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Hampton Howard Betting – Pirates Take Down Mistake-Prone Bison

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 2:03:37 AM

Sports betting players should turn their attentions to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Thursday, when Hampton will visit their rivals from Howard in what is now a very important game. The Pirates could have taken over the MEAC, but they hit a rough patch and are now fighting for second place. The Bison would love to throw a wrench into Hampton’s plans, but they’re still too young to avoid the mistakes that would give Howard a big upset.

  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Thursday, March 3rd, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Burr Gymnasium, Washington, D.C.
  • Pick: Hampton Pirates

Why Bet On Hampton (20-8, 10-5 MEAC)

The Pirates snapped a three-game skid with a 71-64 win at Delaware State, and they’re now locked in a logjam with Morgan State and Coppin State, sitting two games behind first-place Bethune-Cookman in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Hampton is actually a decent defensive team, coming in 35th in points allowed, sixth in field-goal defense, 33rd in three-point defense, 13th in blocked shots and 59th in steals. Junior forward Danny Agbalese (4.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocks) is fifth in the nation in swats, while the trio of junior swingman Darrion Pellum (17.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals), junior guard Kwame Morgan II (16.2 points, 4.2 boards, 1.5 steals) and senior forward Charles Funches (11.2 points, 8.2 boards, 1.4 steals) have quick hands.

Hampton has to be good defensively, though, as they struggle from the floor (302nd in field-goal percentage) and scoring points (251st in points scored). Neither Pellum or Morgan II shoot over 40% from the field, so the Pirates have to play at an up-tempo pace. They’re also surprisingly bad on the boards (306th in rebound margin), but the Pirates have to start hitting their shots if they’re going to win the MEAC tournament for the first time since 2006, which would put them in the NCAA Tournament.

Why Bet On Howard (6-22, 4-11 MEAC)

There aren’t many reasons for NCAA basketball betting players to wager on the Bison, who don’t rank very highly in many categories. They do keep the games close as seven of their last nine losses have come by 10 points or less. The future could be bright for the Bison as they’re led by a pair of sophomores, forward Mike Phillips (13.0 points, 6.9 rebounds) and forward Dadrian Collins (11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds). Another sophomore, guard Anton Dickerson (11.1 points), is also in the mix, meaning that rookie head coach Kevin Nickelberry (who spent three years coaching at Hampton, leading them to their last Tournament appearance) is building a solid future for the Bison. Right now, Howard is in last place in the MEAC, but they’re going to be a tough out in the conference tournament,

The numbers don’t look good for Howard, who are 333rd in points scored, 327th in field-goal percentage, 324th from the foul line, 330th in assists, 332nd in assist-to-turnover ratio, and 303rd in blocks. The Bison are young, they turn the ball over a lot, and they don’t shoot that well, all behind a coach in his first year at the school. That is not a recipe for success.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Bison are actually a decent team at Burr Gymnasium, but the Pirates should be the favorites on the road against their rivals after a 67-55 win over the Bison at Madison Square Garden back in December. Both teams shot poorly (Hampton at 36.8%, Howard at 30.2%), but the Pirates got a few more stops than the Bison, which sounds about right according to the numbers. Hampton has won their last two trips to Howard, and they know they can’t afford to slip up much more heading into the conference tournament, so we think they’ll pull out another ugly win over Howard, who won’t roll over the Pirates, but they’re just not there yet. They’re too young and make too many mistakes, and that’s why we’re going to go with the Bison in our sports betting book.

Hampton Howard Betting Pick: Hampton Pirates

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