The Rider Broncs (21-8, 14-3 MAAC) and Iona Gaels (17-12, 11-6 MAAC) will clash at Alumni Gymnasium to bring the regular season to a close. The games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 164.5 points with Rider set as a 4-point favorite. Action starts at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 25, 2018.
Iona Gaels at Rider Broncs Free Preview
The last time the Gaels played, they beat the Manhattan Jaspers, 88-75. Schadrac Casimir was the top scorer from either team with 30 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Iona played a nearly perfect game. They had a turnover percentage of 12.8 (better than their season average of 14.6) and a free throw rate of 0.310 (above their season average of 0.199). Manhattan recorded marks of 18.4 and 0.224, respectively, for those same stats.
The Broncs are hoping for a better outcome after their 91-77 loss to the Monmouth Hawks in their last outing. With 15 points and six rebounds, Rider’s Dimencio Vaughn had a good game. Monmouth had an offensive rebounding percentage of 42.9 (above their season average of 26.4). Rider, meanwhile, had a free throw rate of 0.291 (above their season average of 0.255).
There should be plenty of transition offense in this meeting that showcases a pair of the NCAA’s more up-and-down teams. Rider ranks 27th in possessions per game (73.9) and Iona is 52nd (72.5).
Both of these teams have typically gone over the projected point total. Iona games have gone over 56.0 percent of the time, while 72.0 percent of games featuring Rider have finished over. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Broncs have a substantial advantage. They are 21-8 SU and 15-9-1 ATS, while the Gaels are 17-12 SU and 13-11-1 ATS.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Gaels, it’s been E.J. Crawford, who has averaged 17.2 points, while the Broncs have gotten great contributions from Vaughn (21.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.4 blocks).
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to score 155 points in that game, which was under the projected point total of 164. The Gaels won 91-64, covering as 3-point favorites. Iona’s free throw rate was their largest strength over Rider. The Gaels had a rate of 0.200, while the Broncs posted a mark of 0.067. Rickey McGill was a top performer in the victory, with 13 points and nine assists.
Iona Gaels at Rider Broncs Free Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Rider, ATS Winner – Iona, O/U – Over
- The Gaels rank 14th in steals allowed per game (4.9) while the Broncs rank 111th (6.1).
- Iona averages 3.1 blocks per game, which ranks 135th in the NCAA. Rider ranks 199th in blocks allowed per game (4.6).
- Rider is 4-5 ATS at home, while Iona is 9-5-1 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone over in 9 of the Gaels 15 road games, while 6 of the Broncs 9 home games have gone over.
- Iona averages 25.4 three pointers per game, which ranks 42nd in the nation. Rider ranks 270th in three pointers allowed per game (25.8).
- The Broncs average 39.6 rebounds per game, which ranks 17th in the nation. The Gaels rank 237th in rebounds allowed per game (37.4).
- Iona ranks 25th in assists per game (16.5) while Rider ranks 229th in assists allowed per game (15.1).
- Rider is 2-3 ATS with 5 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Iona is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Broncs average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.4, up from 4.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Gaels have scored an average of 77.2 points per game (2.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 78.2 points per game (2.0 above their season average).