The Holy Cross Crusaders (1-10) will be at home in the Hart Recreation Center when they challenge the Sacred Heart Pioneers (6-5). The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 156.5 points with Sacred Heart opening as a 5.5-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 12:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 22, 2019.
Sacred Heart Pioneers at Holy Cross Crusaders Free Preview
In the Pioneers’ last matchup, they lost to the UCF Knights, 76-65. They were not able to cover as 10-point underdogs. With 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, Jare’l Spellman was Sacred Heart’s high scorer. UCF’s 0.215 free throw rate was their biggest strength over Sacred Heart, who had a rate of 0.134. The Knights’ mark was above their season average of 0.201, while the Pioneers’ was below their season average of 0.251. The two teams combined to score 141 points, which was under the O/U total of 153.
Although the Crusaders were beaten by the Canisius Golden Griffins in their last outing, 80-72, they were able to cover as 11-point underdogs. With 16 points and six rebounds, Joe Pridgen had a solid performance for Holy Cross. Canisius had a free throw rate of 0.357 (above their season average of 0.247). Holy Cross, meanwhile, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 38.5 (above their season average of 25.3). Combined, the two squads scored 152 points, which was over the projected point total of 143.5.
Holy Cross may have difficulty getting to the free throw line in this showdown. The Crusaders currently rank 331st in the country with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.156, while Sacred Heart ranks 23rd in FTA rate allowed (0.150). Additionally, the Pioneers are among the NCAA’s elite on the offensive backboards, ranking 41st in offensive rebounding percentage (34.4 percent). The Crusaders, meanwhile, rank 254th in defensive rebounding percentage (69.9 percent).
Of Sacred Heart’s 10 games that accepted bets, five have finished over the projected point total, while 6 of Holy Cross’ 10 games have finished over the projected point total. The Pioneers come into this game with much better straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 6-5 SU and 5-5 ATS, while the Crusaders are 1-10 SU and 4-6 ATS.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Crusaders won the sole contest last season, 93-81. The Crusaders’ turnover percentage was their largest strength over the Pioneers. Holy Cross had a rate of 11.3, while Sacred Heart posted a mark of 27.1.
Sacred Heart Pioneers at Holy Cross Crusaders Betting Prediction
Basketball Tip: SU Winner – Holy Cross, ATS Winner – Holy Cross, O/U – Under
The Pioneers average 5.8 steals per game, which ranks 155th in the nation. The Crusaders rank 177th in steals allowed per game (8.4).
Sacred Heart is 4-5 ATS on the road with 5 overs and 4 unders.
Holy Cross is 1-2 ATS at home with 2 unders and 1 over.
Sacred Heart ranks 11th in rebounds per game (42.1) while Holy Cross ranks 197th in rebounds allowed per game (37.0).
The Pioneers rank 33rd in assists per game (16.1) while the Crusaders rank 170th in assists allowed per game (13.7).
Sacred Heart averages 24.7 three pointers per game, which ranks 72nd in the country. Holy Cross ranks 125th in three pointers allowed per game (21.8).
Holy Cross is 2-2 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders in its last five games.
Over its last five outings, Sacred Heart is 3-1 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders.
The Crusaders’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 7.2, down from 13.8 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pioneers have scored an average of 86.2 points per game (7.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 72.2 points per game (2.7 below their season average).