Youngstown State vs. Canisius line, prediction: Penguins the pick

The long wait is over for college basketball fans. Monday marks the return of college hoops with a large slate of games. While there aren’t many marquee matchups, there are games where bettors can find an edge. One of those games is Youngstown State vs. Canisius. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET.

The Penguins are my sleeper team in the Horizon Conference this season. YSU is one of the most experienced teams in the country, with six fifth-year players, including star guard Dwayne Cohill. They also added 6-foot-7 rebounding machine Adrian Nelson, who the Penguins poached from conference rival Northern Kentucky in the transfer portal. Youngstown State ranked 217th in 2-point field goal percentage defense last season, and adding Nelson down low should help improve in that area.

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Youngstown State Penguins guard Dwayne Cohill
Youngstown State Penguins guard Dwayne Cohill
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Canisius is a team I think is getting too much respect from oddsmakers early in the season. I have the Golden Griffins ranked near the bottom of the MAAC conference, and while they do play better at home than on the road, Youngstown has a big edge in size and overall talent at the guard positions.

One thing to watch in this game is foul shots. Youngstown State ranked 22nd in free-throw percentage and did a good job getting to the line last season, ranking 133rd in foul shots attempted per game. Meanwhile, Canisius was one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country.

Betting on Sports?

This number opened up Youngstown State -2 but was one of the few games where the odds quickly moved. The Penguins got bet up to -3.5 and I think they are good to back up to -4 on the road Monday night.

Youngstown State vs. Canisius pick

Youngstown State -3.5 (Caesars)


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