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Niagara vs. Iona - 12/29/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Iona Gaels (6-6) at Niagara Purple Eagles (7-6)

College Basketball: Friday, December 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Gallagher Center-NY)

The Line: Niagara Purple Eagles +3 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV:

The MAAC college basketball schedule opens with a bout between the Iona Gaels and the Niagara Purple Eagles.

The Iona Gaels have been one of the bigger names in the MAAC over a number of years but are a bit of a mystery in 2017-18. Iona ended their non-conference slate with an 80-74 defeat at the Rhode Island Rams as a 12 point underdog. The Gaels held a 50.9%-42.4% shooting advantage but Rhode Island managed 13 more shots and sank seven more free throws. 

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Niagara vs. Iona - 12/29/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The balanced Iona offense saw Rickey McGill toss in 16 points and hand out four assists on 6-8 before fouling out in 32 minutes. Roland Griffin gave the Gaels 12 points and four yanks on 5-9 shooting with EJ Crawford and Deyshonee Much combined for 21 points on 7-15 from the field with Much posting seven rebounds.

The Niagara Purple Eagles have been an afterthought in the MAAC for a long time so a 7-6 record at this point in the season is actually very good. Score first Niagara has won three in a row following an 89-86 win at the Cornell Big Red as a one point favorite where a slight 44.7%-43.7% shooting edge and a few more looks was decisive.

Khalil Dukes kept the Purple Eagles in the game with 28 points and four yanks on 9-15 from the floor including 8-8 at the stripe. Matt Scott gave Niagara 23 points and eleven rebounds on 9-23 shooting while Marvin Prochet added 17 points, 12 rebounds and four helpers on 6-9 from the field.

Iona are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 Friday games and Iona are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and Iona are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games following a ATS win. Niagara are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Metro Atlantic Athletic and Niagara are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win. 

Both teams are a bit of a mystery right now but I’ll back the Purple Eagles who look improved to me…

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