Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#691 James Madison 133 vs.
#692 ODU -11.5
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes



#691 James Madison University
#692 Old Dominion University


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James Madison takes on Old Dominion in an in-state rivalry on Wednesday night from the TED in Norfolk. These teams last met last season with the Monarchs winning at home, 67-42.

JMU is off to a 2-2 start, after falling at former conference rival George Mason, 83-70 on Saturday. The Monarchs are coming off a 76-69 win over another CAA team in Northeastern on Saturday from Boston.

Dukes looking for consistency

James Madison was 14-19 last season and 6-12 in the CAA. Head coach Louis Rowe is likely on the hot seat this season, after going 34-64 overall in three years. His Dukes opened with a 79-74 win over Charlotte and home, before being plastered by last year's NCAA champs Virginia on Nov. 10, 65-34. After crushing Division III Shenandoah by 48 points on Nov. 13, they traveled up North to Fairfax to face former CAA rival George Mason. The Dukes struggled from the floor, shooting just 33.3% (7-32 3pt) and were outrebounded by five. James Madison was led by Matt Lewis with 19 points, while freshman forward Julien Wooden scored 17 points off the bench.

Lewis is a talented 6-5 junior guard, who averaged 16.4 points per game last season. This year, he leads the Dukes with 15.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, but is shooting just 32.8% from the field (25.9% 3pt). Junior Zach Jacobs (6-8, 230) is the second-leading scorer with 11.2 points and adds 9.5 rebounds on 43.6% shooting, but also leads in turnovers with 11 in four games. Overall, JMU is averaging just 61 points per game on 35.3% shooting (27% 3pt) and is shooting just 55.8% from the line. They are also getting outrebounded by 5.4 per game. Defensively, they allow 74 points per game on 41% shooting (24.4% 3pt).

Solid start for Monarchs

Jeff Jones has been coaching for 27 years and just won his 500th game to become the 71st coach in Division I history to accomplish the feat at Virginia, American and now ODU. His Monarchs were victorious over Northeastern, 76-69 on the road on Saturday in a hard-fought contest. Xavier Green led Old Dominion with 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting, while Jason Wade added 18 points. ODU shot 50.8% from the field but just 4-of-15 from the three-point line and 12 of 20 from the three throw line (60%). They did force 18 turnovers, though the Huskies shot 11-of-22 from beyond the arc.

ODU opened the season with a loss at Northern Iowa (58-53), but since then, has defeated St. Joe's (82-69) and Loyola-Maryland (62-53) at home, before upending Northeastern.

"I am extremely pleased with how we played," said Jones after the game on "500 wins is great, but getting win number three for this season on the road against a good opponent is even better. Now our focus turns to trying to get number four on Wednesday. I'm sure there will be a day when I look back on the total career wins and certainly appreciate it and think about highlights and all of that kind of stuff, but right now we are all just grinding and fighting like crazy to become a good team, which is a lot more important right now than all the career numbers."

Green leads the Monarchs with 16.5 points per game, while Wade is tops in field goal percentage (64.7%) and steals (4.8). Jones' teams are usually outstanding defensively. So far, ODU is allowing 62.2 points on 38.4% shooting (33.9% 3pt). They have struggled on the offensive end, shooting just 41.5% from the field, 31.7% from three-point and 62.5% from the line.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


It's hard not to like a Jeff Jones-coached team because you know they are going to play defense. If they were a better shooting team, I'd lay five stars on this game. But they should outclass the Dukes, who have lost three straight in this series since they started playing in 2016 (after ODU left the CAA in 2013). They also struggle to shoot the ball and will face a great defense. Losing to George Mason by 13 points on the road is not a good sign for the Dukes, because the Monarchs are a better team. Take the home favorite and ODU to win by double digits.

Prediction: ODU -9.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


When it comes to pace, ODU is normally not going to play a fast pace. Last year, they were ranked 329th in possessions per game. In their first four games, they have not allowed more than 69 points. Teams are shooting under 40% against them and they face a team that is shooting just 35.3% from the field and is averaging 61 points per game. Some of that is due to playing Virginia, but I regard ODU as a poor man's Virginia with the way they defend and slow it down.

Prediction: Under 132.5

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:


Old Dominion is not going to blow out a lot of teams in the first half. They do defend well, but I see James Madison hanging in the game in the first half and the Monarchs running or walking away with the second half.

Prediction: JMU +6 first half

Half-Time Total Bet

Insiders Status:


Tough to go over with ODU. This game should be in the low 20s in the first half. Maybe ODU reaches 30 and JMU is in the 20s. Their defense is just so good and their tempo will be slow for this one because the Dukes want to get out and run.

Prediction: Under 62 first half

Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!