranked 93rd in the nation by KenPom and they have played the 291st rated schedule. FIU is ranked 221st in the nation by KenPom and they have played the 304th rated schedule.
Defense Stumbles In Loss To FAU
The ODU Monarchs have gotten off to a nice 11-5 start to their year and they have been led by their defense, which has been one of the best in the nation. That defense did not have a good showing in their last game as they fell 80-73 to Florida Atlantic on the road. The Monarchs allowed the Owls to hit 51.0% of their shots from the field overall, including 57.1% (12/21) from long range. They must clean that defense up in a hurry as they are about to take on one of the best offenses in the nation. The offense for the Monarchs has been bad this year, but they have a shot at a good showing as FIU plays no defense at all. ODU shot 47.4% from the field overall against the Owls, but they also hit just 8/27 (29.6%) from long range. This offense has to have a better showing or they could get blown out. Leading their attack was Ahmad Caver (17.8 ppg), who had 20, while Justice Kithcart (5.7 ppg) chipped in with 15.
— ODU Men's Basketball (@ODUMensHoops) January 11, 2019
The Monarchs check in ranked 318th in the nation in scoring at 66.7 ppg, while also ranking 300th in shooting (40.5%), 116th in three-point shooting (35.9%) and 299th in free throw shooting (65.5%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been very strong as they have allowed just 58.1 ppg, which is 5th in the nation, while also ranking 4th in defensive FG% (36.9%) and 117th in three-point defense (32.3%).
DEfense Leads FIU Over Charlotte
The Florida International Golden Panthers have had a solid 11-5 start to their year, which includes a 7-1 mark here at home. The Golden Panthers have had one of the best offenses in the nation, but also one of the worst defenses, but in their last game, it was the defense that led them to victory. FIU allowed the 49ers to hit just 42.3% of their shots overall and they forced them into 20 turnovers. The 49ers are a bad offensive team, and so are the Monarchs, so FIU has a good shot at another solid defensive performance. They needed their defense to play well against the 49ers as FIU shot just 37.3% from the field overall, including 33.3% (7/21) from long range while committing 18 turnovers of their own. Their offense will be tested in this one against one of the best defenses in the nation. Leading their attack was Trejon Jacob (12.1 ppg), who had 19 points, while Osasumwen Osaghae (8.6 ppg) chipped in with 13.
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— FIU Men's Basketball (@FIUHoops) January 12, 2019
FIU has been a strong offensive team so far as they come in ranked 4th in the nation in scoring at 90.7 ppg, while also ranking 134th in shooting (45.7%), 330th in three-point shooting (29.4%) and 310th in free throw shooting (64.9%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been very poor as they have allowed 81.9 ppg, which is 342nd in the nation, while also ranking 283rd in defensive FG% (45.5%) and 102nd in three-point defense (31.9%).
- 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
Old Dominion is:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Monarchs are not a good offensive team, but their defense is stout and Charlotte showed that the FIU offense can be slowed down in a slower paced game. I feel the Monarchs will do just that and their defense will bounce back from the bad showing last week. The FIU defense looked good last week, but they still allow over 80 ppg on the year and the ODU offense will take advantage of that. Look for the Monarchs to win this one by eight or more.
Prediction: Old Dominion -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Monarchs played a higher scoring game than normal last week, but I look for that to change in this one, their defense is one of the best in the nation and they average 19.3 seconds per offensive possession, which is 341st in the nation and that is a combination for low scoring games. ODU’s games have averaged just 126.4 ppg and that is well under the total for this game. Yes, FIU’s games have averaged 170.3 ppg, but they were in a slow-paced game last week and just 135 points were scored. I love the Under in this game and the clincher is the fact that the Under is 8-2-1 in FIU’s last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Prediction: Under 150