Friday College Basketball Odds & Picks: How To Bet Siena vs. Rider


M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Pickett

Feb 14, 2020, 10:37 AM EST

Statistically speaking, the importance of homecourt advantage in college basketball is on the decline.

It’s difficult to explain why this is the case, but factors such as officiating, the rise in early non-conference tournaments preparing teams for life on the road and the equalizing nature of the three-point shot have all been raised in the discussion.

Will a devalued homecourt advantage impact Rider-Siena, or can we count on the friendly confines of the Times Union Center to play a large role on Valentine’s Day?

Friday College Basketball Betting

Odds as of Friday morning and via BetMGM, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Rider at Siena Odds

  • Spread: Siena -5
  • Over/Under: 147.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET

Let’s not bury the lede any further. Siena is 10-0 at home this season straight up and 6-4 against the spread. Conversely, they’re 1-11 on the road SU and 3-8 ATS. That’s a striking difference.

Digging deeper into the Saints’ box scores, the disparity gets even more extreme in MAAC play. In Siena’s last five MAAC road games, the Saints are 1-4 SU and a matching 1-4 ATS. At home they’re on a three game ATS winning streak against conference opponents, besting the closing number by an average of 9.6 points per game.

Carmen Maciariello’s bunch is getting it done with defense, at least when they’re in Albany. Compared to other MAAC programs, Siena is right in the middle of the pack defensively in terms of points per game allowed, turnovers forced, two-point and three-point shooting defense.

But the Saints really ratchet things up at home, dropping their points per game allowed by nearly 10 points.

During their three-game ATS winning-streak mentioned above, they’ve held their MAAC opponents to 55 points per game on 35% shooting from the floor and an even worse 26% from three-point range.

Offensively, the Saints’ starting lineup features four players averaging over 11.5 points per game. That includes double-double machine Manny Camper and the dynamic Jalen Pickett. Pickett, a true sophomore, already has 13 20-point performances to his name, just a year and a half into his college career.

When pairing the Saints’ offensive ceiling with their inspired play at home, it’s easy to understand why Rider, the MAAC’s top dog at the moment, is catching five points in Albany.

Yes the Broncs knocked off the Saints 85-77 back in early January, but they’ve fallen apart on the road in conference play. Since that eight-point victory, they’re 2-4 both SU and ATS away from home.

I’m riding the hot defensive hand with the homecourt advantage in this one.

Pick: Siena -5

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