The UMass Minutemen (13-10, 11-11-1 ATS, 4-7 A-10) are headed to the Bronx, where the Fordham Rams (18-5, 14-9-0 ATS, 6-4 A-10) are awaiting them for the only meeting between the schools this regular season. UMass won the most recent matchup last season, 81-73. This game is taking place in Fordham's Rose Hill Gymnasium. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.
(U)Massive Offensive StrugglesUMass has lost four of their last six, and their offense has been maddeningly inconsistent during the stretch. They were held under 60 twice in that stretch, while also exceeding 80 twice. The Minutemen play at one of the fastest paces in college basketball, ranking 26th in adjusted tempo, so to be held under 60 points is highly alarming. For the season they are putting up 71.8 points per game, but only shooting 41.9% as a team. That shooting percentage is 13th in the A-10 and 311th in the nation.
Coincidentally, their defense also allows 71.8 points per game. With their high tempo, that number isn't as bad as it looks despite ranking 12th in the conference. However, they allow opponents to shoot 43.8% against them, which is also 12th and shows that their defense is still one of the weakest in the conference. The Minutemen come away with 6.9 steals per game, fifth in the A-10.
UMass' most recent game was a 93-78 loss to Davidson where they were outscored 48-34 over the final 14:39 of the game. Davidson outrebounded UMass 31-23, and Davidson shot over 50% on threes and from the floor in general. Forward Matt Cross poured in a career-high 28 points on 10/15 shooting in the loss.
𝘚𝘪𝘭𝘬𝘺 𝘴𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘩.@mcsnipes33 | #Flagship 🚩 pic.twitter.com/8T0oHNHL77— UMass Men's Basketball (@UMassMBB) February 4, 2023
UMass is 178th in the nation according to KenPom. They have lost all five of their road games against conference foes this season.
Rams Looking to ReboundFordham lost their last game and failed to cover, ending a five-game winning streak and a five-game winning streak against the spread. The 10-point loss to Richmond saw the Rams only hit 40.4% of their shots and 22.2% of their threes. They came away with eight steals though. Abdou Tsimbila managed to lead the team in rebounding and finished second in scoring off the bench. He had six rebounds and 10 points in the contest.
Fordham also plays at a high tempo, ranking 57th in the nation in adjusted tempo. KenPom has them at 147th in the country right now. The Rams have been beasts at home, with a 14-2 record this season.
The Rams put up 72.2 points per game, fourth in the conference, but only on 42.4% shooting 11th in the A-10. They also struggle to hit threes, with their 32.2% shooting from deep ranking 14 out of the 15 A-10 schools. Fordham excels at getting to the charity stripe, averaging 21.1 attempts per game, and they knock down 75.5% of their free throws. That percentage is first in the conference and 35th in the nation.
On defense, the Rams average 5.3 blocks per game and 7.7 steals. Those rank first and third in the conference, respectively. Their 5.3 blocks per game average is 15th in the country. They allow only 67.3 points per game despite their tempo because they hold teams to 41.5% shooting, which is 70th nationally.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Fordham is flat-out better on both ends of the floor. They are also home, where they've excelled, as opposed to UMass who has been a doormat on the road against conference foes. Fordham's defense will get more stops, force more turnovers, block more shots, and outplay UMass' all night. They will shoot better than the Minutemen as they have most of the season and get more trips to the free-throw line. Fordham will cover a 6.0-point spread easily.
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Full-Game Total Pick
These teams are going to be running up and down the court all night. Even though neither team is particularly efficient, there will be so many possessions, and opportunities in transition off misses that it won't matter. Fordham's penchant for getting to the free throw line will also result in plenty of points while the clock isn't ticking. Fordham's defense may be stout and give UMass fits, but that's the only potential concern. This game will be a track meet, and the over will hit.