MAAC foes will collide when the Niagara Purple Eagles (7-6) challenge the Iona Gaels (5-6) at Gallagher Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 162 points with Iona set as a 3-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 29, 2017.
Iona Gaels at Niagara Purple Eagles Free Preview
The Gaels were beaten by the Rhode Island Rams in their last contest, 80-74. Iona’s Roland Griffin finished with 12 points in the game. Rhode Island had a turnover percentage of 10.3 (better than their season average of 14.8). Iona, on the other hand, held the Rams to an effective field goal percentage of 0.455 (below their season average of 0.516).
In the Purple Eagles last matchup, they defeated the Cornell Big Red, 89-86. Niagara was led by Matt Scott, who put up 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Purple Eagles had 8 steals and held the Big Red to an effective field goal percentage of 0.493 (below the 0.570 mark opponents have averaged against Niagara this season).
Niagara could have their way on the offensive side of the ball as their prolific offense squares off against one of the nations worst defenses. The Purple Eagles rank 60th in offensive efficiency, while Iona ranks 290th in defensive efficiency
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Iona games have finished under 62.5 percent of the time, while games involving Niagara have finished over 88.9 percent of the time. The Purple Eagles have the better straight up (SU) record (7-6 vs. 5-6), but the Gaels hold the clear advantage against the spread (ATS) (5-2-1 vs. 5-4).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. Each won one of the two games played against each other last season. The Gaels won the last matchup 90-76. The Gaels played a perfect game. They had a great offensive rebounding percentage of 28.9 and a solid effective field goal percentage of 0.575. For those same stats, the Purple Eagles recorded marks of 22.2 and 0.471, respectively.
Iona Gaels vs. Niagara Purple Eagles Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Iona, ATS Winner – Iona, O/U – Under
- The Purple Eagles are fifth in the nation with 4.1 steals allowed per game while the Gaels are 42nd with 5.4 steals allowed per game.
- Niagara averages 4.2 blocks per game, which ranks 73rd in the nation. Iona ranks 97th in blocks allowed per game (3.5).
- Iona is 4-2-1 ATS on the road with 4 unders and 3 overs.
- Niagara is 2-2 ATS at home with 3 overs and 1 under.
- Iona averages 16.4 assists per game, which ranks 49th in the NCAA. Niagara ranks 235th in assists allowed per game (17.3).
- The Gaels average 28.2 three pointers per game, which ranks 17th in the nation. The Purple Eagles rank 139th in three pointers allowed per game (22.2).
- Niagara ranks 130th in rebounds per game (36.4) while Iona ranks 192nd in rebounds allowed per game (36.6).
- Niagara is 1-1 ATS with 1 over and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Iona is 2-0-1 ATS with 2 unders and 1 over.
- The Purple Eagles have outscored opponents by an average of 2.0 points in their last five games. On the season, Niagara has been defeated by an average of 3.2 points.
- During their last five games, the Gaels have scored an average of 76.0 points per game (0.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 71.8 points per game (3.9 below their season average).