As March Madness betting time approaches, the NCAA basketball season is in full swing. Winthrop has a lot going for it in a game at Radford, especially super-talented forward Chandler Vaudrin.
Winthrop -3 at Radford, Total 140, Thursday, 6 pm ET
Action: Winthrop -3.5
Winthrop clamps down on opponents, allowing them a paltry effective possession ratio of 0.848 that is the second-lowest figure in the country. Five of its past six foes have scored fewer than 66 points, three were in the 50s. What’s worse for Radford, the Eagles have honed that defense even more acutely over their past three games, a national-best 0.797. What’s even worse for Radford, over that same three-tilt stretch Winthrop has polished its offense with a 1.049 effective possession ratio, the third-best attack in the country. At both ends, the Eagles are sterling. And they fly, as their average possession length of 14.4 seconds is the fourth-fastest in college hoops, behind Coppin State (14), Alabama (14.1) and Gonzaga (14.2). Winthrop is relentless.
The Eagles need Adonis Arms, a senior swingman from Milwaukee, to prosper as they’re 12-0 when he scores in double figures. Sophomore forward DJ Burns also had a power outage last time out in an unusual defeat, at home to North Carolina-Asheville, the Eagles’ first defeat of the season after soaring out of the gate with 16 consecutive victories. Count on both answering the bell inside Dedmon Center in Radford, Va. Winthrop’s Chandler Vaudrin, a 6-foot-7 senior point forward, has been exquisite, with 14 double-digit scoring games and a top-10 national assists rate of 7.12. Those three will make it a difficult night for Radford.
The Eagles will be able to swipe it from a flimsy Radford backcourt that is careless and sloppy—it is in the basement of college hoops, tied with Memphis and Loyola Marymount, in worst non-steal turnover percentage. Winthrop will take advantage of a far better 3-point arsenal and perimeter defense, too. Fah’Mir Ali, a 5-10 freshman guard, had been an important part of the Radford’s attack, with six games in a row with double-digit points—five of those were victories. But he has tallied only 15 total points in four of Radford’s past five games, missing the other one. No Highlander averages double digits in points. This one shouldn’t tax Winthrop.