Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#717 Hofstra 144 vs.
#718 Charleston -3.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes



#717 Hofstra University
#718 College of Charleston


This article covers a past game!

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Hofstra takes on Charleston in a big CAA battle from South Carolina on Saturday at 2pmET from TD Arena. The Pride are 5-1, which places them in second place in the CAA, while the Cougars sit in third place at 5-2.

Last season, Hofstra won both games in the series.

Hofstra struggles but wins

Hofstra was a big favorite over UNCW on Thursday night, but they needed a late layup from Isaac Kante to break a 61-61 tie to defeat the Seahawks. Kante scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, which was needed considering they got subpar games from star guard Desure Buie (12pts, 5-12 FG) and wing Eli Pemberton (14pts, 6-14 FG). Hofstra shot 46% from the floor and 8-of-21 from beyond the arc. But they were outrebounded by four and nearly fell to a team that was winless in the CAA and just fired their coach on Monday.

Buie leads Hofstra with 18.7 points per game on 41.9% 3-point shooting and also adds 5.1 assists. Pemberton pours in 16.3 points per game on 44% shooting and 5.6 rebounds. Another factor in their success is that Hofstra's top four leading scorers are very good foul shooters. As a team, the Pride shoots 76.1% from the line to rank 33rd in the nation.

On defense, they play mostly zone, allowing 70.8 points per game on 44.6% shooting (32.5% 3pt).

Charleston, do we have a problem?

Charleston has lost two straight games and I posed the question about their schedule. Were they taking advantage of the bottom of the conference? Yes. Once they started to face higher-caliber teams, success has become harder to achieve. On Thursday, the Cougars lost their second straight game, falling to Northeastern at home 79-76. This came after a 67-56 loss at William & Mary, so the doubt might be starting to kick in.

But unlike last Saturday, when star guard Grant Riller was held to 11 points, he was not the problem. Riller scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists for a triple-double (first in program history). However, he also committed seven turnovers and the Cougars fell at home to the Huskies by three. That was despite getting a career-high 20 points from forward Sam Miller. Despite shooting 47% from the field and 45% (10-22) from beyond the arc. They couldn't stop Northeastern guard Jordan Roland, who had 33 points. The Cougars also struggled defending the Huskies, who shot 48% from the field and 48% (12-26) from three-point range.

Overall, Charleston is a quality team with a few issues. They average 70.9 points per game on 44.4% shooting (34.4% 3-point). They allow 67.6 points per game on 41.9% shooting (31% 3pt). One of their big issues is on the boards as they are getting outrebounded by 2.6 per game.

One issue they don't have is at point guard with Riller, who averages 21.8 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 50.9% shooting (32.8% 3pt).

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


I love Riller. Who doesn't? He's the best player in the CAA, but Hofstra has three talented players and maybe a fourth in Kante, who may just be turning the corner as the fourth-leading scorer and top rebounder at 7.1 per game. The Cougars are basically a one-man team and their rebounding issues will ultimately cost them in this game and against most of the top teams in the league. Hofstra may have overlooked UNCW because they had the Cougars coming up on Saturday.

Prediction: Hofstra +4

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Hofstra has so many guys that can score, they are a difficult team to defend. If you hold Buie and Pemberton, you have a player like Jalen Ray, who averages 12.2 points per game and is almost forgotten. They can play an uptempo game, use their zone press and force the Cougars to play at a faster tempo that they want to play. The Cougars have gone over in four of their last five games so they can put up some points themselves.

Prediction: Over 144.5

Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!