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Iona Gaels vs. Cleveland State Vikings - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Cleveland State Vikings (21-12) at Iona Gaels (22-11)

College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Hynes Athletics Center)

The Line: Iona Gaels (-5) -- Over/Under: TBD See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Cleveland State Vikings travel to face the Iona Gaels as both teams kick-off their 2014-15 seasons.

Both Iona and Cleveland State are two of the more respected mid-major programs in the country and this will be the second consecutive year in which these teams square-off in their season-opener as Cleveland State beat Iona last year 73-69 at Cleveland State.

Iona Gaels vs. Cleveland State Vikings - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland State once again comes is as one of the favorites in the Horizon League coming off a 21-12 season in which they were bounced in the first round of the CIT by Ohio 64-62. Although Cleveland State lost their leader scorer, Bryn Forbes, to Michigan State in the off-season, they still return two of the better players in the Horizon League in  Trey Lewis (13.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.4 apg) and Anton Grady (10.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.7 apg). Cleveland State will arguably have the best starting five’s in the Horizon League with Senior’s Charlie Lee (9.8 ppg, 4.1 apg) and Marlin Mason (5.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and incoming freshman, Terrell Hales joining Lewis and Grady.

The Iona Gaels and their high-flying offensive which ranked 4th in the country in points per game (83.5) last year, fell just short last season of making the big dance, as they lost to rival Manhattan in the MAAC finals 71-68. Iona will come into the 2014-15 season as favorites to win the MAAC as they are returning Senior forward, David Laury (14 ppg, 8.3 rpg), and Junior guards, A.J. English (17.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.3 apg) and Isaiah Williams (11.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg). Iona also was able add some quality transfers in Jeylani Dublin and Kelvin Amayo and landed and have incoming freshman Schadrac Casimir which will help depth to this Iona squad.

Iona is going to have a lot of motivation in front of their home crowd to ensure that they don’t again start their season 0-1 due to Cleveland State. Although Cleveland State has a solid starting five and a dangerous duo in Trey Lewis and Anton Grady, I believe that Iona’s high-power offensive with David Laury and A.J. English, along with their depth and home-crowd will pick up the win while covering the spread. 

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Iona Gaels -5

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