The VCU Rams will continue their A-10 conference campaign on Friday night when they visit their inter-state rivals Richmond Spiders as a part of the Lumber Liquidators Capital City Classic. This will be the second time the two foes go head-to-head during the season with the Rams taking a late rally to pass the Spiders with 81-74 win in their first meeting on February 1st. The game is scheduled to be played at the Robins Center with the tip-off at 9:00 PM ET and a live TV coverage on ESPN2.

The VCU Rams hope to extend their winning streak against their in-state rivals

The VCU Rams (21-5, 11-2) have continued their dominance at the EJ Wade Arena on Tuesday night when they took down the Saint Joseph’s Hawks with a 91-81 final score.  Senior guard JeQuan Lewis had a spectacular night scoring 34 points, which is his career-high. Lewis also made 9 treys out of 15 attempts and dished out 5 assists. Justin Tillman finished the night with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Samir Doughty nearly missed a triple-double, recording 10 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. It was the Rams 10th consecutive win at home, where they now hold a 13-1 overall record on the season.

The VCU Rams will look to continue their strong offensive performance on Friday night against the Spiders, especially considering that they are 13-0 when they score more than 80 points. On the season, the Rams are averaging 75.7 points per game while shooting 47.2% from the field and 35.3% from behind the arc. Defensively, the Rams are giving up 66.2 points to their opponents, while at the same time forcing them to commit 15.2 turnovers per contest.

Senior leadership by JeQuan Lewis has be crucial for the Rams this season. Lewis is the team’s leading scorer with 15.6 points per game in 30.6 minutes of play. In addition, Lewis is pulling down 3 boards and 4.4 assists per night for the Rams. Two more Rams players are averaging double figures in scoring, with Justin Tillman pouring in 12.5 points per game and Mo Alie-Cox chipping in 10.2 points per night. Tillman is also the team’s best rebounder with 8.6 boards per night

The Richmond Spiders look to bounce back after a tough loss to George Mason

The Richmond Spiders (15-10, 9-4) are hosting their archrivals the VCU Rams hoping to revenge loss suffered in their first meeting on February 1st. Ever since that loss the Spiders were able to bounce back and connect to wins, but failed to extend that streak when they slipped on Tuesday night losing to the George Mason Patriots with 70-93. The Spiders were still in the game with 6 minutes to go in the second half and a deficit of 4 points, but collapsed in the final minutes allowing the Patriots to go on a 22-2 run to close out the game. T.J. Cline scored 21 points for the Spiders, including 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Nick Sherod finished the night with 18 points while Kwan Fore and ShawnDre Jones scored 12 and 10 points each.

The Spiders are entering the contest with the Rams scoring 74.0 points per game while shooting 46.3% from the field and 32.2% from the 3-point line. On the other side of the court, the Spiders are giving up 72.0 points to their opponents and forcing them to commit 14.2 turnovers per game.

The Spiders have three players scoring in double figures with T.J. Cline leading the pack as he is averaging 19.3 points per game in 31.8 minutes of action per game. Cline is also averaging 8.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. ShawnDre Jones is second best in scoring with 16.9 points per game while also recording 2.2 boards and 4.3 assists per game. Kwan Fore rounds up the Spiders players scoring in double figures with 11.2 points.

VCU Rams at Richmond Spiders Game Trends & Prediction

The VCU Rams are 9-12-1 ATS overall and 13-9 against the over/under. They are also 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games played on Friday. In the last 5 road games, the Rams are 1-4 ATS and 3-2 against the over/under.

The Richmond Spiders are 12-8-1 ATS overall and 11-10 against the over/under. The Spiders are 0-4-1 in their last 5 games played on Friday. In their last 5 games played at home, the Spiders are 4-1 ATS and 3-2 against the over/under.

The Rams are my pick in this one. I believe that the Rams have shown much more consistency and better offensive performances throughout the season. The Spiders have had couple of meltdowns throughout the season and don’t believe that they can keep up with the Rams in the battle for the top of the A-10 conference. In addition, I think that the total is set too low, which is why I am going with the over as well!!!

My Pick:   VCU Rams -3.5

Total: Over 143.5 points