St. Bonaventure guard Jalen Adaway (33) reacts after a made shot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Canisius on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Olean N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
#22 St. Bonaventure clashes with Boise State on Thursday (November 18th, 2 pm ET) in the opening game of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic Tournament
The Bonnies are off to a 2-0 start, and rank 16th in scoring defense
Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
Thursday afternoon brings us college hoops action to sweat thanks to the tip-off of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic. The field is headlined by #22 St. Bonaventure, the lone ranked program, and the Bonnies will get the tournament started with a matchup versus Boise State.
Action gets underway at 2 pm ET, at TD Arena in Charleston, SC and there’s no surprise as to who oddsmakers are expecting to win the first contest.
#22 St. Bonaventure vs Boise State Odds
St. Bonaventure Bonnies
O 131.5 (-110)
Boise State Broncos
U 131.5 (-110)
Odds as of Nov. 17th at DraftKings.
St. Bonaventure opened up as a 7-point favorite over the Broncos, in a game that features a total of 131.5. The Bonnies are off to a 2-0 start so far this season, blowing out Siena 75-47, and following up that victory with a 69-60 win over Canisius.
Bonnies Rally Versus Golden Griffins
Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes led the way versus Canisius with 17 points apiece, helping St. Bonaventure erase a 9 point second half deficit.
Challenge answered ✔️
📽️ Look back at Sunday’s rivalry win 📽️ pic.twitter.com/McKBAp1w3d
— Bonnies Men’s Basketball (@BonniesMBB) November 15, 2021
Jalen Adaway splashed 16 points in his season debut, after sitting out the team’s opener for an NCAA rules violation, but the team lost starting center Osun Osunniyi to a back injury. Osunniyi, who ranks top-five in the nation in blocks, left the game and did not return, but the Bonnies are hopeful to have him back in the lineup on Thursday.
St. Bonaventure shot 43% from the field against the Golden Griffins, winning the assist, rebounding and turnover battle. They average 72 points per game and boast a plus-18.5 score margin early on, despite ranking 156th in the country in effective field goal percentage (49.5%).
— Bonnies Men’s Basketball (@BonniesMBB) November 14, 2021
A great deal of their early success is thanks to their defensive effort. The Bonnies rank 16th in scoring defense (53.5 ppg), 22nd in opponent effective field goal percentage (38.8%), and seventh in blocks.
2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Broncos Off to Underwhelming Start
The Broncos meanwhile, beat Utah Valley in their season opener by 20, before falling to UC Irving 58-50 last time out. Marcus Shaver Jr. paced the offense with 14 points, while Emmanuel Akot added 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Final score for Irvine.
Your Broncos are back in action in the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic on Thursday.#BleedBlue | #WhatsNext pic.twitter.com/F5UEyUKN7D
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) November 14, 2021
Boise State shot just 32.3% from the field and were a dismal 3-of-22 from beyond the arc (13.6%). They lost the assist, rebounding, and turnover battle, and allowed the Anteaters to knock down 66.7% of their outside looks.
The Broncos enter play ranked 252nd in points per game (63) and 242nd in effective field goal percentage (45.0%). Defensively, they’ve managed to hold teams to just 57 points per outing, but their 48% opponent effective field goal percentage suggests they are not a defense to fear.
!!#BleedBlue | #WhatsNext pic.twitter.com/Anf7fMs2gI
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) November 17, 2021
Boise State projects as top-four team this season in the Mountain West, but lack a go-to scorer. They lost Derrick Alston Jr. to the NBA draft last July, and have yet to find a reliable number one option, despite featuring five seniors in their starting lineup.
St. Bonaventure vs Boise State Pick
This game could very well be decided by Osunniyi’s availability. If he plays, fire up the Bonnies -7. He’s that important to St. Bonaventure’s success.
Osunniyi missed seven games last season, and the Bonnies went 1-6 without him. In games where he’s been active, but has logged less than 20 minutes, St. Bonaventure is 6-8 straight up. Osunniyi is the reigning A-10 defensive player of the year, and an elite rebounder. The Bonnies have allowed eight offensive rebounds with him on the court this season, compared to 16 with him on the bench.
Neither one of these programs has been impressive offensively, and given St. Bonaventure’s elite start at the defensive end, under 131.5 makes a lot of sense as a secondary play.
Picks: St. Bonaventure -7 (if Osunniyi is active), Under 131.5