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Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs. Rhode Island Rams - 2/6/14

Rhode Island Rams (11-11) at Virginia Commonwealth Rams (18-4)

College Basketball: Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Siegel Center)

The Line: Virginia Commonwealth Rams -15 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBSSN

The only Atlantic 10 matchup on Thursday will be a battle between Rhode Island and VCU. Rhode Island heads into the matchup splitting its last four games, while VCU has won five straight.

VCU is a team that can taste the NCAA Tournament and is really starting to hit another gear. Its defense is holding teams to only 66 points per game and is averaging close to 12 steals, which leads the entire country. In its last five games it is holding teams to just 29.4 percent three-point shooting, while the offense is averaging 82.8 points. VCU is 11-0 straight up at home this season but is just 3-6 against the spread on its home court.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs. Rhode Island Rams - 2/6/14

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island continues to struggle to find an identity, which is why for such the inconsistency. In its last five games it’s shooting a cool 45.6 percent but is allowing its opponent to knock down 46.9 percent of its shots. Rhode Island has been good defensively for most of the season, holding teams to 68.2 points, but that hasn’t been the case recently with Dayton and Fordham scoring 76 and 85 points, respectively.

Rhode Island simply has not been able to compete against the best teams in the Atlantic 10, as it is 2-5 in conference play this season. VCU is 6-1 against other Atlantic 10 teams and is starting to hit its stride with March approaching.

Although VCU hasn’t done a great job covering at home and is getting a lot of chalk, I expect the Rams to take care of business and beat up one of the below-average teams in the conference.

Take VCU and the chalk.

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Virginia Commonwealth Rams -15

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