Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#643 VCU vs.
#644 St. Bonaventure
Friday, January 14, 2022 at 7:30pm EST
Written by Chris King

It’s a battle of teams from the Atlantic 10 on the hardwood in Western New York. The VCU Rams are on the road as they make the trip to face the St. Bonaventure Bonnies Friday night. VCU rolls in off an 84-57 home victory over George Washington Tuesday night in their most recent contest. St. Bonaventure rallied to down La Salle 80-76 in overtime on the road in their previous contest Tuesday night. In the all-time series between the teams, the Rams own a 7-6 advantage but it was the Bonnies who took a 74-65 victory in the Atlantic 10 Tournament title game in the most recent meeting on March 14, 2021.

VCU Rams Seek to Stay Hot

VCU ran their win streak to seven games as they knocked off George Washington as they’ve found their footing after a slow start to the year. The Rams improved to 10-4 on the season overall and are 3-0 in the Atlantic 10 heading into this contest. Against George Washington, VCU trailed 5-2 early before reeling off a 13-0 run to take a 15-5 advantage with 13:25 to play in the first half. The Rams didn’t let the Colonials closer than seven after that. VCU led by 20 at the half and led by as many as 29 in the victory. VCU shot 47.1% from the field, including 10 of 23 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 48-30 in the victory. Adrian Baldwin Jr. led the Rams with 16 points in the victory.

For the year, VCU is putting up an average of 63.4 points per game so far this season, putting them 325th in the nation in scoring offense. The Rams are collecting an average of 33.6 rebounds per contest while dishing out 13.5 assists a night this year. VCU has given up an average of 57.1 points a game this season, putting them 6th in the nation in scoring defense. Vince Williams Jr. is one of two players averaging in double figures for the Rams as he averages 11.3 points per game this season. Adrian Baldwin Jr. (10.8 points, 5.2 assists) is the other player putting up double figures in points. Hason Ward, KeShawn Curry, Levi Stockard III, Jayden Nunn, Marcus Tsohoris, Jalen DeLoach, Josh Banks, Jimmy Nichols Jr., Nick Kern and Mikeal Brown-Jones are all key contributors being looked to for solid minutes for Mike Rhoades. As a team, VCU is shooting 43.5% from the floor on the year. The Rams are connecting on an average of 5.7 three-pointers per game while shooting 32.1% from beyond the arc. VCU is sinking a mediocre 64.7% of their attempts from the charity stripe on the season.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies Look for Back-to-Back Wins

St. Bonaventure needed overtime to rally to down La Salle in their first game in three and a half weeks but it’s a win nonetheless. The Bonnies improved to 9-3 on the season overall and are 1-0 in the Atlantic 10 after the contest. Against La Salle, St. Bonaventure trailed by as many as nine in the first half before climbing to within three at the half. The Bonnies trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before rallying to force overtime. In the extra session, St. Bonaventure scored the first six points and didn’t let the Explorers closer than three the rest of the way to earn the win. The Bonnies shot 42.9% from the field, including eight of 20 from three-point range, and controlled the glass by a 45-37 margin. Kyle Lofton had 18 points and eight assists to lead five players in double figures for St. Bonaventure in the win.

The Bonnies are average on the offensive end of the floor this season, ranking 179th in the country by putting up 72.2 points per contest. St. Bonaventure collects 36.6 boards a game this season while ranking 163rd in assists by handing out 13.7 dimes a night. The Bonnies are average on the defensive end of the floor as they are 198th in the nation in scoring defense by allowing 69.2 points per game this year. Kyle Lofton is the team’s leading scorer as he puts up 15.9 points and 4.4 assists per game on the season. Jaren Holmes (15.9 points, 6.5 rebounds), Jalen Adaway (13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds), Dominick Welch (11.7 points, 5.6 rebounds) and Osun Osunniyi (10.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.1 blocks) each average in double figures for the Bonnies. Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, Quadry Adams and Linton Brown are key contributors for coach Mark Schmidt. St. Bonaventure shoots 44.8% from the field on the year. The Bonnies knock down 6.6 triples per game while connecting on 33.9% from beyond the arc. St. Bonaventure is terrific at the free-throw line this season, converting 77% of their attempts.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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These are two of the teams that are expected to contend for the top spot in the Atlantic 10 this season. VCU has won seven straight games entering this one but traveling to Olean to face the Bonnies is going to be an uphill climb. The Rams have their issues on the offensive end of the floor and that will be a challenge for them here. St. Bonaventure’s offense hasn’t been as solid as it was a season ago but they should get more in line with the norm as the season wears on. The Bonnies have a ton of continuity as their starting five from a year ago are leading the way here. After knocking the rust off in Tuesday’s win, you have to think that St. Bonaventure can build off that and earn a home victory here.

Prediction: St. Bonaventure Bonnies -2

Full-Game Total Pick

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VCU has seen the under hit in eight of their 14 games this season entering this contest. The Rams are just 259th in offensive efficiency, 337th in turnover percentage (22.6%) and 215th in effective field goal percentage (48.7%) on the year. VCU is third in the country in defensive efficiency, second in effective field goal percentage defense (41.3%) and third in turnover percentage (26.8%) on the year. The Rams are 171st in tempo with 68.8 possessions a night. St. Bonaventure is 48th in offensive efficiency, 40th in turnover percentage (16.4%) and sixth in block percentage defensively (17.1%) this season. The Bonnies have gone over the total in seven of their 12 games this season but this one could be a struggle for both teams. Look for this one to end up just short of the total.

Prediction: Under 130.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.