College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Vermont vs. Providence: Will Friars Cruise Past Catamounts?

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Vermont vs. Providence: Will Friars Cruise Past Catamounts? article feature image

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Al Durham

  • Providence takes on Vermont at The Dunk on Tuesday evening.
  • The Friars are coming off of a monster win vs. Texas Tech on their home court.
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives into this duel and makes his top pick.

Vermont vs. Providence Odds

Tuesday, Dec. 7
6:30 p.m. ET
Vermont Odds
-105o / -115u
Providence Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Providence is off to its best start to a season since 2015-16, when the Friars won 14 of their first 15 games.

Next up for them is a Tuesday night home game against Vermont, which has struggled offensively and has already dropped three games in the non-conference, including two to teams ranked outside the top 100 in KenPom.

Vermont opened the season with an impressive road win at Northern Iowa, but has since lost at Maryland, at UNC Greensboro and against Oakland on a neutral court.

It is conference title or bust for the Catamounts in the America East, but this non-conference affair is still an opportunity for a tough road test against a high major.

The Friars are coming off of a huge home win against in-state rival Rhode Island over the weekend. While they're certainly the better team on paper in this matchup, the spread seems a bit inflated based on the Friars' hot start to the 2021-22 season.

Vermont Catamounts

Vermont is an ideal team to back as an underdog for two reasons: it doesn't turn the ball over and it plays at a slow pace.

The Catamounts are the third-most experienced team in the country and are 55th in minutes continuity, so you expect them to be able to handle a raucous crowd in Providence on Tuesday.

A quick look at the shooting numbers from beyond the arc also suggests that Vermont has a ton of positive shooting regression coming. Center Ryan Davis shot 41% from 3 last year, but he's made just 20% this year. He's the primary shot-getter for this offense.

Stretch forward Isaiah Powell shot 38% from deep last year. This year, he's made 29.6%. Western Carolina transfer Kameron Gibson made almost 40% from 3 last season and this year, he's all the way down at 26%.

Vermont is a team that relies heavily on its outside shooting and primarily attacks the perimeter.

The Catamounts will be a much better shooting team going forward. Tuesday night is a good time for that to change, as they match up against an average Providence perimeter defense that hasn't prevented 3s particularly well this season.

The offense should be able to keep the Friars out of transition and force them to execute in the half court.

Providence has relied heavily on trips to the foul line to score. Given how well Vermont avoids fouling, it should be able to cope with the Friars' offense.

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Providence Friars

Providence has already notched two impressive wins in the non-conference, beating both Texas Tech and Wisconsin. The Wisconsin road win is looking more and more impressive with each passing victory by the Badgers, and the Friars have also beaten a solid Northwestern and Rhode Island this year.

This is a prime letdown spot off of those wins against Texas Tech and URI, though, and it's easy to overlook the Catamounts.

Providence has built its offense around two seniors, Al Durham and Nate Watson.

Durham is the do-it-all point guard who is excellent at passing and drawing fouls to earn some free points. Watson is a dominant big who has made 63% of his 2s, drawn a ton of fouls in the post and helps the Friars on the offensive glass.

The Friars are not at all a great jump-shooting team, though, and they rely on second chance opportunities and fouls to get their points.

The issue with playing Vermont is that the Catamounts are 15th on the glass defensively and don't foul often, either. Providence won't be able to live on the glass after its misses or get easy points from the line.

Given that the Friars shoot just 33.7% from deep, it's hard to see how they get easy margin in this game. Only three teams in the country have gotten a higher percentage of points from the line this year and Vermont's defense has the 68th-ranked foul rate in the nation.

Vermont vs. Providence Betting Pick

This is an excellent sell high spot on Providence, which has had an excellent start to the season and has notched consecutive high-profile wins against Texas Tech as an underdog and as a favorite against a rival in Rhode Island.

Given Providence's average perimeter defense, Vermont should be able to find some positive shooting regression — given how poor its been thus far and the history the Catamounts have as shooters.

Vermont is clearly undervalued here because of its shooting woes. I'd play this down to +7. The Catamounts are experienced, don't turn the ball over and can grind this game to a halt in the halfcourt.

Pick: Vermont +9 (Play to +7)

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