Vermont vs Providence Odds and Picks (Dec. 7)

Vermont forward Ryan Davis (35) shoots the ball over Maryland forward Qudus Wahab (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

The Vermont Catamounts (6-3) — who were picked to finish second in the AEC preseason poll — aim to pull off a mild upset in their most challenging game of the regular season against the Providence Friars (8-1) Tuesday in The Divine City. Tip off is at 6:30 pm ET on FS1.

Providence enters the contest as favorites according to oddsmakers and KenPom predicts the Friars will win 68-61.

Spread at FanDuel

+8.5 (-105)
O 129.5 (-110)

-8.5 (-115)
U 129.5 (-110)

Odds as of December 6th, 2021.

Senior forward Ryan Davis scored 16 points — just below his team-leading 16.8 points per game — to pace six Vermont players in their 18-point victory over the Big Green last Wednesday.

Meantime, Ed Cooley’s club remained perfect at home this season with a 14-point win over the Rams. Ed Croswell scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in only 22 minutes off the bench, while Noah Horchler scored a game-high 16 for the streaking Friars.

2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker

AEC, Ya You Know Me!

John Becker’s Cats are the best team in the America East — and it’s not even close. Vermont is rated 98th overall by KenPom, with New Hampshire being the next-closest team within the conference and a rating of 183rd. Vermont, which set an AEC mark by winning a share of the conference title for the fifth-straight season last year, knocked off its second Ivy League program in its most recent win.

Dat boy hotter than the oven on 450 🔥

— UVM Men’s Basketball (@UVMmbb) December 2, 2021

Becker has had five full days to prepare his squad for the Friars in what is clearly the Catamounts’ toughest tilt on the docket. Despite the relatively long layoff, this definitely feels like a “rest-and-recharge” situation rather than a “rust” situation. Davis is one three players — along with Ben Shungu and Isaiah Powell — averaging in double-figures for the team. The reigning AEC Player of the Year is a force.

Vermont does not dazzle on offense. But, the Catamounts are only allowing opponents 57.8 points per game — good for 16th in all of Division I. Plus, this unit is elite in turnover percentage (3rd) and steal percentage (7th). If Davis can get going and the defense can slow down the Providence, an upset is a strong possibility.

2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker

Frying Up a Storm

Cooley’s group is 6-0 at home so far in 2021-22, including a 72-68 victory over highly-respected Texas Tech last Wednesday that preceded that win against URI. The win over the Red Raiders is certainly one the Selection Committee will take into account come March.

Recap from last night’s win over Texas Tech

— Providence MBB (@PCFriarsmbb) December 2, 2021

Nate Watson is the team’s leading scorer, putting up 15.1 points per contest. He’s joined by Horchler and reigning Big East Player of the Week Al Durham in the double-digit scoring department.

What a week for Al Durham, stepping into the lead guard role with Jared Bynum out. Clutch shots and 17-18 at the free throw line to boot.

— Kevin Farrahar (@Kevin_Farrahar) December 5, 2021

The Friars are not a truly standout group defensively in the same way the Cats are — but they do rate in the top-10 in the free throw attempt/field goal attempt category (6th) by KenPom. Providence also owns victories over a pair of Big Ten programs (Wisconsin and Northwester), beating the Badgers on their homecourt.

With a talented group of seniors leading the way, this is a dangerous club that is red-hot right now.

The Pick

The only blemish for Providence thus far is is a 58-40 defeat at the hands of Virginia in the Legends Classic title game two weeks ago. The Cavaliers overwhelmed the Friars with a stifling defense, limiting Cooley’s club to just 23.5% shooting for the game, while going 3-for-22 from distance.

Vermont may not be quite in the same class as the Wahoos — but the Cats are legit. Plus, they’ve had time to prepare for a team that has certainly played well this season — but could be susceptible to a strong defensive gameplan.

I’ll go with the home team, but give me the points.

Pick: Vermont +8.5 (-105)

Author: wpadmin

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