Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-3) at Merrimack Warriors (0-0)
College Basketball: Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Hammel Court)
The Line: Merrimack Warriors -3 -- Over/Under: 131 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Sacred Heart Pioneers and the Merrimack Warriors meet Thursday in college basketball action from Hammel Court.
Sacred Heart enters this game at 2-3 this season. The Pioneers are 2-1 in their last three games, taking out LIU and Wagner in those appearances. As for Merrimack, this will be their first appearance of the season. The Warriors managed to go 20-11 overall last year. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Sacred Heart opened up the year with consecutive losses, falling 86-63 to Rutgers and 75-55 to LIU in game two. The rematch versus LIU got the Pioneers their first win 87-72. Since then it’s been a split pair of games versus Wagner: 74-46 (loss) on December 21 and 86-85 (win) on the 22nd.
In the victory over Wagner, Sacred Heart’s top scorer was Tyler Thomas with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists. Matas Spokas added 18 points with seven rebounds and three assists, and Mike Sixsmith chipped in 13 points with three rebounds and one assist in 32 minutes on the floor.
Over on the Merrimack side, they’re coming off a solid 20-11 overall record last season with a 14-4 record in NEC play. That effort earned the Warriors a regular-season conference championship. Merrimack was set for an invite to the CIT before the remainder of the season was cancelled.
The Warriors will look a little different this season when they finally hit the court, as the team is retaining two of five starters and will be without Juvaris Hayes (10.7 PPG and a whopping 121 steals last year) Jaleel Lord (10.8 PPG; 4.1 RPG) and Idris Joyner (9.6 PPG) have moved on as well.
Merrimack is 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven Thursday games. The Warriors are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games overall and the under is 20-8-1 in their last 29 overall.
Meanwhile, the Pioneers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven Thursday games and the over is 4-1 in their last five road games. The under is 16-7 in Sacred Heart’s last 23 overall and 7-1 in their last eight Thursday games.
PICK: I’m going to stick with Sacred Heart here. I’m also staying away from this one in reality; we need to see what Merrimack looks like on the court first. The Warriors opened up their D-I transition well last year and flashed some nice potential, but there will be some bumps in the early-going as the players adjust to their new roles. Sacred Heart has been pretty flat for most of the year, but I think their experience and chemistry will carry them to a cover.