College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond (Friday, February 4)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Dji Bailey
- St. Bonaventure and Richmond both entered the season with high expectations, but neither has thus far lived up to the billing.
- Two middle-of-the-road A-10 teams will look to start a push toward March tonight.
- Keg on why he thinks the Spiders are more likely to do so.
St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond Odds
|St. Bonaventure Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Before the season, St Bonaventure was picked to finish first in the Atlantic-10 and Richmond was picked second. Now at the beginning of February, the two teams find themselves sixth and seventh, respectively, in the conference standings.
Neither team has lived up to the hype, but I don’t think any team in the country has had to hear more about it than the Bonnies. However, the A-10 is one of the more balanced and competitive conferences in the country, and the Bonnies are catching a little too much hate. St. Bonaventure can still make the tournament, but needs a lot of things to fall its way and to perform at its full potential the rest of the way.
St. Bonaventure is coming off of a tough loss at home to Davidson, a game in which it gave up a 22-4 run and was never able to recover. Davidson attempted 29 free throws and cashed in on 72.4% in what was ultimately a 81-76 win.
Richmond, meanwhile, is coming off a blowout win against Duquesne. The Spiders hit 50% or better at all levels against the Dukes, which is a huge improvement for a team that was making just 27% of its threes prior to that performance. Thirteen made 3s was the most Richmond had made since 2019.
While the Spiders do lead the all time series 17-11 they haven’t been able to buy a win against St. Bonaventure in recent history. The Bonnies are on a five-game winning streak in the series, dating back to January 2017. Last year especially was a tough loss for the Spiders as Kyle Lofton hit a game-winning three to lift the Bonnies.
The Spiders are 7-3 at home this season and have not lost a game in any February dating back to the 2018-19 season. One streak will end on Friday night. Will it be the Bonnies’ five-game win streak over Richmond, or the Spiders’ perfect February?
St. Bonaventure Must Limit Shots Behind the Arc
St. Bonaventure is averaging 70.9 points per game, but has struggled overall when it comes to shooting. The Bonnies post an effective field goal percentage of just 49.6%, while also ranked 11th in the A-10 in 3-point shooting, hitting at just 31.8%.
In place of poor shooting efforts, though, they have gotten to the charity stipe more than most teams, and are cashing in when they do. St. Bonaventure ranks 150th nationally in free throw attempts, and is 19th in the NCAA in free throw percentage, hitting at 77.5%.
Defensively, the Bonnies’ biggest strength is getting stops in the paint. They rank 11th in the country in block percentage on defense, while their best defense comes against 2-point shots. St. Bonaventure is limiting teams to 48% inside the arc.
But as a whole, the Bonnies’ defense is struggling, allowing opponents to post an effective field goal percentage of 50.5%. They have been specifically bad when it comes to defending the perimeter, allowing teams to hit 35.7% from 3-point range. Teams are also attempting more behind the arc against the Bonnies than almost anyone else: they rank 344th in opponent 3-attempts and 345th in made attempts.
Richmond is a solid 3-point shooting team, and if the Bonnies let them get hot it could mean the end of their five-game win streak of the Spiders.
The Spiders’ offense is just inside the top 100 in scoring offense, putting up 73.5 per contest, which also puts them fourth in the A-10. The impressive scoring has been largely due to Tyler Burton, one of the best scorers in the conference.
Burton leads Richmond and ranks fifth in the A-10 averaging 16.2 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounds and ranks sixth in the conference with 7.4 per contest. Burton is the only A-10 player who ranks top-6 in both scoring and rebounding.
On defense, the Spiders are led by another star in Jacob Gilyard who leads D-I with 3.4 steals per game. Gilyard is also one of 15 players named to the watch list for the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year award. His 432 career steals are the most by any player in Division I history.
As a team, the Spiders are limiting opponents to 69.5 points per game, a number they should be able to achieve against the Bonnies if they can avoid fouling.
St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond Betting Pick
St. Bonaventure has gotten more of the spotlight for not living up to the hype this season, but Richmond is more likely to turn its season around in this one.
As Stuckey mentioned earlier this week, the Spiders are second-to-last in 3-point shooting in league play. However, they have multiple players with proven ability from outside the arc. St. Bonaventure allows an overabundance of attempts and makes from 3-point range, and some Richmond regression should be in line. That’s why I’m backing the Spiders as short favorites.
Pick: Richmond -5.5 or better
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