I was going to write about something different for Sunday, but as I started brainstorming a topic, I figured I’d check out the rematches and see if anything jumped off the page. As it turns out, I had a hard time narrowing down my focus to just a few games, as there are several very interesting rematches based on the first meeting.
Here are a few of them:
Memphis (-3, 146.5) at SMU - Memphis was 1-of-12 from 3 in a 70-62 loss at home to SMU back on Jan. 20. The Tigers were -6 there at home and are -3 on the road here, so we’ve seen a bit of an adjustment based on Memphis’s recent hot streak. The Tigers have racked up at least 1.043 points per possession in five of their last six games, with the .877 PPP in the first SMU meeting as the team’s worst offensive showing in conference play. They’re 47-of-124 (37.9%) since that 1-of-12 effort in the last meeting. They’ve been really inconsistent under Penny Hardaway, but they look to be the right side.
Missouri State at Northern Iowa (-2, 143.5) - The Bears and Panthers played an 85-84 regulation thriller back on Jan. 8 in a game played to just 65 possessions. Northern Iowa was on the winning end with 1.314 PPP, but also gave up 1.298. It was the second-best offensive PPP for both teams in league play. The teams combined to shoot 17-of-47 from 3, though Missouri State was 12-of-27 and Northern Iowa was just 5-of-20. The total in that game was obliterated at 142.
The game featured just eight combined turnovers and 34 made free throws on 43 attempts. These are two good offensive teams, but you can see why the total hasn’t been adjusted much. I’d actually lean under here.
Fairfield at Iona (-12, 139) - Iona beat Fairfield 80-76 in the first meeting back on Jan. 11, which is not a big surprise, but how the game played out was rather intriguing. Iona had 44 attempts at the rim. The Gaels had 19 offensive rebounds to just three for the Stags. Fairfield was 13-of-26 from 3, while Iona was just 3-of-17. Fairfield is a pretty average team from 3, but the 13 made 3s is tied for a season high. Iona was -7 on the road in that first game and failed to cover, as the game flew over the 141 total. This line may seem big given how close the first game was, but I actually like the Gaels here.
Rider at Manhattan (-3, 140) - Big day for the MAAC and me, I guess. This is one that really stands out. Rider won the first game 76-67, despite shooting just 3-of-15 from 3. The Jaspers were 8-of-23. The Broncs had 23 shots at the rim to 17 for Manhattan. I understand why Manhattan is favored here, but Rider is a really poor offensive team that had a big performance in the first meeting. The Broncs are really interesting at 3 here.
Wright State (-1.5, 144.5) at Detroit - This is a line that will definitely open some eyes. Wright State won the first game 90-59 back on Feb. 4, so it wasn’t that long ago and it was a decisive win. The Raiders had 1.342 PPP in that game. Detroit had just .88, which is their second-worst performance in conference play. Wright State’s offensive explosion still stands as Detroit’s worst defensive effort, though the Titans are a bad defensive team. I don’t have a play here, but that line stinks to high heaven, doesn’t it?