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NCAAB: Atlantic 10 Tournament Odds and Prediction

St. Joseph's (4 titles) @ UMass (5 titles)

  • Where: Capital One Arena. Washington D.C.
  • When: March 7, 2018 12:00 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Rhode Island (+150), Davidson (+400), St. Bonaventure (+500), Saint Louis (+1200), VCU (+1400), George Mason (+2000), Saint Josephs (+2500), Richmond (+2500), Dayton (+2500), George Washington (+2500)

Their state might be the size of a postage stamp, but the Rhode Island Rams are playing like the biggest kid on the block.

They’re just not immune from tripping over the sidewalk.

Coach Dan Hurley’s team was unbeaten at home going into a February 28th match-up with St. Joseph’s, a squad from the middle of the Atlantic 10 pack. All it would have taken was a decent effort to give the Rams an historic accomplishment, as URI has not finished a season with a perfect home record in almost 75 years.

Instead, they were clobbered 78-48, and it might not have been that close. Rhode Island allowed over 50% field goal shooting from the modestly talented Hawks, and needed a few meaningless late buckets to push their own % over 1/4 accuracy.

What went wrong? Does it matter? Not if you ask Las Vegas. Bettors aren’t shying away from picking URI to win the upcoming Atlantic 10 tournament, and bookies are still comfortable with markets offering the team as a prohibitive favorite.

But there aren’t many conference-tourney champions who go into the postseason on such ignominious terms. Meanwhile, at least 3 other challengers have been playing lights-out.

Let’s give URI an MRI

The Rams are built around sharp-shooting senior guard Jared Terrell, who provided the team’s only reliable jump-shot against St. Joe’s. But Terrell has been inconsistent from the field in big games. Against St. Bonaventure on 2/16, the Massachusetts native was a sparkling 50% from beyond the arc but couldn’t connect inside as the squad lost 77-74.

A10 programs aren’t known for head-toppers. But URI could suffer in March from a lack of quality big men. Leading rebounder Cyril Langevine is an excellent sophomore power forward, standing at a hefty 6’8″ and possessing speed to get up and down. But he struggles from the free throw line and can barely connect on a pass. The fact that 6’4″ guard Stanford Robinson is Rhode Island’s second leading rebounder illustrates the problem as well as anything else could.

Undoubtedly, the Rams know how to score points and beat good programs. But we’re not liking the roster to remain strong for 40 minutes at a time through a grueling postseason. That goes for the A10 tournament and March Madness alike. They’re certainly not offering value in a wager at (+150) to win their first March tourney.

Spotlight on the ‘dogs

Click to visit Bet Online and wager on St. Bonaventure (+500) to win the A10 tournament.

If URI isn’t as likely to win as handicappers think, which upstart has the best shot relative to their futures line?

Davidson is a popular wager to win the tourney at 4/1 odds. Not only did the Wildcats show poise and determination during a 3-overtime loss to St. Bonny, their follow-up 63-61 win over Rhode Island demonstrated uncanny heart and toughness under the circumstances. Peyton Aldridge is a 6’8″ senior forward who scored 19 points in a beat-down of VCU earlier in 2018, and there’s more where he came from.

St. Joseph’s should also get a hard look as a 25/1 long-shot that put together the aforementioned rout of URI. The fact that the Hawks – who have been treading water until now – crushed the conference-leading Rams will lead to a lot of impulse wagers on St. Joe’s to take the A10 tournament crown. The Hawks’ only chance at a March Madness berth is to win the conference tourney, so the athletes aren’t lacking for motivation.

That being said, St. Bonaventure could be the most exciting upstart in the A10 and is a value pick at (+500) odds. The Bonnies matched Rhode Island’s overall record in the regular season, put together a double-digit unbeaten streak, and benefit from the all-for-one passion and consistency of athletes such as guard Matt Mobley.

Mobley doesn’t shoot or pass particularly well, and his 6’3″ frame is light. But the senior is a tenacious 2-way talent who gobbles up long rebounds and can change a 2nd half with clutch steals. Fellow senior Jaylen Adams, who has an almost 48% mark from 3-point range, lines up next to Mobley in the backcourt.

Rhode Island is the aristocrat, and Davidson is all the rage. But St. Bonaventure has come a helluva long way from the patsy they were long ago. Take the Bonnies for a 5-to-1 payoff winner in Washington D.C.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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