Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#859 Monmouth 147.5 vs.
#860 Rider -3.5
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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Monmouth will be looking to stay in contention for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title when it travels to Rider on Friday night. The Hawks are 16-11 and are one game behind the top two teams in the conference. Rider is sitting in fourth place, but trails the conference leaders by three games.

Hawks seeking conference title

Monmouth has won three of its last four games after suffering a two-game losing skid to Fairfield and St. Peter’s. The Hawks’ trio of wins have come against Canisius, Marist and Quinnipiac. Their lone loss in the last two weeks came in a 77-72 road setback against Niagara. St. Peter’s and Siena are tied atop the conference standings with 12-5 records in MAAC play. Monmouth faces Siena at home in the final regular season game of the season. The Hawks jumped out to a 50-36 lead in Sunday’s game against Quinnipiac and held on for the 89-78 victory.

Junior guard Deion Hammond is scoring 15.7 points per game and is grabbing 2.9 rebounds per game. He is the team’s leading 3-point shooter, knocking down 72 of 202 attempts from long range. Junior guard Ray Salnave is the only other player in double figures, scoring 14.4 points per game. He is adding 4.7 rebounds per game and is dishing out 3.1 assists per contest. Junior guard George Papas is adding 8.7 points per contest off the bench. Senior forward Mustapha Traore is scoring 7.1 points per game and is the leading rebounder with 5.4 boards per game.

Rider looking for revenge

Rider has lost three of its last four games and is two games behind Monmouth in the MAAC standings. The Broncos have fallen to Siena, Iona and St. Peter’s in the last two weeks. Their lone win was a 79-63 decision at home against Quinnipiac. The loss to Iona last Friday came in heartbreaking fashion. Iona hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to lift the Gaels to the win. Rider turned the ball over on the following possession. St. Peter’s took advantage of a possible emotional letdown from Rider last Sunday, beating the Broncs 73-54.

Junior wing Dimencio Vaughn is scoring 14.5 points per game and is grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game. He has been one of the best outside shooters on the team, making 33 3-pointers at a 39.8 percent clip. Senior center Tyere Marshall is scoring 12.8 points per game and is the leading rebounder with 8.0 boards per contest. Junior forward Frederick Scott is scoring 12.5 points per game and is grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game. Scott has made 37 3-pointers, connecting on 39.4 percent of his attempts.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Monmouth has more to play for in this game. The Hawks are still alive for the top spot in the conference, while Rider is essentially looking at the No. 4 seed in the tournament. Monmouth has won seven of the last 10 games between these two teams, including a 90-84 victory at home earlier this month. They covered as a 1-point favorite in that game. Rider has not been playing well in its Friday night games, only covering once in its last seven such instances. I think Monmouth gets the job done and completes the season sweep on Friday night.

Prediction: Monmouth +4.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Rider has been one of the best under teams in college basketball this season. The Broncs have seen 18 of their 27 games go under the mark this year, including each of their last six contests. The total has also gone under in their last six home games. Neither team is efficient on the offensive end of the court, with Rider at No. 199 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings and Monmouth at No. 242. I expect Friday night’s game to go under the total.

Prediction: Under 147.5
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.