Rhode Island +5 vs. Oregon O/U 141
Recommendation: Rhode Island
When we talk about impact injuries on the defensive end of the court, the Ducks loss of shot blocking center Chris Boucher really stands out. Boucher was not a great offensive player, but he was a low post difference maker on defense. In their first game without him in the lineup, the Ducks struggled to get stops, allowing 83 points on 58% shooting in the PAC-12 title game against Arizona. In their second game without Boucher, they allowed 77 points on 44% shooting to Iona.
The pointspread outcome in that game came down to the final possession despite the fact that the Ducks shot 56% from the floor and won the rebounding battle by 14. That’s certainly not a good sign moving forward, and Oregon is not a ‘value laden’ team at this stage of the campaign.
Rhode Island is on the other end of the ‘value’ equation. The Rams did not play their best basketball, struggling SU and ATS early and often in November, December and into January. Key contributors like senior low post stud Hassan Martin, junior point guard Jarvis Garrett missed time, and the team didn’t immediately jell upon either guys’ return to the lineup.
That was then. This is now. Unburdened by any inflated pointspreads due to their mediocrity for months, Danny Hurley’s squad finally put it together down the stretch: 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games; 13-2 SU and 11-4 ATS in their last 15. This was a fringe Top 25 squad coming into the season, playing at that level here in March! Look for the Rams to give the Ducks everything they can handle on Sunday evening.