7:00PM EST: Lehigh +19 (3 Units)
The 1-4 Mountain Hawks are better than that record suggests. They did drop a couple winnable games, but they've played Penn State and North Carolina this year. They were 24- and 17.5-point underdogs in those games and covered both. They also covered against Cornell +7 in their first game of the season. They're 3-1 ATS with their only ATS loss coming against Monmouth +2 their last time out.
They can score some points. Going back, they've scored 79, 90, 68, 65, 78. The 68 and 65 were against UNC and Penn State. Those were also more competitive games than the final scores indicated. It was just a 2-point game with under 10 minutes to go against Penn State and a 3-point game with 13 to go against North Carolina. Depth becomes an issue against more talented teams. They just keep throwing fresh bodies at them.
This is a Senior team with a ton of experience. Brett Reed's been the Head Coach over there since 2007. 4 of their top 6 scorers have seen significant minutes in each of the past 3 seasons. Forward Dominic Parolin is on year number 4. There's a lot of continuity and understanding of what HC Brett Reed wants these boys to do.
Providence is of course the superior team, but they don't shoot the 3 very well. They're shooting 30% from deep so far this season, 263rd in CBB. Their top 2 scorers this year, Guard Devin Carter, and Forward Bryce Hopkins both started for Providence last year. Hopkins had a decent year shooting 36.4% from deep a season ago, but he still didn't attempt very many. Hopkins shot below 30%.
Without the 3 ball we like Lehigh to keep this game close enough. Providence is also working with a first-year coach after Ed Cooley left to become Georgetown's Head Coach. Cooley was a mainstay at Providence since the 2011 season. He did a very good job, delivering Providence's first ever regular season Big East title in the 2021-2022 seasons.
They hired Kim English to replace him. There are natural growing pains anytime you make a coaching change, but this is just his 3rd season as a Head Coach. He led George Mason to a 14-16 record in 2021-22 and a 20-13 record last year. The Friars are currently averaging 14.8 turnovers per game (321st). A result of inexperience.
Providence doesn't have great depth either. This isn't a top program and with Ed Cooley leaving so did his recruiting prowess. Should the Friars take a big league late, Lehigh's 1's match-up well against the Friars two. They could back-door this for us no problem if need be.