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Old Dominion Monarchs vs. James Madison Dukes - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

James Madison Dukes (21-11) at Old Dominion Monarchs (25-13)

College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Ted Constant Center)

The Line: Old Dominion Monarchs -6 -- Over/Under: 128 See the Latest Odds

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A former Colonial conference rivalry is renewed when the James Madison Dukes look to open their season on a high note as they take on the Old Dominion Monarchs to kick off their respective 2016-17 NCAA Men’s basketball seasons.

The James Madison Dukes come into this season off of a 2015-16 season where they finished 21-11, good for 4th in the Colonial conference before falling to William & Mary in the quarterfinals of the CAA tournament 79-64, thus eliminating the Dukes from postseason play. The Dukes proceeded to fire head coach Matt Brady on March 14th, 2016. Brady compiled a 138-125 record as head coach of JMU, with 4 postseason appearances and only 1 NCAA tournament berth back in 2012-13. Louis Rowe was chosen to be Brady’s successor to coach one of his alma maters, however there is sure to be a learning curve for both the Dukes and Rowe as it will be Rowe’s first taste of the head coach position in his 9 years of experience. One thing Rowe will have the benefit of is a good chunk of JMU’s starting rotation from last year returning, with the one omission being 2015-16 leading scorer Ron Curry who graduated. Curry put up 17.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists as a senior last season.

Old Dominion Monarchs vs. James Madison Dukes - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Old Dominion Monarchs come into this season off of a successful 2015-16 campaign where the team finished 25-13, good for 5th in C-USA where the Monarchs made it all the way to the conference championship game before being defeated by March Madness-bound Middle Tennessee State by a 55-53 final score. Old Dominion received an invitation to the inaugural Vegas 16 postseason tournament where they defeated Tennessee Tech, UC Santa Barbara and Oakland en route to becoming the first Vegas 16 Champions. The challenge for 3rd-year head coach Jeff Jones, will be overcoming the turnover from last year’s squad as his top 2 leading scorers in Trey Freeman and Aaron Bacote both graduated, with Freeman joining the NBA D-League, and sixth man Ambrose Mosley was dismissed from the program due to a violation of team rules. The loss of all 3 takes away 38.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 6 assists per game from the Monarchs lineup. However the Stith brothers, Brandan and B.J. will look to have an impact in their junior seasons for the Monarchs.

James Madison is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. C-USA and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall. Old Dominion is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall while the under is 6-1-1 in their last 8 home games. James Madison is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings at Old Dominion.

I know it’s the first game of the season, but this is still a rivalry game for both schools even though they’re in different conferences now. Add in the fact that JMU has covered in their last 4 trips to Old Dominion, I have no choice but to side with James Madison and the points.

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James Madison Dukes +6

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