The UNCG Spartans (16-6, 7-2 SoCon) can continue a five-game home winning streak when they meet the VMI Keydets (7-14, 2-8 SoCon) at Greensboro Coliseum. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 130 points with UNCG opening as a 17.5-point favorite. Action starts at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
VMI Keydets at UNCG Spartans Free Preview
The last time the Keydets played, they were beaten by the Samford Bulldogs, 93-79. VMI’s Austin Vereen finished with 18 points and seven rebounds in the game. Samford did a terrific job of making free throws (25-28; 89.3 percent). VMI, meanwhile, had a turnover percentage of 13.1 (better than their season average of 20.0).
The Spartans are hoping for a better outcome after their 87-85 loss to the Chattanooga Mocs in their last matchup. Francis Alonso was UNCG’s leading scorer with 20 points on 7-for-21 shooting. Chattanooga did an excellent job of making free throws (29-38; 76.3 percent). UNCG, on the other hand, had a turnover percentage of 11.6 (better than their season average of 18.4).
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, UNCG figures to have a substantial edge. The Spartans defense ranks 69th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.480), while the VMI offense is ranked 303rd in effective field goal percentage (0.478). It could also be a mistake-prone game for the Keydets’ offense, which ranks 333rd in ball security (turnover percentage of 22.2 percent). They’ll be going up against the stingy defense of the Spartans, which forces the 23rd-most turnovers in the nation (23.2 percent).
Of VMI’s 14 games with betting action, nine have finished under the O/U total, while 8 of UNCG’s 15 games have finished under the O/U total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Spartans have a sizable advantage. They are 16-6 SU and 10-5 ATS, while the Keydets are 7-14 SU and 7-7 ATS.
Marvin Smith has been solid over the last five games for UNCG, averaging 16.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined for 124 points in that game, which was under the projected point total of 136.5. The Spartans won 63-61, but were unable to cover as 13.5-point favorites. UNCG won the rebounding battle. The Spartans had 13 offensive rebounds and 43 total rebounds, while the Keydets had five and 28, respectively. In the loss, Bubba Parham led all scorers on the team with 19 points.
VMI Keydets at UNCG Spartans Odds Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – UNCG, ATS Winner – VMI, O/U – Under
- The Spartans rank 11th in assists allowed per game (10.0) while the Keydets rank 131st (13.4).
- UNCG ranks seventh in blocks allowed per game (2.2) while VMI ranks 79th (3.1).
- UNCG is 5-2 ATS at home, while VMI is 4-5 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 5 of the Keydets’ 9 road games, while 4 of the Spartans’ 7 home games have gone under.
- UNCG ranks 15th in rebounds allowed per game (30.5) while VMI ranks 191st (36.2).
- The Spartans average 8.4 steals per game, which ranks 14th in the nation. The Keydets rank 168th in steals allowed per game (7.1).
- UNCG ranks 24th in three pointers attempted per game (27.3) while VMI ranks 155th in three pointers allowed per game (22.3).
- UNCG is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, VMI is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Spartans’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 8.4, down from 10.0 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Keydets have scored an average of 67.8 points per game (2.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 73.6 points per game (0.4 above their season average).