The Niagara Purple Eagles (18-11, 11-5 MAAC) can prolong a five-game home winning streak when they meet the Canisius Golden Griffins (19-10, 13-3 MAAC) at Gallagher Center. Canisius is a 4-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 163 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
Canisius Golden Griffins at Niagara Purple Eagles Free Preview
The Golden Griffins lost a tough one against the Rider Broncs in their last matchup, 83-82. Canisius’ Isaiah Reese put together a good game, putting up 23 points and 12 rebounds. Rider did an excellent job of converting from the free throw line (21-29; 72.4 percent). Canisius, on the other hand, held the Broncs to an offensive rebounding percentage of 20.6 (below their season average of 33.9).
In the Purple Eagles’ last matchup, they were beaten by the Manhattan Jaspers, 82-72. With 17 points and six rebounds, Marvin Prochet had a good performance for Niagara. Manhattan held the Purple Eagles to an effective field goal percentage of 0.454 (below their season average of 0.513). Niagara, meanwhile, had a better free throw rate (0.200 vs. 0.154).
Based on historical performance heading into this one, ball protection could play a key role in this meeting. Niagara commits the 12th-fewest miscues in the NCAA (turnover percentage of 15.1 percent), while the gambling defense of Canisius forces the 45th-most (opponents’ turnover percentage of 21.6 percent).
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Canisius games have finished under 59.3 percent of the time, while games featuring Niagara have finished over 72.0 percent of the time. Both teams have solid straight up (SU) records (19-10 for Canisius; 18-11 for Niagara), but the Golden Griffins have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Canisius is 18-8-1 ATS, while the Purple Eagles are 15-10.
Jermaine Crumpton has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Canisius, averaging 17.6 points and 1.2 steals per game.
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined for 194 points, well over the projected point total of 158.5. The Purple Eagles won 105-89, covering as 8-point underdogs. The Purple Eagles played a nearly flawless game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.475 and a ridiculous offensive rebounding percentage of 50.0. For those same stats, the Golden Griffins had marks of 0.222 and 30.4, respectively. Crumpton scored a game-high 32 points.
Canisius Golden Griffins vs. Niagara Purple Eagles Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Canisius, ATS Winner – Niagara, O/U – Over
- The Purple Eagles rank 42nd in blocks per game (4.4) while the Golden Griffins rank 164th (2.9).
- Niagara allows the 15th-fewest steals per game (4.8) while Canisius ranks 37th (5.2).
- On the road, Canisius is 9-6 ATS with 10 unders and 5 overs.
- Niagara is 6-5 ATS at home with 7 overs and 4 unders.
- Canisius ranks 21st in assists per game (16.9) while Niagara ranks 253rd in assists allowed per game (16.2).
- The Purple Eagles rank 31st in rebounds per game (39.0) while the Golden Griffins rank 221st (33.5).
- Canisius averages 26.8 three pointers per game, which ranks 25th in the nation. Niagara ranks 201st in three pointers allowed per game (23.0).
- Niagara is 4-1 ATS with 5 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Canisius is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Purple Eagles have outscored opponents by an average of 5.4 points in their last five games. For the season, Niagara has been defeated by an average of 0.2 points.
- During their last five games, the Golden Griffins have scored an average of 80.2 points per game (5.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 67.0 points per game (3.1 below their season average).