LIU-Brooklyn Sharks (0-0) at Sacred Heart Pioneers (0-1)
College Basketball: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm (William Pitt Center - West Gym)
The Line: Sacred Heart Pioneers +0.5 -- Over/Under: 151 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Long Island University Sharks and the Sacred Heart Pioneers meet Wednesday in college basketball action from William H. Pitt Center.
This will be Long Island’s first game of the 2020-21 college basketball season. The Sharks went 15-18 overall last year with a 9-9 record in the NEC. As for Sacred Heart, they’re 0-1 so far this year. The Pioneers fell to Rutgers back on November 25. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Long Island is coming off a pretty mediocre-to-disappointing season last year, going 15-18 overall and 9-9 in Northeast Conference play. That mark left the Sharks in a tie for fifth place in the standings. In the NEC Tournament, Long Island beat Fairleigh Dickinson, then lost to Robert Morris in the semifinals.
On to the 2020-21 season, and after a couple of postponements the Sharks are ready to hit the court. Long Island will have to replace some production this season, as last year’s leading scorer Raiquan Clark (19.5 PPG; 7.3 RPG) has moved on. The good news is that Ty Flowers (14.3 PPG; 9.6 RPG) is in uniform again this season.
Over on the Pioneers’ side, they’re coming off a 20-13 campaign last season, going 12-6 in the NEC. That record left Sacred Heart in fourth place in the conference standings. In the NEC Tournament, the Pioneers beat Mount St. Mary’s then fell to Saint Francis in the semis.
This year, Sacred Heart has one game in the books so far. That one was an 86-63 blowout loss to Rutgers. Tops in scoring for the Pioneers in that one was Aaron Clarke with 17 points and four assists. Mike Sixsmith added 11 points, and Cantavio Duteil managed 11 rebounds with four points.
Sacred Heart is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite and the under is 16-5 in their last 21 games as a favorite. The under is 20-4-2 in the Pioneers’ last 26 games as a home favorite and 14-5 in their last 19 overall.
Meanwhile, the over is 9-4-1 in the Sharks’ last 14 games as an underdog and 3-1-1 in their last five games versus a team with a winning percentage below .400. The under is also 22-5-2 in Sacred Heart’s last 29 home games.
PICK: I’m leaning toward Sacred Heart here, but this is probably one to stay away from. At least until we get a feel for what Long Island will look like on the court this season. The Pioneers can’t really be evaluated by their first game; they had the misfortune of taking on a pretty darn good Rutgers team and were predictably destroyed by 23 points. Still, Sacred Heart showcased a pretty deep lineup of contributors, and I think that’ll help carry them to a cover here.