Richmond vs. VCU Prediction: Can the Spiders Earn a Rare Win in this Rivalry?

College basketball expert Mike Spector offers his best bet for the Atlantic 10 battle between Richmond and VCU.
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Richmond vs. VCU Prediction: Can the Spiders Earn a Rare Win in this Rivalry?

VCU continued their dominance of Richmond in their first regular season meeting on January 29, winning at Richmond 64-62. The win was the Rams’ fifth in the last six meetings with the Spiders and helped VCU stay within striking distance of the Atlantic 10 regular season title.

Will tonight’s rematch feature more of the same dominance from VCU, or will Richmond earn a rare home win at the Siegel Center?

Here are our picks and predictions for the Atlantic 10 battle between Richmond and VCU.

Click here for Richmond vs VCU odds

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Richmond vs. VCU Prediction

Richmond (17-9, 8-5) has won four of its last five games after the late-January loss to VCU. The only loss in that span was against George Mason in the second leg of a home-and-home. The Spiders rank fourth in the conference in scoring at 73.5 PPG and are the league’s least turnover-prone team, turning the ball over on just 14.4% of their possessions in league play. 

Richmond is one of the league’s most experienced units, as six of their top eight players in minutes played are seniors. Their trio of Tyler Burton, Grant Golden, and Jacob Gilyard are the only three players averaging in double figures and account for 60.4% of the team’s scoring.

VCU (17-7, 10-3) enters this game on a four-game winning streak and winners of seven of their last eight. While Richmond ranks fourth in the conference in scoring, VCU ranks 14th out of 14 A-10 teams at 64.7 PPG. Thus, the Rams’ success is predicated on a stifling defense that has held eight of its last nine opponents to 70 points or fewer. In addition, VCU ranks in the top-six nationally in several defensive metrics, including adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom), effective field goal percentage allowed, turnover percentage, and 3-point percentage allowed.

One of the biggest reasons for VCU’s defensive success is rim-protector Hason Ward, who leads the team with 1.3 blocks per game. However. Ward sprained his ankle in the team’s win over Fordham on Tuesday night, and his status for tonight’s game is in question. If Ward cannot play, VCU does not have as much of an interior presence defensively and does not allow them to play as aggressively in the passing lanes or on the perimeter. 

VCU will be a popular pick in this game because of their recent dominance over Richmond and because the Siegel Center is one of the most intimidating places to play. However, if any team is well-equipped to handle a raucous environment, it is the senior-laden Spiders. Richmond is 2-4 in games decided by three points or less, so one has to feel there is positive regression coming for them at some point. Furthermore, the Spiders won the turnover battle 19-13 in their first meeting with the Rams, and their ability to take care of the basketball is something that cannot be said for many of VCU’s opponents.

Richmond is one of the most profitable ATS road teams in the Atlantic 10, covering seven of their nine games away from home. Thus, we look for their experienced roster to earn another cover in this pivotal matchup.

Richmond vs. VCU Line Movement

Richmond vs. VCU Pick

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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