Siena is playing its best basketball of the season as the Saints have won and covered eight of their last nine games, including a 61-57 road upset over Fresno State in Game 1 of the CBI Tournament Championship. Siena looks to capture the CBI Tournament Title with a win tonight before the home faithful, and the technical analysis suggests that the Saints could accomplish their objective. Siena is 36-17 ATS at home versus non-conference opponents, 8-1 ATS as home favorites of six points or less and 8-0 ATS in games with a total between 130 and 139.5 points.
Siena will not blow anyone away because the Saints’ offense is below average in every category. Specifically, Siena is averaging 68.9 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 72.3 points per game, thereby making the Saints 3.4 points per game worse than average offensively. The greater concern for head coach Jimmy Patsos is the fact that his squad is averaging just 61.4 points on 40.5% shooting from the field over the last five games.
However, Siena investors can take comfort in the fact that Fresno State is 1.2 points per game worse than average defensively (70.1 points per game to teams that would combine to average 68.9 points per game). Based on the season numbers, Fresno State possesses a nominal 2.2 points per game advantage over the Saints’ attack. We should also note that Fresno State is 7-11 SU on the road this season where the Bulldogs are yielding 73.1 points per game.
The catalyst behind the Saints’ last-season surge has been a defense that is limiting opponents to a mere 56.8 points over the last five games, including 37.6% shooting from the field and 29.8% from beyond the arc. Overall, Siena is 2.6 points per game better than average defensively (69.6 points per game to teams that would combine to average 72.2 points per game). However, those numbers are in no way indicative of how Siena is playing right now, and we give the Saints a significant advantage over a Fresno State attack that is 4.0 points per game better than average (72.2 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.4 points per game).
In fact, Fresno State’s offense is averaging just 68.7 points per game on the road (40.7% FG) and 67.6 points over the last five games. Fresno State bettors can at least feel better knowing that the Bulldogs are 26-14 ATS as underdogs, 20-8 ATS as road underdogs, 10-3 ATS off one or more consecutive losses and 7-0 ATS when seeking to avenge an upset loss. This game is a tough call, which is why we’re going to sit on the sidelines tonight.