The top-seeded Iona Gaels will look to win their sixth MAAC Tournament championship in the past seven tournaments when they face the No. 11 seed Marist Red Foxes on Saturday. Rick Pitino's Gaels (26-7, 17-3 MAAC), who beat No. 5 Niagara 71-59 in Friday's semifinal, are 13-6 all-time in MAAC title games. The Red Foxes (13-19, 6-14), who topped No. 10 Saint Peter's 69-57 on Friday, are making their first conference championship game appearance. Iona has won 23 of the past 26 meetings with Marist, including five straight.
The game from the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Marist is averaging 64.2 points per game, while Iona averages 76.4. The Gaels are 14.5-point favorites in the latest Marist vs. Iona odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 135.5. Before locking in any Iona vs. Marist picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters conference tournament week 76-51 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,200 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now the model has zeroed in on Iona vs. Marist and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several college basketball odds and betting lines for Marist vs. Iona:
- Marist vs. Iona spread: Iona -14.5
- Marist vs. Iona over/under: 135.5 points
- Marist vs. Iona money line: Marist +850, Iona -1400
- MAR: The Red Foxes are 3-0-1 against the spread in their last four neutral site games
- IONA: The Gaels are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall
- Marist vs. Iona picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Iona can cover
Junior forward Nelly Junior Joseph is coming off yet another solid performance, scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds in the semifinal win over Niagara. He has reached double-digit scoring in 31 games, including each of the last 29, and has 19 double-doubles on the season. Against Mount St. Mary's in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, he scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. In 33 games, including 32 starts, Joseph is averaging 15.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Senior forward Osborn Shema has played a huge role in the Gaels' success this season, and is coming off an eight-point and six-rebound performance in the semifinals. In the quarterfinal win over Mount St. Mary's, he poured in 17 points, while grabbing five boards. In the 80-78 win at Rider on March 4, Shema produced his first double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. For the season, he is averaging 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Why Marist can cover
Senior center Patrick Gardner is at the heart of the Red Foxes' offense. He is coming off a double-double in Friday's semifinal win over Saint Peter's. He scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out two assists. He has reached 20 points or better in four of the past six games. For the season, Gardner is averaging 19 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
Sophomore guard Noah Harris had a solid game against Saint Peter's on Friday, scoring 10 points, grabbing three rebounds and adding three assists. Harris is averaging 10.5 points per game against Iona, including a 14-point, six-assist and four-rebound performance in the loss at Iona on March 2. Harris has scored in double figures 12 times, including a season-high 23 points in a 72-70 loss to Boston University on Dec. 10. In 31 games, all starts, he is averaging nine points, 2.3 rebounds and two assists.
How to make Marist vs. Iona picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 139 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time. You can only see the model's picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Iona vs. Marist? And which side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.