Free Pick - College Hoops

Tony George
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by - 1/14/2009 2:05 PM Share
Sport: College Basketball
Game: St. Josephs at St. Bonaventure
Date/Time: 1/14/2009 7:00PM EST
Pick: St. Josephs
Reason:

I think we saw the real St. Bonaventure on Saturday as it was blown out at home against Duquesne. The Bonnies surprised many with a 10-4 start but playing a schedule that is ranked 335th out of 347 teams certainly helps. The Bonnies are 1-1 in the Atlantic Ten with the lone victory being a road win at Fordham who is one of the worst teams in all of Division I (ranked 336th). Even more surprising is that St. Bonaventure is 6-0 on the road yet just 4-4 at home. St. Josephs is off to an average start at 7-7 but it has definitely been tested, playing the 56th ranked schedule in the land.

The Hawks have won two straight games including a confidence building overtime win over Rhode Island on Saturday. Playing Texas, Alabama and Villanova has got this team battle tested with that game against the Wildcats being just a three-point loss. The Hawks also lost one other game by a single point and another in overtime. There are two keys stats favoring the Hawks. They are shooting 71.1 percent from the free throw line including a surprisingly solid 75.8 percent on the road.

The Bonnies meanwhile are hitting just 65.3 percent from the charity stripe including a dismal 63.7 percent at home. Also in the favor of the Hawks is their assist/turnover ratio of 1.07 compared to a ratio of 0.90 for St. Bonaventure. The difference may look small but when the strength of schedules are so far off, it makes a huge difference. St. Josephs also falls into a very solid situation. Play on road favorites that are averaging between 67 and 74 going up against a team allowing between 67 and 74 ppg after a game with a combined score of 165 points or more. This situation is 68-24 ATS (73.9 percent) since 1997. The Bonnies are 4-14 ATS after scoring 75 or more points in two straight games and they are 9-23 ATS of a home loss by 10 points or more. Since 1997, the Hawks have won 16 of the 19 meetings and they add to that here. 3* St. Josephs Hawks

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