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VCU vs. Fordham Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 1-5-2019

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#639 VCU
Rams -7.5
#640 Fordham
Rams 121.5

Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 2:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

VCU Rams

9 - 4

7-5
ATS
3-10
O/U
69
PPG
63
OPPG

Fordham Rams

9 - 4

5-7
ATS
3-9
O/U
71
PPG
62
OPPG

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VCU at Fordham

When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 5, Rose Hill Gym, Bronx, N.Y., 2 p.m. EST.

Having perhaps righted itself ahead of the start of Atlantic 10 Conference play, VCU seeks a third consecutive overall win Saturday as it takes on Fordham in New York.

Rams may have turned corner with back-to-back wins

VCU (9-4) will have an interesting non-conference resume for the NCAA Tournament selection committee to mull over, winning at Texas against former coach Shaka Smart and recording victories over Temple and Wichita State.

Three of its four losses were by single digits, including an eight-point loss to unbeaten and current No. 4 Virginia and a one-point defeat to one-loss St. John’s. VCU is coming off its best perimeter effort of the season, drilling 14 3-pointers in a 90-79 victory over Rider last Sunday.

Mike’L Simms scored 15 points off the bench while fellow reserve Malik Crawfield added all 12 of his from 3-point range as four players had at least two treys for a team still making only 29 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.

“I just think it was one of those things, shooting-wise, I think it was bound to happen,” guard Marcus Evans told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We have a lot of good shooters on the team, so we were bound to have a game where shots were falling.

“But I think things just coming together. The more we play, the more we gel. We’re starting to get a feel for the system and guys are getting comfortable.”

Evans is averaging a team-high 13.2 points and one of three players in double figures for VCU, which still makes its name on a frenetic defense that forces 17.1 turnovers per game. That is part of a strong overall defense holding opponents to 37.9 percent overall and 26.5 percent from 3-point range, with the latter ranking fifth in the nation.

VCU has won seven of eight games against Fordham since joining the Atlantic 10 in 2012-13, with all seven victories coming by double digits and the lone defeat a two-point loss at Fordham on the road in 2017.

Fordham looking to build on solid non-conference start

Fordham (9-4) has already matched its win total from last season as it bids for its first winning season since going 17-14 in 2015-16. Jeff Neubauer’s team played a home-heavy schedule in non-conference play, going 8-2 at Rose Hill ahead of its Atlantic 10 slate.

Neubauer’s team wrapped up non-conference play on a down note, losing 60-57 at home to Long Island on Sunday. Antwon Portley scored 18 points, but only two in the first half. Fordham shot a season-low 32.8 percent, totaled just 10 points in the final 15 minutes, and scored only 12 points off 18 Blackbirds turnovers.

Freshman Nick Honor, who ranks eighth in Division I among all freshmen at 17.0 points per game, has scored in double figures in all 13 games for Fordham and is second on the team with 28 3-pointers.

Fordham has also proven adept at forcing turnovers with 15.7 per game and is holding opponents to 62.7 points per game and 28.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

It’s one thing to be a young team and fare well against non-conference play against your peers, and Neubauer did a very good job crafting that schedule. However, it is a whole different story stepping into conference play against a team like VCU that will get in Fordham’s face from the jump.

Mike Rhoades’ team is a streaky-shooting one — don’t expect another 14 3-pointers — but VCU’s defense has long been its calling card in this one-sided rivalry since joining the A-10. While Fordham could be better come February and March, a first conference game against VCU is a bad matchup.

Again, this is one where hopefully you got in early since the line spiked 1.5 points higher with VCU now giving 7.5 points.

Prediction: Pick: VCU -6

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

This could be a first to 60 wins game as both teams are standout perimeter defensive units. Fordham has shown itself capable of not turning the ball over, but it is still going to be a challenge to continue that versus VCU and its active defense. VCU may get some separation but both teams will struggle offensively in this one. This line has climbed three points higher, and given how both teams defend, there is more confidence in the under hitting.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 126.5 points

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

This is another pick with VCU being an entirely different caliber of opponent than Fordham has faced all season. The expectation is it will continue dominating this series.

Prediction: Pick: VCU -4

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

While VCU plays its “Havoc” defense, it does not always produce tons of points since it is not the most offensively efficient team. With Fordham also being one of the slowest teams in Division I in terms of pace, the under is the play, even with a sub-60 number here.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 58.5 points

Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73)

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.

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