Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#861 Saint Peter's 137 vs.
#862 Rider -6
Friday, January 24, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#861 Saint Peter's University
#862 Rider University
6-9
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The Saint Peter’s Peacocks will take on the Rider Broncs in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference battle at Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Friday night.

Saint Peter’s snapped a season-high three-game slide over the weekend and will try to keep its momentum going against a Rider team that has lost six of its previous eight contests. After opening the season with a strong 7-2 record, Rider comes in with a disappointing 9-8 mark after stumbling through the start of the conference season. Can Rider get back on the winning track at home against the Peacocks on Friday night?

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Peacocks snap three-game slide vs. Quinnipiac

The Peacocks cruised to their third conference win of the season on Saturday, knocking off Quinnipiac 71-51 behind a double-double from freshman Hassan Drame. Drame finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists for Saint Peter’s while KC Ndefo added 16 points in the blowout win.

Shaheen Holloway’s second season in New Jersey has been a challenging one but the Peacocks have flashed improvement during conference play. The Peacocks enter the weekend ranked No. 232 in the latest KenPom rankings after evening up their MAAC record at 3-3 over the weekend. Saint Peter’s has scored only 92.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (317th in the NCAA) while turning the ball over 24.9 percent of the time (348th in the NCAA). They also sport an effective field goal percentage of 44.8 percent (329th in the NCAA) and have shot just 40.4 percent from 2-point range (352nd in the NCAA) through 15 games. While they haven’t been as bad during league play, they rank eighth in offensive efficiency at 95.9 points per 100 possessions and they’ve managed to make up points by hauling in 33.5 percent of their missed field goal attempts during the conference season (2nd in the MAAC).

On defense, the Peacocks have given up 98.2 points per 100 possessions for the season (111th in the NCAA) but that number has dropped significantly to 88.5 points per 100 possessions during conference play (1st in MAAC). Saint Peter’s has limited MAAC opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 43.5 percent (1st in the MAAC) while forcing them to turn the ball over 23.9 percent of the time (1st in the MAAC).

Rider drops second straight conference game

Rider extended its current losing streak to two games on Sunday with a tough 95-86 loss against Canisius despite a game-high 31 points from senior Tyere Marshall. Christian Ings scored 15 points and Kimar Williams added 12 off of the bench for the Broncs, who shot just 8-for-25 from beyond the arc and 22-for-36 from the free-throw line as a team in the loss.

Kevin Baggett is trying to right the ship after falling below-.500 in conference play for the first time all season. Rider enters the weekend slotted at No. 188 in the latest KenPom rankings after losing for the sixth time in eight contests. Despite their recent struggles, the Broncs have actually improved during conference play, especially on the offensive end. They have scored 102.7 points per 100 possessions for the season (158th in the NCAA) and that number has increased to a league-best 106.4 points per 100 possessions in seven MAAC contests. The Broncs lead the conference in free-throw rate at 48.4 percent and they’ve cut their turnover rate down to just 18.2 percent, which ranks third in the MAAC. However, Rider has shot just 33.8 percent from long-range while ranking as the worst effective field goal percentage defense in the conference.

The Broncs have surrendered 104.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (241st in the NCAA) and 105.9 points per 100 possessions during conference play (9th in the MAAC). MAAC opponents own an effective field goal percentage of 58.1 percent (11th in the MAAC) against the Broncs’ defense, which has allowed teams to shoot 57.1 percent from inside the arc (11th in the MAAC) and 39.6 percent from 3-point range (9th in the MAAC) through seven league games.

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Rider might be flashing improvement on offense during conference play but the Broncs have still lost four of their previous five conference games. Part of the reason for their recent struggles has been their inability to get stops on the defensive end. Meanwhile, Saint Peter’s ranks as the No. 1 defense in the MAAC and the Peacocks should be able to have better showing offensively against a Rider defense that ranks dead-last in the conference in effective field goal percentage defense and 2-point defense. That has me taking towards Saint Peter’s covering the spread on the road in this MAAC battle on Friday night.

Prediction: Saint Peter's Peacocks

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Here, we are getting the No. 1 offense in the MAAC versus the No. 1 defense in the MAAC, so this should be an interesting contest. These two teams also rank at the opposite end of the pace spectrum. Rider ranks 71st in the nation in adjusted tempo and 83rd in average possession length on offense while Saint Peter’s ranks 249th and 225th, respectively, in those categories. That means we are probably going to end up in more of an average-paced contest. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this devolve into more of a sloppy offensive game, especially given how well the Peacocks have been playing defensively during league play. Take this game to stay under the projected total on Friday night.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.