Oskeim Sports previews Tuesday’s college basketball game between Manhattan and Marist. Oskeim recommends laying the points with the Red Foxes as one of his free NCAA basketball picks for January 8.
Oskeim also suggests laying the points with Valparaiso as one of his free NCAA basketball picks for Tuesday. Be sure to visit Oskeim’s Blog on a daily basis for more free NCAA basketball picks.
First-year head coach John Dunne inherited an experience-laden roster consisting of a senior class responsible for scoring 62 percent of Marist’s points last season. All five starters from last year’s 6-25 squad returned, together with the Red Foxes’ top seven players in minutes played.
Marist is playing solid defense under Dunne, allowing 69.4 points per game on 44.0% shooting from the field to teams that would combine to average 73.6 points per game against a mediocre stop unit. Improvement at the defensive end of the floor was expected under Dunne, whose teams have always been known for their defensive prowess.
Meanwhile, Manhattan arrives with an anemic attack that is averaging just 57.1 points per game on 39.8% shooting from the floor against teams that would combine to allow 70.2 points per game to a mediocre offense. The Jaspers have the worst scoring offense in college basketball, together with the 333rd-ranked offensive field goal percentage.
The Jaspers own the nation’s worst free throw percentage (56.2) and rank 331st in total rebounds per game (31.79). Manhattan is a money-burning 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games, 1-3-1 ATS in its last five conference affairs and 1-4 ATS in its previous five clashes with teams with a winning record.
Marist’s senior-laden team is led by Brian Parker, who is tied for seventh place in program history with 1,555 career points. The power guard boasts a team-high 15.0 points per game on 47.2% shooting from the field and 36.4% from beyond the arc.
The Red Foxes’ frontcourt is anchored by seniors Isaiah Lamb and Ryan Funk. Lamb is third in the MAAC in three-point percentage (.439) and eighth in field goal percentage (.478). Funk is currently third on the team in scoring with 9.1 points per game and is regarded as Marist’s best shooters.
My math model favors Marist by 9.7 points in this game so we are certainly getting excellent line value with the Red Foxes. However, I decided to pass on making Marist a Best Bet because all four Marist-Manhattan games over the last two seasons have been decided by five points or less, with each team winning twice.
In fact, the last Marist-Manhattan games at McCann Arena have gone to overtime. The Jaspers are 4-1 ATS in their last five trips to Poughkeepsie, New York, while the road team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series.
However, the math alone is enough to make the Red Foxes a Strong Opinion and I really like where coach Dunne is taking the program. Dunne led St. Peter’s to its first postseason championship (CIT) two years ago and his track record in the MAAC speaks for itself.
Lay the points with Marist as one of Oskeim’s free NCAA Basketball picks for Tuesday, January 8.
Oskeim Sports’ Free NCAA Basketball Picks for January 8:
- Marist (-6.5) (-110) over Manhattan
- Valparaiso (-2.5) (-110) over Bradley