Vermont vs Liberty Odds, Pick
Sunday, Nov. 19
5:30 p.m. ET
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
It’s the Myrtle Beach Invitational title game between two eerily similar programs — the Vermont Catamounts from the America East Conference and the Liberty Flames from Conference USA.
Below, we have college basketball odds and a pick for Vermont vs. Liberty on Sunday, Nov. 19.
So, how did Liberty get to this point? Well, it happened in dominant fashion. The Flames cruised against Furman — winning by 14 — before beating Wichita State in the semis by 17 points. Through two games, Liberty has scored 171 points.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Darius McGhee. But Liberty might just be better without him.
Liberty’s offense — consisting of constant ball movement, cutting and shooting — is probably better when its not focused on getting the ball to one particular player.
However, Liberty has already found its next star in forward Kyle Rode. The veteran forward scored 31 points — with seven made triples — against Wichita State. Rode is the perfect player for Ritchie McKay’s scheme, as he has a 6-foot-7 frame and has the ability to handle, pass and shoot.
The most impressive aspect of the Flames’ two wins was their ability to rebound and defend the post against teams with more length.
In McKay’s pack-line defense, teams are forced to shoot more perimeter jumpers than drives, so that part isn’t surprising. The surprising part is how dominant Zach Cleveland and Shiloh Robinson have been on the glass. The two forwards split minutes at the five and dominated the defensive glass.
Plus, the backcourt is also strong. The go-to guards — Colin Porter, Kaden Metheny and Brody Peebles — offer plenty of perimeter pop. All three scored in double digits against Wichita.
Liberty doesn’t have a single glaring weakness — it can shoot and defend, and the team is cohesive.
The same things are true about Vermont, which makes the Myrtle Beach title game must-see, mid-major television.
The Catamounts’ journey to the championship game wasn’t as smooth as Liberty’s, though. They beat Charleston after trailing by 15 points in the second half, before cruising past Saint Louis in the semis.
John Becker’s scoring hierarchy is becoming clear. In the biggest moments, TJ Long is the one getting the ball and making the big plays, which he did against Charleston and Saint Louis. The 6-foot-4 lefty guard is shooting 13-of-27 from deep this season, just shy of 50% from downtown.
The other go-to piece is returning forward Matt Veretto, whose ability to use pristine footwork in the mid-range/post area makes him a difficult guard. The 6-foot-8 Veretto scored a combined 32 points in the wins over Charleston and Saint Louis.
So far, Vermont’s defense has struggled to stop the outside shot; opponents are shooting 35% from deep in the Catamounts’ first four games this season.
If you want to beat Liberty, that’s not how it’s done. Liberty took 40 3s against Wichita State, so expect more of the same against Vermont’s lax perimeter defense.
Vermont vs. Liberty
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Flames’ smoldering hot shooting will be too much for Vermont in this championship game. Both teams have similar styles — slow-paced offense and plenty of shooting — which likely means whichever team shoots better will win.
And Liberty is the better shooting team, and much better defensively, according to analytics.
I’m buying all the Liberty stock possible in this game — and in the future as the clear favorite in Conference USA.
Pick: Liberty -5
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