Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#619 Richmond 138.5 vs.
#620 VCU -8.5
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#619 University of Richmond
#620 Virginia Commonwealth University
15-5
15-5
11-9
7-13
7-13
9-11
76
71
68
62

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The Richmond Spiders will take on the VCU Rams on the road at Wade Arena in Richmond, Virginia on Tuesday night.

Richmond and VCU are battling for positioning in the A10 standings. Both teams enter this matchup in a three-way tie for third place with a 5-2 record in league play but they got there in very different ways. VCU has bounced back from a 2-2 start to win each of its last three games while the Spiders saw their three-game winning streak snapped over the weekend. Can Richmond bounce back on the road against the surging Rams on Tuesday night?

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Spiders snap conference win streak vs. Dayton

Richmond snapped a three-game conference winning streak on Saturday with a tough 87-79 loss against the No. 7-ranked Dayton Flyers. Jacob Gilyard led all scorers with 29 points while Nick Sherod added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Spiders, who trailed by as many as 20 points before making a late run. Richmond shot a healthy 10-for-19 from beyond the arc but only 17-for-50 (34 percent) from 2-point range on the night.

Chris Mooney’s squad comes into the weekend slotted at No. 67 in the latest KenPom rankings following their strong 5-2 start to the A10 season. Richmond has scored a healthy 109.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (51st in the NCAA) and 105.6 points per 100 possessions during conference play (2nd in the A10). Through seven league games, the Spiders have shot a blistering 53.4 percent from inside the arc (2nd in the A10), 36.0 percent from deep (1st in the A10), and 81.4 percent from the charity stripe as a team (1st in the A10). They have also turned the ball over just 15.7 percent of the time (2nd in the A10) but a lack of free-throw attempts (8th in the A10) and second-chance opportunities on the offensive glass (14th in the A10) have limited their efficiency on offense.

Defensively, the Spiders have surrendered 98.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (97th in the NCAA) and 95.7 points per 100 possessions during conference play (6th in the A10). Richmond has been vulnerable from inside the arc versus A10 opponents, allowing them to shoot 52.4 percent from 2-point range so far this year (12th in the A10). However, the Spiders have placed an emphasis on defending the 3-point line, where they have held A10 teams to a league-best 26.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc so far this year.

VCU extend current winning streak to three games

VCU pushed its current winning streak to three games on Saturday with a 76-65 victory on the road against La Salle. Marcus Santos-Silva scored 16 points and hauled in nine rebounds while Nah’Shon Hyland added 15 points in 23 minutes off of the bench to help the Rams escape with the win.

Mike Rhoades’ squad comes into Tuesday’s matchup ranked No. 43 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning six of its past eight games. VCU has scored 106.0 points per 100 possessions for the season (103rd in the NCAA) but that number has dropped to only 101.2 points per 100 possessions against A10 opponents (7th in the A10). The Rams do most of their damage from inside the arc, where they have shot 48.7 percent during league play (4th in the A10). However, they get to the free-throw line at one of the lowest rates in the conference (11th in the A10) while shooting just 69.8 percent from the charity stripe as a team (11th in the A10), which has limited their efficiency on offense.

Instead, the Rams have been forced to stay in games by remaining stingy on the defensive end of the floor. VCU has limited opponents to just 91.6 points per 100 (24th in the NCAA) for the season but the Rams have been even better during conference play, limiting league opponents to just 89.0 points per 100 possessions through seven A10 contests (1st in the A10). VCU has held A10 teams to just 43.1 percent shooting from inside the arc (1st in the A10) while forcing them to turn the ball over 22.2 percent of the time (2nd in the A10).

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Richmond doesn’t shoot a lot of 3-pointers and they are up against the No. 1 2-point defense in the conference here. The Spiders rank 303rd in the country in average height and they’ve struggled on the glass on both ends of the floor. VCU has a veteran team with plenty of continuity from last season, which helps them operate like a well-oiled machine on the defensive end of the floor. The Rams also do most of their damage from inside the arc, where Richmond has allowed opposing teams to shoot a healthy 52.4 percent (12th in the A10). Take VCU to cover the number at home in this A10 matchup on Tuesday night.

Prediction: VCU Rams

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VCU likes to push the pace on offense. They rank 91st in the nation in adjusted tempo and 27th in average possession length on offense. They’ve been averaging just 16.2 seconds per offensive possession during league play, which ranks as the fastest mark in the conference, and Richmond ranks first in the A10 in adjusted tempo, so we should get a fairly fast-paced game here. The Spiders rank second in the conference in offensive efficiency but they struggled to defend the paint, which is where VCU does most of its damage on offense. That has me leaning towards the over in this A10 matchup on Tuesday night.

Prediction: Over
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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.