NIT Quarterfinal Betting Picks: Miami Hurricanes vs Richmond Spiders

2015 NIT Quarterfinals
#2 Miami Hurricanes at #1 Richmond Spiders
Robins Center – Richmond, Virginia
Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Richmond -2
Current Line: Richmond -2 1/2
Total: 131 1/2
Current Total: 133
Opening Money Line: Richmond -145 / Miami +125
Current Money Line: Richmond -145 / Miami +125

Richmond Kansas NCAA Tournament Preview
Richmond takes on Miami in the NIT quarterfinals Tuesday.

The 23-12 Miami Hurricanes travel to the 21-13 Richmond Spiders in the first NIT quarterfinal Tuesday night. The winner will face either Temple or Louisiana Tech in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden next week. Both Miami and Richmond were the top two seeds in their section of the bracket. This is the first meeting between Miami and Richmond.

Miami went 10-8 in the ACC and tied for sixth with North Carolina State. After losing to Notre Dame in the ACC quarterfinals Miami was not awarded an NCAA Tournament bid, and had to settle for being a #2 seed in the NIT. Miami beat North Carolina Central 75-71 in the first round and Alabama 73-66 Saturday in the second round. Both games were played at home for Miami in Coral Gables. Miami is making their 11th appearance in the NIT and has made it to the quarterfinals twice, the last in 2006.

Richmond went 12-6 in the Atlantic 10 and tied for fourth with Virginia Commonwealth. The Spiders lost to VCU in the A-10 quarterfinals. Richmond was given one of the four #1 seeds in the NIT. Richmond beat St. Francis (NY) 84-74 in the first round and Arizona State 76-70 in overtime Sunday in the second round, both in Richmond. The Spiders have played in eight NIT’s and made the quarterfinals for the second time, the last in 2002.

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Miami is coached by Jim Larranaga. The Hurricanes have home losses to Green Bay, Eastern Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Louisville and North Carolina, neutral site losses to Providence in Brooklyn and Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament, along with road losses to Notre Dame, Florida State, Wake Forest and Louisville. Miami has won 5 of the last 6 games. The Hurricanes have home wins over South Alabama, Illinois, College of Charleston, Boston College, NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Florida State,  neutral site wins over Drexel, Akron and Charlotte in a tournament in Charleston, SC, and Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament, plus road wins over Florida, Charlotte, Duke, Syracuse, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. Miami is 15-17-1 ATS and the total is 14-14-2 this season. The Hurricanes were 4.5 point favorites against Alabama and the total was 135.5.

Richmond is coached by Chris Mooney. The Spiders have road losses at Old Dominion, North Carolina State, Northern Iowa, James Madison, Davidson, George Washington, Dayton, LaSalle, and George Mason, plus home losses to Wake Forest, Northeastern, and Rhode Island, plus a neutral site loss to VCU in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Richmond has home wins over William & Mary, South Alabama, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, Davidson, Duquesne, Fordham, George Washington, VCU and Saint Louis, a neutral site win over Pepperdine in New York City, and road wins over VCU, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph’s and Massachusetts. The Spiders ahve won 8 of their last 9 games. Richmond wnet 15-14-2 ATS and the total is 16-7 this season. The Spiders were 4.5 point favorites against Arizona State and the total was 136.

Miami is outscoring teams 69-63 this season. The Hurricanes are shooting 43.5% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. Miami makes 74.4% of their free throws and are #24 nationally. Opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field and 33.5% from 3 point range. The Hurricanes average 33.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.9 per game. Miami averages 13.7 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.8 assists, 11.5 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Guard Sheldon McClellan averages 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2 assists and and 1 steal per game. Angel Rodriguez averages 11.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He is doubtful with a wrist injury. Manu Lecomte averages 8.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Tonye Jekiri averages 8.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. Davon Reed averages 8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists.  Deandre Burnett averages 7.2 points, and 2.1 rebounds. Five other players average at least 11 minutes a game in the rotation.

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Richmond is outscoring teams 66-61 this season. The Spiders are #45 in points allowed nationally. Richmond is shooting 46% from the field and 34.3% from 3 point range. The Spiders make 69.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.9% from the field and 30.9% from 3 point range. The Spiders are #29 nationally in 3 point defense. Richmond averages 29.2 rebounds and opponents average 32.2. The Spiders are #343 out of 353 teams in rebounding. Richmond averages 13.4 assists, 10 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.5 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 4.7 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Kendall Anthony averages 16.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1 steal per game. Terry Allen averages 12.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. T.J. Cline averages 11.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. ShawnDre’ Jones averages 10.4 points, 1.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1 steal per game. Alonzo Nelson-Ododa averages 6.7 points, 5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Trey Davis, Deion Taylor, and Josh Jones will also get minutes in the rotation.

Miami is 7-1 ATS against Atlantic 10 teams, and 3-7-1 after a cover.

Richmond is 11-1-1 ATS after a cover, 7-1-1 overall, 6-1 after a straight up win, 10-2-2 against teams with winning records, 4-1-1 in home games, 10-3-2 against teams with winning road records, 10-26-3 in non-conference games, 1-5 in Tuesday games and 0-5 against ACC teams.

Both teams are good on defense so this should be a low scoring game in the 60’s. Richmond is slightly better though and I like them at home in a close game.

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