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College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for St. Bonaventure vs. VCU (Tuesday, March 1)

College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for St. Bonaventure vs. VCU (Tuesday, March 1) article feature image

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen DeLoach (VCU)

  • VCU looks for revenge against St. Bonaventure after the Bonnies won the first meeting this season in a blowout.
  • The Bonnies will likely be without big man Osun Osunniyi, which could have a drastic impact on the outcome of this outing.
  • Kyle Remillard breaks it all down below and offers up his top selection.

St. Bonaventure vs. VCU Odds

Tuesday, March 1
8:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
St. Bonaventure Odds
-110o / -110u
VCU Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Atlantic 10 was looking like a one-bid conference for much of the season. But down the stretch, both VCU and St. Bonaventure have each caught fire, winning seven contests in a row.

That seven-game win streak locked VCU in for the double-bye come conference tournament time. The Rams’ win on Saturday over UMass also marked the 100th victory for head coach Mike Rhoades.

According to TeamRankings, the Rams are right on the bubble, with a 64% chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament.

St. Bonaventure has played itself into the bubble discussion, as well, thanks to its current seven-game win streak. Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology has the Bonnies slated in the “Next Four Out.”

The Bonnies will need to win one of its final two games to secure a double-bye in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. That’s more important than ever after starting center Osun Osunniyi injured his ankle in the team’s last game.

The postseason has started early for both programs, as they’re in must-win situations. Whichever team comes out on top in this matchup will significantly improve their chances of hearing their name called on Selection Sunday.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies

St. Bonaventure just barely snuck by Saint Joseph’s, pulling out a two-point victory. The win kept hopes alive for an at-large bid, but came at a hefty cost.

Osunniyi rolled his ankle late in the second half and appeared to be in a lot of pain. He did not return to the game, and he’s unlikely to be ready for this matchup.

Osunniyi is the reigning Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, and his importance to the program can’t be overstated. The big man is averaging 11 points, seven rebounds and nearly three blocks per contest this season.

It’s widely known that the Bonnies utilize their starting lineup more than any team in the country. The group ranks dead last in bench minutes, so any time a starter goes down, it has an enormous impact. But Osunniyi is the sole rim protector and the only starter who stands above 6-foot-5.

St. Bonaventure was lucky to survive Saint Joseph’s in its last game. The Hawks connected on 11-of-27 3s, while the Bonnies hit 11% of their 18 3-point attempts.

VCU Rams

VCU has relied on its dominant defense, which has carried it to a 20-7 record. The Rams own the fifth defensive efficiency ranking in the country, according to KenPom.

The defense has been ferocious at forcing turnovers, and gives up no easy buckets. The Rams rank third nationally in defensive turnover percentage and sixth in steal percentage.

When teams do get a shot attempt up, it’s almost always contested. VCU ranks second in the nation in defending the perimeter, holding opponents to less than 27% on the season.

The Rams are just as efficient defending inside the arc, where they rank 24th in 2-point defense.

During their seven-game win streak, the Rams have allowed just 63 points per game.

The offense hasn’t been anywhere near as efficient, as it ranks 253rd. But the Rams get plenty of transition opportunities off of their forced turnovers.

The offense finds 57% of its points from 2-point territory (50%). The Rams have also shot well from beyond the perimeter, hitting 35% despite taking less than 30% of their shot attempts from deep.

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St. Bonaventure vs. VCU Betting Pick

These two teams met back in mid-January in a one-sided affair that went the Bonnies’ way. The officials had a monster impact in that matchup, as the Rams were called for 22 fouls, which led to 27 free throw attempts for the Bonnies.

With Osunniyi holding down the paint with three blocks, VCU was held to just 40% from 2-point range. With him likely out for this matchup, the Rams should have a field day scoring on the inside. That will also open up looks from the outside for a group that shoots 35% from deep.

St. Bonaventure’s starters all average over 30 minutes per game, with the bench rarely getting any playing time. Now, the Bonnies will likely be throwing an inexperienced big man into the fire against a ferocious VCU defense.

VCU will lean on its depth, as it has 10 players averaging double-digit minutes per game. The Rams are poised to get revenge from their 20-point defeat from earlier in the season.

Pick: VCU -3.5 (Play to -5)

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