At the top of a busy night in college basketball we’ll take a look at a Colonial Athletic Association matchup between Northeastern and William & Mary. William & Mary enters this game on an upswing, having won two straight against decent competition on their home floor. The Tribe beat Delaware on Saturday 84-63 and Drexel 75-69 one week ago with both victories coming on their home floor. That came on the heels of a tough stretch for W&M where they lost five straight and six of ten. Despite their run of poor play they’re still in the mix in the CAA standings at 5-6.
Northeastern has also won two straight but they’ve been strong consistently during the conference season. The Huskies are coming off of victories against Hofstra which ended the Pride’s 16 game winning streak and pulled Northeastern to within two games of the CAA lead. Overall, Northeastern has won six of 7 and 8 of their last 11 games.
William & Mary’s recent wins come at a fortuitous time as it gives us some betting value on a team that isn’t as good as their recent form would suggest. In particular, the Tribe has been awful on the road this year going 2-9 SU and 2-8-1 ATS. To be honest about it, W&M hasn’t been good in any pointspread situation this season. There are only 15 teams in college hoops that have lost more money against the spread than William & Mary. The Tribe are 5-14 ATS overall for a loss of -10.4 units. They’ve been particularly bad in a couple of relevant situational spots here going 3-7 ATS in conference and 3-8 ATS against opponents with winning records.
William & Mary’s problems are simple–they just don’t have as much talent and athleticism as their CAA counterparts. In the past, they’ve compensated for this with shooting accuracy but they’re ranked a mediocre 80 overall (46.6%). Even worse has been their accuracy from three point range where they’re tied for 178 in NCAA D1 hoops at 34.4%. If a team can’t hit threes it’s easy to exploit their lack of athleticism and teams have done that all season long.
One team that did so very effectively in an earlier meeting this year was Northeastern. They routed W&M in Richmond on January 12 by a 90-70 score easily covering as -1 point road favorites. It was the Huskies third win in a year over William & Mary with two being 20 point blowouts. Northeastern has been as good in conference this year as W&M has been bad going 7-3 ATS and with a big game at Charleston well down the road the focus should be here. In fact, with only Elon and NC-Wilmington on deck W&M will be the best team they play until the return date against the Cougars. Northeastern should win this one by double digits.