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VCU vs. Davidson Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 1-12-2019

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#651 VCU
Rams 134.5
#652 Davidson
Wildcats -2.5

Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

VCU Rams

11 - 4

8-6
ATS
4-11
O/U
69
PPG
62
OPPG

Davidson Wildcats

11 - 4

7-6
ATS
6-8
O/U
73
PPG
67
OPPG

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VCU at Davidson

When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 12, Belk Arena, Davidson, N.C., 2 p.m. EST.

It’s an early showdown of unbeaten teams in Atlantic 10 play as VCU looks to push its winning streak to five games Saturday when it faces Davidson.

Rams shake off slow start, rally past La Salle

VCU (11-4, 2-0 Atlantic 10) has taken advantage of the youthfulness of its first two opponents, stifling both Fordham and La Salle to open Atlantic 10 play.

The Rams, though, had to overcome a miserable start at home against the Explorers on Wednesday night. They fell behind by 18 in the first half before eventually recovering to win 69-63. De’Riante Jenkins scored 15 points and Marcus Santos-Silva added 13 for VCU, which offset shooting 37.7 percent by forcing 20 turnovers that led to 19 points.

The game, though, did serve as a reminder Mike Rhoades’ team cannot rely on 3-point shooting. After hitting 21 of 45 from beyond the arc in its previous two games, VCU regressed to the mean and hit 5 of 24 — closer in line to its season mark of 29.7 percent.

Santos-Silva is becoming a bigger offensive threat in the low post, averaging 11.0 points in his last eight games to raise his season mark to 8.9 per contest. Marcus Evans leads VCU in scoring at 13.3 points per game, followed by Isaac Vann (11.5) and Jenkins (11.4).

The Rams also still have a defense to be reckoned with. They are forcing 17.3 turnovers per game while holding opponents to 26.6 percent shooting from 3-point range, 37.4 percent overall and 62.7 points per game.

Wildcats back home after winning rock fight at George Mason

Good teams find ways to win on the road, and that is exactly what Davidson (11-4, 2-0) did Wednesday night in grinding out a 61-56 victory at George Mason.

Kellan Grady scored 17 points and Jon Axel Gudmundsson added 13, eight rebounds, five assists, and five steals as the Wildcats shot only 36.7 percent and made 4 for 23 from 3-point range. Davidson’s defense, though, was relentless as it limited George Mason to 32 percent shooting, including 2 for 20 beyond the arc as the Patriots had one basket in the final 7:31.

“A lot of it had to do with energy,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop told The Waashington Post when asked why his team struggled offensively. “A lot had to do with they’re in attack mode and running through a lot of ball screens. We’re in attack mode, running through a lot of screens, and I think both teams just, we just got worn out by the pace and not just the pace but the style of play.”

Grady and Gudmundsson continue to be the driving force of Davidson’s offense, averaging 19.0 and 17.1 points, respectively. The pair are also getting help from Luke Frampton, who chips in 10.0 points per game and has a team-best 41 3-pointers.

The Wildcats are 7-0 at home, averaging 81.1 points and outscoring opponents by 16.2 per game.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Davidson is showing how much better a team it is with Grady after going 0-3 against Division I opponents when he missed four games with a knee injury. Grady is arguably the best all-around player in the conference and one of its best scorers.

He and Gudmundsson play well off each other and will need to be at their best in this game given VCU’s frenetic defensive style. The good news is the Wildcats are one of the more structured offensive teams in the country and averaging only 12.0 turnovers.

For a team that shoots under 30 percent from 3-point range, the Rams shoot an awful lot of them — 43.2 percent of their shots are from deep. Davidson plays strong enough defensively to continue flustering VCU in that area, but the other issue for the Rams is their 15.0 turnovers per game.

That, plus Grady being able to break down defenses in halfcourt play, will keep Davidson among the unebatens in the A-10.

Prediction: Pick: Davidson -2.5

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

This game has all the feel of a rock fight similar to what Davidson just survived at George Mason. The Wildcats are a more efficient team at home, yes, but VCU’s defense is still formidable enough where it would be a surprise if the winner reached 70 points.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 131 points

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

The Wildcats have led at halftime in five of their six home games and also have been up after 20 minutes in their first two conference games. VCU has been at both ends of the spectrum in its first two A-10 contests — up 15 at Fordham and down nine at home versus La Salle.

This game will likely be as tight as the spread, but the pick is the hosts, who have the best player on the floor in Grady and arguably the best shooter in Gudmundsson.

Prediction: Davidson -2

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

This is a bit of a toss-up given the contrast between Davidson’s last game in which there were just 40 first-half points and the fact the Wildcats have gone 62 or higher in all six of their home games. VCU has been at 63 or less in all three of its road games, which include stops at Texas and Virginia.

The teams also played to 63 or fewer points in their last five meetings, so the take is the under in what will be close.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 61 points

Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73)

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.

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