Canisius Golden Griffins Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon reacts to a call on the court during the first half of the game between the Monmouth Hawks and the Canisius Golden Griffins on March 10, 2019, at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)
- Rider (5-16, 5-13 MAAC) battles Canisius (7-5, 7-5 MAAC) on Monday, March 8 at 7:00 pm ET
- These Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes split their two meetings last year, but they haven’t faced off yet this season
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tips off on Monday, including a matchup between the 6th-seed Canisius Golden Griffins and the 11th-seeded Rider Broncs at 7:00 pm ET.
Canisius played a very abridged schedule this season due to COVID-19 complications. All of their games were played within in the MAAC, but none came against Rider. So, for the first and only time this season, these teams meet in a do-or-die matchup. Here’s a look at the odds:
Rider vs Canisius Odds
|Rider||+6.5 (-110)||Off||Over 146.5 (-110)|
|Canisius||-6.5 (-110)||Off||Under 146.5 (-110)|
Odds as of March 7th, 2021, at Bet365.
How They’ve Fared Recently
Canisius’ season has been very short and mostly sweet, as the Golden Griffins managed to play just 12 games in the 2020-21 season. That was the lowest game total in the MAAC and among the lowest totals in NCAA Division I.
From Jan. 3 through Feb. 11, the Golden Griffins didn’t play any games, and instead had to adhere to COVID-19 protocols with Zoom meetings and remote workouts. Their Feb. 5-6 series against Rider was among the ones that was lost and not made up.
#GRIFFS WIN! Canisius ends the game on a 10-2 run the final 6:00 to score a 76-75 road win over Siena.
— Canisius Basketball (@Griffs_MBB) March 6, 2021
This is a really difficult team to assess. Even after resuming play on Feb. 12, Canisius has only played six games. They have beaten Fairfield (324th in KenPom), as well as Sienna (182nd) — but they’ve also lost to both of those teams. The sample is small, but Canisius is among the worst offensive teams in D-I (46.8% effective field goal percentage, 298th).
Rider has played almost twice as many games as Canisius … and they probably wish they hadn’t. The Broncs have just one win in their past seven games, and just two wins in their past 11.
Rider’s most impressive win came against Saint Peter’s (210th in KenPom) on Feb. 27. But the Broncs’ best performance might’ve come way back on Dec. 8, when they only lost by three to NCAA tournament hopeful St. John’s.
The Broncs have six losses this season against teams ranked outside KenPom’s top 250. They rank very poorly in effective field goal percentage produced on offense (47.8%, 276th in D-I) and allowed on defense (52.9%, 288th).
Canisius is 7-5 against the spread this season, while Rider is 9-12 ATS. It’s a neutral site game, so the home/road splits don’t feel particularly important here.
Rider 64 | Monmouth 57 3:43 2nd – Allen Powell with another three. He’s got all 11 of his points in the second half.
— Rider Men’s Basketball (@RiderMBB) March 4, 2021
The Golden Griffins have covered in six of their past eight, while the Broncs have covered three in a row. The under has hit in three of four for the Broncs, but the over has hit in three of five for the Golden Griffins.
Last season, Canisius covered both games against Rider as the underdog, including one straight up win. As we see this year, with the Golden Griffins now a decent favorite in the matchup, things have changed a bit.
Jordan Henderson – 🔥
The junior guard has scored the #Griffs last seven points, and Fairfield takes a timeout to send us to the media.
— Canisius Basketball (@Griffs_MBB) February 19, 2021
Though their data set is limited, we like the stronger-seeded Golden Griffins to advance. Their chances are especially good if forward Jacco Fritz (8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds per game) returns after a two-game absence due to an upper body injury.
Pick: Canisius -6.5 (-110)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.