Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#855 Rider -6 vs.
#856 Niagara 147
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#855 Rider University
#856 Niagara University
9-6
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The Niagara Purple Eagles will host the Rider Broncos in MAAC play Friday night from the Gallagher Center. The Broncos crushed Marist 69-52 in their previous game, and the Purple Eagles tallied a 70-69 road win over Iona on Saturday. Rider beat Niagara in both games last season.

Rider Defeats Marist, Improve to 3-2 in Conference Play

The Rider Broncs are seeking their second straight win. The Broncs have fared well in MAAC play, compiling a 3-2 record through five games. They ended a two-game slide with a convincing 69-52 road loss over Marist on Sunday to cover 8.5 point spread. Rider’s defense has been their top strength in conference play.

Dimencio Vaughn is playing with confidence after sinking 21 points in Sunday’s easy victory. The junior guard has reached at least 18 points in three out of his last four games and is averaging 14 PPG and 7 RPG. Frederick Scott continues to excel from three-point range where he now holds a 41% efficiency on the season. The junior forward is currently averaging 13.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG. Tyere Marshall scored 20 points in a recent loss to Iona. The 6-foot-9 senior center has collected four double-doubles and owns an average of 13 PPG and 8.8 RPG.

The Broncs are currently placed 181st overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings, and they stand at 3-5 on the road. Rider is scoring an average of 72.9 points, ranking them 139th in DI. They are allowing 71.3 points, positioning them 234th overall.

Niagara Snaps Mini Slide with Upset Over Iona

The Niagara Purple Eagles will look to improve their MAAC record to 3-2 in this one. Niagara snapped a mini two-game losing streak with a surprising 70-69 road win against Iona on Saturday in a game that had Niagara tagged as 8.5 point dogs.

James Towns has shot at least 50% in two out of his last three games. The senior guard was limited to just four points on Saturday, and he holds an average of 13.1 PPG on 45.2% shooting. Marcus Hammond is locked in, sinking a combined 46 points in his last two games. The sophomore guard is in a groove from beyond the arc as well, and he has increased his season average to 13.1 PPG. Raheem Solomon is coming off a 17 point effort on Saturday. The sophomore guard was struggling prior to Saturday, and he is averaging 11.4 points on a 42% clip from the field.

The Purple Eagles are placed down at 293rd in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings and hold a 2-2 record at home. Niagara is currently averaging 66.6 points, ranking them down at 295th in DI. They are playing better defense recently but are still allowing an average of 76.2 points, positioning them 318th overall.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am siding with Niagara in this clash. Niagara has momentum on their side after registering a big 70-69 upset road win against Iona on Saturday. The Purple Eagles are definitely improving defensively and have allowed 69 or fewer points in four consecutive games. This is a big factor considering Rider is a low-scoring team that has failed to reach 70 points in three straight games.

Furthermore, Rider’s defense can be an issue. They rank down at 265th overall in three-point defense and Niagara is effective from deep where they feature a solid 34.7% efficiency which is above average.

Prediction: Niagara Purple Eagles

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect points to be at a premium. Niagara slows the game down and does not rush their shots. They are only averaging 70 possessions which places them down at 250th in DI. The under is 4-1 in the Purple Eagles’ last five games overall.

In addition, Niagara doesn’t score big points due to their playing style. They have netted 70 or fewer points in three straight games. Rider has also slowed their pace recently as they have only averaged 68 possessions per game over their last three games which is well below their season average. The under is 5-1 in Rider’s last six games overall.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Rider team total offered on PointsBet is a solid prop. The Broncs have only averaged 65 points in their last three games overall. They hold a poor 42.4% team field goal percentage and have shot 41% or lower in two out of their last three games overall.

Prediction: Rider Team Total Under

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am going with the over on the halftime total. Both teams have struggled defensively in the first half this season. Rider is squandering an average of 34.5 points in the opening half, and Niagara has squandered an average of 37 points on their home floor in the opening half.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.