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College Basketball Odds, Picks: VCU vs Richmond Betting Preview & Prediction (Jan. 20)

College Basketball Odds, Picks: VCU vs Richmond Betting Preview & Prediction (Jan. 20) article feature image
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Pictured: VCU Rams forward Brandon Johns Jr. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

  • Two of the better teams in the Atlantic 10 go head-to-head as VCU visits Richmond.
  • The Rams are riding a four-game winning streak and Keg thinks they'll push that to five on the road.
  • Continue reading for his full breakdown and best bet.

VCU vs Richmond Odds

Friday, Jan. 20
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
VCU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110
-110o / -110u
+100
Richmond Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110
-110o / -110u
-120
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

It’s crowded atop the Atlantic 10 standings as five teams are 4-2 or better in the conference play. Two of those teams, VCU and Richmond, meet Friday night, looking to get a leg up before the rest of the conference plays Saturday.

The Rams are on a four-game win streak with their most recent win coming in blowout fashion, 83-55 over UMass.  Meanwhile, Richmond is 4-2 in conference play with both losses coming on the road. The Spiders haven’t lost in the Robins Center since November 17th and a win over VCU would mark their 10th home win of the season.

Richmond will be looking to win two in a row against the Rams for the first time since the 2017-18 season. The last time these two met was last year’s conference tournament, when Richmond beat VCU by double-digits.

These team’s boast two of the top three defenses in the A10, but will the Richmond offense be able to hang with a VCU squad that posts the second-best scoring margin in the conference?

Let’s break down the odds and come up with a betting prediction.

VCU Rams

The Rams are the hottest team in the A10 right now. They’re riding a four-game win streak and have won nine of their past 10.

What’s been most impressive about VCU during this run has been its ability to remain consistent at both ends of the floor. The Rams are led by Brandon Johns Jr., who paces the team with 14.4 points per outing. But over the past five games it’s been a team effort, with six different Rams averaging eight points per game or better.

At the defensive end, Jalen DeLoach has been one of the A10’s biggest threats around the rim and is averaging 1.6 blocks per game. Jayden Nunn has also been a thorn in the side of offenses as he’s averaging 1.8 steals per contest.

VCU is elite when it comes to making the most of those turnovers. The Rams are averaging 21 points off of turnovers per game, which ranks in the 97th percentile nationally.

VCU’s offense is putting up 71.3 points per contest and has been able to hold teams to an average of under 65 points per game. Richmond already struggles to break 70, so how will the Spiders score against VCU?

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Richmond Spiders

The Spiders defense can match up well with VCU, I have zero doubt about that. Richmond has held teams to an effective field goal percentage of 47.2% and ranks 298th in adjusted tempo, nearly bringing the game to a complete stand still.

VCU takes nearly 50% of its shots at the rim and is shooting 61.7% over its past five games. Richmond has been solid when it comes to defending the rim, allowing opponents to shoot just 61.5% (63% over the past five games).

However, I have concerns when it comes to the Spiders offense. Though six games of conference play, Richmond is making 52.6% of its 2-point shots and just 29.6% of its attempts from the perimeter, ranking 6th and 12th in the A10.  Improvement seems unlikely against a VCU team that has held conference foes to 50.4% on 2-point shots and 30.1% on 3’s.

The Spiders have been solid when it comes to ball security — turning the ball over on just 17.1% of possessions — but they have yet to face a ball-hawking defense like the Rams. VCU has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on 25.8% of possessions.

VCU vs Richmond Betting Pick

Richmond has been much better in the Robins Center, but all of its home conference wins have come against opponents that rank outside the top 10 in the Atlantic 10 in defensive efficiency.

Yes, Richmond’s defense isn’t far off from VCU, but the Rams offense has been able to find success against top defenses. VCU opened as a 1-point favorite on the road and I would feel comfortable backing the Rams as high as a 2.5-point favorite.

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