Charleston vs Vermont Odds, Pick | NCAAB Betting Guide
Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Deloney (Vermont)
Charleston vs Vermont Odds, Pick
The Charleston Classic tips off Thursday morning with the hometown Charleston Cougars playing the Vermont Catamounts. It's the first matchup of the multi-team event, which continues throughout the week.
Here's college basketball odds and a prediction for Charleston vs. Vermont on Thursday, Nov. 16.
During this event last season, Charleston flexed its muscles when it defeated Virginia Tech. That prompted college hoops fans to start noticing what the Cougars had rolling.
Now the Cougars have a massive target on their back after winning 31 games and making the NCAA tournament.
The fairytale story hasn’t continued for Charleston so far, though. It snuck past Iona, 70-69, in the final seconds. Charleston couldn't hit the knockout punch for the whole second half to fully put Iona away.
In game two, Charleston had a strange outing. After six minutes, the score read 19-5, but a late first-half surge swung the game back in Charleston's favor before the second half unraveled. A 22-point defeat is the final tally, which won't look good in the box score.
An essential part of Pat Kelsey’s system is perimeter shooting — 3-point shots account for 47% of the Cougars' field goal attempts. They’re only making 21% of those 3s through two games, though. That’s a pretty ghastly shooting slump to begin the season, but there’s clearly plenty of time to address the woes.
Notably, only Reyne Smith is shooting above 33% from 3, and the team's top two scorers — Ante Brzovic and Ben Burnham — haven’t made one.
Charleston's most significant advantage is in the size of the department. Three of the Cougars' most important players — Brzvoic, Burnham and Frankie Policelli — stand 6-foot-8 or taller. Vermont only has two rotation players who match that size. Brzovic can utilize his versatile inside-out scoring against Vermont.
The biggest key is point guard CJ Fulton, who's shooting just 28% from deep. A strange nugget: All of Fulton's field-goal attempts are 3s.
Even if Fulton struggles shooting-wise, he needs to provide a calming presence, like Ryan Larson did last season. All Kelsey needs him to do is set up the forwards to score and not turn the ball over. Anything else is house money.
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Now onto the pride of Burlington, Vermont.
Vermont is the true mark of consistency in mid-major hoops, winning 10 America East Tournaments since 2003.
Vermont is 2-0 to begin the season, with victories over a plucky Merrimack team and a non-D-I school. John Becker seemingly always finds players who can step in and make significant contributions.
While Charleston wants to push the tempo, Vermont wants to score methodically, making good passes and finding the best possible shot. That leads to issues if Vermont needs to string together a comeback, but it can massage the clock if it leads.
Vermont is similar to Charleston when it comes to reliance on perimeter shooting. The only difference is that it means more when the Catamounts shoot them; they want to keep the tempo slow, so there aren't as many chances to take shots from deep.
Every single 3 Vermont takes is calculated. Charleston needs to avoid the late shot-clock 3-point attempts.
For instance, Vermont’s top two scorers — TJ Long, and Shamir Bogues — transferred in and instantly led the team in points. Long's perimeter shooting perfectly fits Becker's system, while Bogues helps improve the point-of-attack defense.
However, it would make a major difference if Vermont could get Aaron Deloney going. The six-foot senior guard is averaging just eight points in two games but scored 15+ points in 11 games last season.
He's the type of player who can see the first one go in and hit four straight 3s. So, in other words, Deloney is streaky.
Vermont needs the right side of the streak in Thursday's afternoon tilt.
Charleston vs. Vermont
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Cougars' shooting struggles won't last long. It has too many guys who have proven themselves as reliable shooters in college for this to be more than a small-sample conundrum that finds its solution against Vermont.
Lastly, I trust Charleston more in this type of game. Vermont isn't used to running. The Cougars already played two high-intensity games, while Vermont hasn't faced an up-tempo foe.