College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure (Friday, March 4)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Dji Bailey
- St. Bonaventure is favored over Richmond as the Atlantic 10 wraps up its regular season before the conference tournament next week.
- The spread has stayed the same throughout the day Friday, while the total has ticked up half a point at FanDuel.
- Get Tanner McGrath's full Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure preview and pick below.
Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure Odds
-110o / -110u
|St. Bonaventure Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Atlantic-10 is filled with entertaining matchups, and this is one of the best.
However, both teams have underachieved this season, and find themselves in bubble contention at best.
And both teams are coming off big losses, so are hungry for a bounce-back game.
Which team has the edge on Friday night?
Jacob Gilyard is the pride and soul of the Richmond Spiders.
Gilyard is averaging 12.6 points and 5.7 assists per game, and his 3.0 steals per game is top-15 among all D-I players. After five years of snatching balls, Gilyard is now the all-time NCAA leader in steals.
But he doesn’t just dish out assists and record steals. Gilyard can score, and he has a flair for the dramatic:
— NCAA Buzzer Beaters & Game Winners (@NCAABuzzerBters) February 8, 2022
Richmond is an offensive-minded team because of Gilyard. The Spiders’ 3-point percentage is dragging down the overall stats, but the Spiders are first in the A-10 in offensive turnover rate and fifth in 2-point percentage. They’re top-40 nationally in half-court PPP (.951).
The point is: The Spiders get shots up and score efficiently on those shots.
It’s a mixed bag defensively. Richmond’s defensive turnover rate is solid, but its eFG% allowed is very high (50.6%).
However, that number might only be high because the Spiders’ 3-point percentage allowed is high (36% in conference play). Their 3-point percentage allowed should regress in March.
But even considering that, Richmond’s defense is more than exploitable — specifically on the interior. Richmond is 332nd nationally in PPP allowed to the roll man in a pick-and-roll and 287th in PPP allowed in post-up situations. It’s basically been a layup line at the rim for Richmond opponents this season.
If I were a Richmond fan, I would be very concerned about the defensive flaws entering the A-10 tournament.
No team in the country rides its starters harder than St. Bonaventure.
Literally. The Bonnies are dead-last in the nation in bench minutes per game, at 11.9%. Instead, the five-man rotation of Kyle Lofton, Jaren Holmes, Dominick Welch, Jalen Adaway and Osun Osunnyi carry the load.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Mark Schmidt’s strategy, but the Bonnies haven’t lived up to expectations behind that model. St. Bonaventure has dropped to 84th in the NET rankings after a blowout loss to VCU.
To be honest, the Bonnies deserve that ranking. St. Bonaventure hasn’t recorded a true signature win yet this season, as the Bonnies have just two KenPom top-50 wins.
It’s been an underwhelming season which began with very high hopes after returning all five starters from last season.
But this campaign shows how important depth is to a college basketball team. Lofton is an awesome point guard, Osunniyi is one of the best centers in college hoops, and all three Bonnie wings have an ORtg north of 101.
But there isn’t a player behind that five that can play basketball at the D-I level. The Bonnies were missing Osunniyi for their last game against VCU, and managed just a nine-man rotation with the six-through-nine guys combining for only eight total minutes.
When you look at the on-off ratings, you understand what can happen in just a mere eight minutes:
Image credit: CBB Analytics
Despite their lackluster resume, the Bonnies are still on the bubble. Schmidt will need a convincing win over Richmond on Thursday night combined with a strong performance in the A-10 tournament to remain in consideration for an at-large bid.
But with the Bonnies only running eight- or nine-deep every night, I’m not overly confident in their ceiling come March.
Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure Betting Pick
It’s important to note that Osunniyi is questionable for this game with an ankle injury.
If he is ruled out, I’ll be betting Richmond. The Spiders don’t really have the interior size or skill to contain the Bonnies’ big man down low.
But if he’s hurt, that takes care of that problem. And it would force Schmidt to rely more on his bench, which is already very thin to start with.
St. Bonaventure also allows the 16th-highest 3-point rate nationally. The Spiders have shooters and are 3-point happy, ranking top-50 nationally in 3-point rate themselves. Richmond will happily take advantage.
If I can catch over 2 against a shorthanded Bonnie team, I love the Spiders in that spot.