College basketball schedule today has 15 games
There are 153 basketball games coming up on Saturday. With 306 of the nation’s 363 teams in action, you know what that means. It is yet another small card on a Friday night. The calm before the storm features the MAAC with two A’s, the MAC with one A, the Horizon League, Big East, Mountain West and a random SoCon game as we head into Super Bowl weekend. (Tracking sheet)
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Here are some thoughts on the February 10 card (odds from DraftKings):
In a game expected to be played at a slow pace, Rider looks to have an edge over Fairfield in this MAAC matchup. As you know, shot selection is a big part of my handicapping process and there are a few things that I believe are working in Rider’s favor here. The first is that Fairfield has a shot share against of 43% on Close Twos, which ranks 346th in the country, but they are 70th in FG% against, so I think there’s a little regression coming in that area.
Next is that Fairfield is 12th in the nation in defending 3s, as opponents are only shooting 29.1%. The problem here is that Rider only takes a 3 on 25.9% of shots, so they’re just not that interested in shooting a lot of them. Furthermore, Fairfield’s shot share against on 3s is just 30.1%, so even though it’s a strength, it’s not one they play up as much as they could.
I generally don’t like teams that shoot mid-range jumpers at a rate like Rider, but they’ve done okay at 38.9% on them and it’s an area where Fairfield has failed, allowing opponents to shoot 41%. But Rider’s offense against Fairfield’s defense isn’t the only thing I like. Rider is pushing opponents away from the rim, with a shot share of just 34% on Close Twos, and they’re making them shoot 3s. Rider’s 3P Rate against is 44.8%. Fairfield is shooting 26.4% on 3s, which ranks 362nd out of 363 teams.
Rider has a huge edge on the offensive glass in this game, as they rank 27th in ORB% and Fairfield is 267th in ORB% against. In a game that will probably be played to 64 or 65 possessions, I think Rider’s offense should be the more efficient of the two in this game and get better-quality looks that fit their style more than Fairfield will.
Pick: Rider -4.5
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