We’ve already seen a handful of upsets in the first round of March Madness, causing everyone to crumple up their brackets and toss them in the trash. The first massive upset on Thursday came in the form of the No. 12 seed Richmond Spiders defeating the No. 5 seed Iowa Hawkeyes.
Richmond was able to limit a typically sharpshooting Hawkeyes squad to 6-29 (21%) from beyond the arc to help them escape with a 67-63 win.
The Spiders will square off with the No. 4 seed Providence Friars, who came away with a relatively easy win over South Dakota State despite plenty of people (including myself) predicting a loss for the Friars.
Who will emerge victorious on Saturday between Richmond and Providence to advance to the Sweet 16? Let’s dig in and find out.
Providence vs Richmond Odds
Providence vs Richmond’s CBB gameday odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and current as of Friday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Providence (-150) vs Richmond (+130)
- Spread: Providence -3 (-110) vs Richmond +3 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 134.5 (-110) / Under 134.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Providence 68.75 Richmond 65.75
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Providence vs Richmond Prediction
Many were expecting Providence to struggle in the first round because they were considered by far the luckiest team in college basketball, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings.
Despite the majority of people picking South Dakota State to advance, Providence responded by limiting the Jackrabbits’ high-octane offense to 57 points on 38.7% shooting, including just 30.4% from three-point range.
Meanwhile, Richmond was able to outplay Iowa all game in their first-round matchup, preventing the Hawkeyes from catching fire from outside.
Both Providence and Richmond contained electric offenses in the first round, so we should expect a physical game on Saturday between these two programs.
Providence and Richmond are balanced teams that should give us a close contest on Saturday. The Friars have a slight edge on both ends of the court in this one, which is why I believe they squeak out a narrow win to advance another round in the tournament.
Providence vs Richmond Score Pick
Providence 71, Richmond 66
I’m expecting a slightly more high-scoring game than both of these teams had in the first round.
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That being said, I believe Providence edges out Richmond in a game that remains close until the final buzzer sounds.
Providence vs Richmond Best Bets
Providence -3 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
This game should be a close, hard-fought showdown, and we know that Providence is comfortable playing in close games. The Friars had 12 games this season that were decided by five or fewer points, with 10 of those games resulting in wins.
Richmond has been extremely impressive recently as they were able to earn a bid to the tournament by winning the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament. The Spiders carried that momentum into the first round against Iowa by shocking the world and taking down one of the best offensive teams in the country.
There’s no doubt that Richmond has a talented trio in Tyler Burton, Grant Golden, and Jacob Gilyard, but it won’t be enough against a physical Providence team. The Friars don’t have a bad trio themselves with Nate Watson, Aljami Durham, and Jared Bynum.
Providence has covered the spread in four of their last six games and they are 16-1 straight up in their last 17 contests as the favorite.
Over 134.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Once again, both of these programs have talented trios that can score the basketball with ease. While Providence and Richmond won with defense in the first round, neither team is known for having a consistently stifling defense.
We see teams typically have the combination of nerves and rust in the first round as the majority of teams have had a few days off before playing a game. Seeing that Providence and Richmond were able to get accustomed to the atmosphere of the tournament, there should be more scoring in Saturday’s clash.
Throughout the season, the Friars and the Spiders both averaged 71.6 points per game, which was tied for 131st in the country.
Entering Saturday’s showdown, Providence has hit the Over in six of their last nine contests, while Richmond has hit the Over in six of their nine neutral-site games this season.
All we need is around 68 points from both teams to hit this Over.