Charleston vs Towson Odds, Picks: Do Tigers Have Chance Against Cougars?
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Larson
Charleston vs Towson Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Towson Tigers, who were the preseason favorites to win the Colonial, have lost some of their shine as they come into this game riding a four-game losing streak.
Charleston, meanwhile, has been one of the best stories in college basketball. The Cougars are 13-1 on the season and boast the third-longest win streak (12) and the fifth-longest road win streak in the nation.
Towson returned 10 players from last year’s team that beat these Cougars twice en route to the CAA regular season title.
Do the Tigers have a chance against the Cougars, or will Charleston prove to be a worthy threat for the Colonial crown?
I expected Charleston to be good in the preseason, but the Cougars have been better than expected. I expected Charleston to have a good showing when it hosted its home MTE. The Cougars won the tournament.
And now, over their last five games, they’ve found a way to improve even more.
Charleston loves to run and gun. Over their first nine games, the Cougars scored 35.3 points in the paint per game, dominated the offensive glass and made the most of second-chance opportunities.
But the Cougars have shown that’s not all they can do. Charleston slowed the pace down over their last five and focused more from beyond the arc.
In their last five games, Charleston ranks in the 99th percentile among all of college basketball when it comes to 3-point attempts, and it’s hitting 34.8%. Last time out against Hampton in their conference opener, the Cougars hit 66.7% from deep in the first half and 36% overall.
One thing that has remained consistent for Charleston throughout the season has been its production off the bench. The Cougars rarely miss a beat when the starters come off the floor, averaging 34.4 points per game off the bench.
That reliability could be massive against a Towson team that is drawing 17.8 fouls and averaging 19.4 free-throw attempts per game.
While Charleston loves to push the pace and get up as many shots as it can, Towson’s style of play is entirely the opposite. The Tigers rank 337th in Adjusted Tempo, making them the slowest-paced team in the Colonial.
Towson’s goal is to pair that slowed game with a solid defensive effort. Unfortunately, its defense hasn’t been impressive as of late.
Towson has held teams to just 67.1 points per game, and it’s among the best teams in college basketball when it comes to defending the mid-range, holding teams to just 20.3% on mid-range 2s this year.
However, this season, and more specifically in its last five games, Towson has been abysmal defending in the paint and at the perimeter.
The Tigers have allowed teams to hit 61.9% at the rim and 35.6% from beyond the arc this season. They have been even worse over the last five games, allowing 68.1% and 39.3%, respectfully.
At the offensive end, the Tigers have left a lot to be desired, ranking outside the top 200 with an effective field goal percentage of 49.4%. The Charleston defense hasn’t been great, but it’s been good enough to hold teams to 70.5 points per game, which I fully expect it to do against Towson.
In addition to struggles at both ends of the floor, Towson also has issues when it comes to ball security. Over its last five games, Towson has gone from averaging 13.2 turnovers per game on the season to 14.4.
Charleston vs. Towson Betting Pick
The deciding factor in this CAA showdown will be who wins in the paint. Towson gives up the fewest rebounds per game in the conference. Charleston, meanwhile, averages the most rebounds per game.
The Cougars have been in the 95th percentile in offensive rebound percentage over their last five games. Charleston also ranks in the 80th percentile or better over its previous five in terms of opponents’ offensive and defensive rebounds allowed.
Towson will do all it can to slow down the Charleston offense, but I’m not sure it will be enough. The Tigers couldn’t slow down Bryant in their last game, leading to a 10-point loss. We could see a similar situation against Charleston.
The Cougars have yet to give me a single reason to doubt them, while it’s hard to find any reason Towson fixes all its problems here against the most formidable team in its conference.
Charleston has been the better team against stronger competition, which is why I’m backing the Cougars.