Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#627 Monmouth vs.
#628 Kansas State
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
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#627 Monmouth University
#628 Kansas State University
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The Monmouth Hawks travel to Manhatten (KS) to take on the Kansas State Wildcats has on Wednesday in a nonconference matchup. This is just the second all-time meeting between the programs with the only other matchup occurring in 2002, which Kansas State won.

Hawks continue road swing

Monmouth is playing its third of five straight road games to start the season. After opening the season with a victory over Lehigh, Monmouth dropped a 94-74 decision at Hofstra on Saturday as the Pride shot 52.7% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line. Hawks leading scorer Deion Hammond struggled with his shot but still reached double-figures for a second consecutive game as he put up 13 points on 4-for-15 shooting (3-for-10 3-pointers). Ray Salnave, Nikkei Rutty, and Mustapha Traore contributed 10 points apiece.

Monmouth took 19 more shots than Hofstra did, but the Hawks only made 30 of their 74 (40.5%) attempts and just six of 24 (20%) from beyond the arc. Monmouth was 8-for-9 from the free-throw line while Hofstra was 27-for-35 as the Hawks were whistled for 26 fouls.

Monmouth is averaging 70 points a game as the Hawks are shooting 40.3% from the field and 32.6% from the 3-point line. They are averaging 10.5 offensive rebounds, 17 assists, and 13 turnovers. Defensively, Monmouth is allowing 78 points as their opponents are shooting 45% from the field and 48.6% from long distance. The Hawks are permitting 6.5 offensive rebounds and forcing 14.5 turnovers.

Kansas State searching for offense

Kansas State is 2-0 for the sixth straight year under coach Bruce Weber and is back home after escaping UNLV with a 60-56 overtime victory. Xavier Sneed played the hero in the game despite injuring his ankle during the opening half. Trailing 23-16 at halftime, K-State went on a 19-10 run with Sneed contributing nine points, including a pair of three-pointers to take a 35-33 lead midway through the half. The game was a back-and-forth affair from there. UNLV tied the game at 48-48 with two free throws, and neither team would score again over the last 1:08 of regulation. Sneed scored four of his game-high 19 points over the final 28 seconds in the extra period, which included the game-winning jumper. Cartier Diarra added 12 points for the Wildcats. Kansas St. earned the win on the defensive end as the Wildcats held the Runnin' Rebels to 34.5% shooting from the floor, including 26.9% from long distance. K-State forced UNLV into 25 turnovers for the game, which they turned into 19 points. Offensively, the Wildcats struggled as they connected on 37.3% of their shots and 16.7% of their attempts from beyond the arc. The Wildcats did hit 12 of 13 shots from the free-throw line, but they turned the ball over 20 times.

Kansas State is averaging 63.5 points while shooting 40% from the floor and 22.7% from beyond the arc. The Wildcats are averaging 10 offensive rebounds, 13.5 assists, and 13 turnovers. Diarra (17.5 points, six assists, five rebounds) has scored in double-figures and doled out six assists in both games this year and 19 times, and now has scored in double-figures on 19 occasions. Sneed is second on the team in both scoring (14.5) and third in rebounding (5.5). Makol Mawein (8.5 points, 6.5 rebounds) and Montavious Murphy are both averaging over six caroms a game.

Defensively, K-State is holding its opponents to 55.0 points a game and 31.8% from the field and 26.8% from long-distance. The Wildcats are allowing 12 offensive rebounds and are forcing 16.5 turnovers a contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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While I don't expect Kansas State to lose any sleep worrying about Monmouth, I am taking the Hawks and the points anyways. The main reason why is that K-State, as has been the norm under Bruce Weber, plays at a methodical pace and is more concern about what happens on the defensive end. Make no mistake; the Wildcats are very good once again on that end of the floor.Β  But among the reasons that I like Monmouth to cover is that they have are a veteran-laden team which goes 10 to 11 deep, and the Hawks showed improvement from Game 1 to Game 2. I also like the growth that the Hawks' interior players Rutty along with Sam Ibiezugbe and Melik Martin, have made mainly on the defensive end. Additionally, K-State is coming off a game where they were very sloppy with the ball. Plus, the Wildcats have given up 15 three-pointers, which could bold well for Hammond-- who has connected on seven of 17 attempts from long distance.

Prediction: Monmouth +18.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Not only do I like both defense -- FYI I like the Wildcats on that end a lot better than the Hawks -- but I do believe that the Hawks interior defense can semi- control the paint where K-State is getting 55.8% of its points. Monmouth has recorded nine blocks through two games, and the Hawks are almost grabbing 80% of all available rebounds on the defensive end. Meanwhile, the Wildcats play tough team defense, which has limited their opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 38.6% percent, which ranks 32nd in the nation and a true shooting percentage of 42.8%, which is 42nd best in the country. Also, K-State plays at the 11th slowest pace in D-I.

The Under is 8-1 in Hawk's last nine games following an ATS loss as well as 7-1 Β in the Hawks last eight games following a straight-up loss. The under also has hit in 53 of K-State's previous 78 nonconference affairs.

Prediction: Under 126
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