Fairfield Stags vs. Manhattan Jaspers - 1/18/14
Manhattan Jaspers (13-3) at Fairfield Stags (3-14)
College Basketball: Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm (Webster Bank Arena)
The Line: Fairfield Stags +6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
A matchup between Manhattan and Fairfield has the potential to get absolutely ugly. The Jaspers are 13-3 and the cream of the crop of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, while the Stags are 3-14 and will find it harder and harder to end a five-game losing streak.
Manhattan gets up a lot of shots and is averaging 79.1 points because of it. It shoots 34.9 percent from downtown, 43.3 percent from the field and a decent 70.4 percent from the charity stripe. To make matters even better for the Jaspers, workhorse George Beamon is expected to return after missing a couple of games with a shoulder injury. He’s averaging 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest and is by far Manhattan’s best player.
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Unlike Manhattan, Fairfield struggles to score the basketball. The 62 points per game, 68.7 percent from the free throw line and 32.1 percent from three just hasn’t cut it this season. Sophomore Marcus Gilbert and senior Maurice Barrow are the only two players capable of providing a spark offensively, as they average a combined 25 points per game. Fairfield can’t do much right this season and is a horrible 1-3 against the spread at home. That’s likely not going to change on Saturday against the best team in the MAAC.
While I see Manhattan having little trouble covering the spread, the real value may be in the over/under. While Fairfield may struggle to put the ball in the hoop, the Jaspers have been on a scoring tear, scoring more than 80 points in three of their last four games (all games that cleared the total). The over is also 4-1 in Fairfield’s last five games following an against the spread loss.
This game may be tough to watch, but expect Beamon and company to do most of the heavy lifting and get the total over the projected number.