Iona Gaels at Manhattan Jaspers Free College Basketball Picks, Odds and Predictions
by George Monroy - 2/27/2014
Iona Gaels (19-8, 16-2 MAAC) at Manhattan Jaspers (20-7, 13-5 MAAC)
College Basketball: Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. EST (Draddy Gymnasium)
The Iona Gaels are leading a surprisingly competitive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference by two games with only two matchups left in the regular season. The squad is one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation with 83.7 points per game and is probably the favorite to represent the MAAC in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. The next step for the team will be to try and actually get out of the first round this year.
The Manhattan Jaspers have not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 2004, but they are bringing a quality squad with a 20-7 overall record into this year’s MAAC Tournament. Manhattan is another high-scoring team that grabs rebounds and plays defense. Friday’s home matchup will be a measuring stick for the Jaspers just to see if the team is ready to face, and beat, one of the better schools in the nation. Let’s take a closer look at the game with predictions and analysis.
Iona Gaels at Manhattan Jaspers Betting Story Lines
Iona has won 11 straight games and is coming off a 19-point beating of Marist last weekend. With the win, the squad earned at least a share of the MAAC title and will go into its tournament as one of the top seeds. A.J. English and David Laury both scored 22 points for the Gaels during the victory. Iona led the matchup by only three points at the half but used a 33-11 run to put the game out of reach.
The Gaels have been a poor betting option this season and are only 12-13 ATS. The team, however, has covered two of its last three matchups and seven of its last 10 overall games. Iona is not a great defensive squad and simply prefers to get into a scoring match with its opponents. The squad is ranked sixth in assists with 17.3 per game and 22nd in field goal percentage at .482.
Manhattan is coming off a close loss to the Siena Saints, but prior to that defeat it had strung together six straight wins during February. The team is being led by the 19.9 points and 6.7 rebounds from senior George Beamon and averages 77.7 points per game, which is ranked sixth in the nation. Manhattan, however, struggles from the three-point and free-throw lines, which is part of the reason why the team is only 13-13-2 ATS over the course of the season.
The Jaspers have been on a hot streak as of late, though, covering four of their last six matchups. Beamon and junior forward, Emmy Andujar, combined for 31 points during Manhattan’s last lost in which the team played well enough to win but made a few errors down the stretch. Manhattan will close out the season on March 2 against the Canisius Golden Griffins.
Iona Gaels at Manhattan Jaspers NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Manhattan opened as a five-point favorite over the underdog Gaels at BetOnline. Manhattan is 6-2-1 ATS in its last nine games following a SU loss and 9-3-2 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS loss. The team is also 5-2 ATS in its last seven Friday games but only 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games against teams with winning road records. Manhattan has gone “over” in six of its last seven home games.
Iona is 7-3 ATS over its last 10 matchups but only 3-7 over its last 10 games following an ATS win. The team is also 7-3 in its last 10 against the MAAC and has gone “under” in all four of its recent games following an ATS win. Head-to-head, the road team is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 matchups, while Iona is 5-2 ATS during the last seven games in Manhattan.
Iona Gaels at Manhattan Jaspers Free College Basketball Picks and Betting Predictions
The last time these two teams met at the end of January, Iona earned a dominant 12-point home victory over the Jaspers. There are only two games left in the season, and Iona has already earned its share of the conference title, so the team might not be playing with any sense of desperation on Friday. However, getting the chance to wager on the MAAC-leading Gaels getting five points feels like a solid situation to be in. Manhattan might very well win this game, but the team does not have the offensive firepower to blow its conference rivals out of the water. Take Iona plus the points.
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