Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#681 UNCW 135 vs.
#682 Charleston -13
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 4:00pm EST
Written by The Stash

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#681 University of North Carolina at Wilmington
#682 College of Charleston
6-15
12-8
7-10-1
9-9-1
8-10
10-9
69
70
72
67

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CAA action here as the Charleston Cougars host the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks. These teams have been having radically different seasons, as Charleston has been one of the best teams in the conference while Wilmington has been one of the worst. Oddsmakers unsurprisingly have the Cougars as a massive favorite for this one.

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Wilmington Spiraling Out Of Control

To say Wilmington has been a disappointment this season would be a pretty big understatement. Just a few years ago they were one of the better mid-major programs and made the NCAA tournament as a 12 seed, but they have been falling off a steep cliff the past couple of seasons. They started the year off 5-3, and have been stuck in a never-ending cycle of losing ever since then. They've lost 12 of their last 13 games, with the one win in that span coming by only two points. They've been somewhat serviceable at home this season, but they've been an absolute disaster on the road.

Not only are they 0-8 on the road this season, but they haven't even been competitive in most of those eight losses. Seven of those eight losses have been by at least 14 points, and many have been by considerably more. The offense has been one of the worst in the country, as they rank 324th nationally in overall offensive efficiency according to advanced analytics site Kenpom.com. They only have one guy averaging double figures and even he isn't too efficient, as he shoots just 40.9 percent from the field. Despite playing at a very slow pace, they still turn the ball over a lot. Kai Toews, a guard who had been playing a huge role while getting 26.5 minutes per game, randomly left the program a few weeks ago.

Charleston's Year?

While Wilmington appears to be completely falling apart, Charleston looks like one of the best teams in the CAA this season. They enter with a 12-8 record, but that improves to 6-2 in conference play. The six non-conference losses were mostly the result of playing a difficult schedule, and they lost a lot of close games to bigger conference opponents. They also had some impressive wins during the non-conference slate, like when they beat a very solid Georgia State team, or trounced Marshall by double-digits on the road. Six of their last eight wins have come by at least 11 points, showing that they have no trouble blowing out inferior competition. The team has an unquestioned leader in senior guard Grant Riller.

He leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists, and is averaging 21.6 points per game. He's a true gamer, and one of the best players in the conference. One thing I like about this Cougars team is that they're very experienced, as each of their top four scorers are upperclassmen. That experience is reflected in their solid fundamentals, as they don't turn the ball over very much and knock down 76.4 percent of their free throw attempts. They also have a ton of length, which certainly helps them in certain matchups. The offense has been very solid overall, and they are 80th in overall offensive efficiency according to Kenpom, a pretty impressive figure for a CAA school.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Charleston is going to win this one in an absolute blowout. Wilmington has been getting slaughtered each and every time they take the court on the road, and this is going to be no exception. Wilmington has virtually no offense to speak of, and that should get even worse on the road. Incredibly, seven of their eight road losses this season have come by at least 17 points. Charleston had a rough non-conference stretch, but that was only because they played a pretty difficult schedule. They've been turning it on ever since CAA play started, and they'll keep it rolling here.

Prediction: Charleston

Full-Game Total Pick

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I think the under also makes a lot of sense here. Wilmington has only one player averaging in double figures this season, and even he has been pretty inefficient from the floor. Charleston's offense has been much better overall, but they still shoot only 34 percent from deep as a team, which limits their upside. They also play at a very slow pace, which will ensure this one doesn't get out of control. Charleston's defense has been playing very well in CAA action, only giving up more than 69 points once. This one should be pretty low scoring.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Alex Porter , "The Stash"

Alex Porter is one of the premier minds in basketball and football handicapping. With a degree in statistics, Alex uses advanced metrics as well as copious amounts of film study to make his picks. Since starting his betting career at the age of 18, the recent college graduate has never had a losing football season. We are very glad to have Alex as a part of our team here at StatSalt.