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Richmond vs Providence Midwest Region Picks: Friars Edge Spiders, Advance to Sweet 16

After its upset over No. 5-seeded Iowa, Richmond is now tasked with No. 4 Providence in Round 2. The Friars will lean on their ability to win tight games and should find a way to come out on top again on Saturday — as our March Madness picks explain.

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2022 5:00 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Richmond Spiders and Providence Friars face off in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.

The Spiders are the latest team to pull off the famous 12/5 underdog victory when they beat the fifth-seeded Hawkeyes yesterday. Another upset is certainly not out of the question as they come into this Midwest Region matchup as slim 2.5-point underdogs.

Here are our best free March Madness picks and predictions for Richmond vs. Providence for March 19, with tipoff at 6:10 p.m. ET. 

Richmond vs Providence odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This line opened with the Friars installed as 3-point favorites with the Over/Under at 133. Early money has come in on Richmond and the Over, shifting the line to Providence -2.5 and the total to 134.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Richmond vs Providence predictions

Predictions made on 3/18/2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Richmond vs Providence game info

Location: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
Date: Saturday, March 19, 2022
Tip-off: 6:10 p.m. ET

Richmond vs Providence betting preview


Richmond: No injuries to report.
Providence: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Friars are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NCAA betting trends for Richmond vs. Providence.

Richmond vs Providence picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Both of these teams are coming off first-round performances where they shut down high-powered offenses. The Friars limited South Dakota State (the 14th-ranked offense according to KenPom) to 57 points on 39% shooting while the Spiders held Iowa (third-ranked offense in the country) to 63 points on 36 FG%.   

The Spiders weren't that impressive on defense at the start of the season but have turned it on lately, allowing just 62.4 points per game in their last five contests. That includes their victory in the A10 Tournament Finals when they held sweet-shooting Davidson to 62 points on 37 FG%.

The Friars were embarrassed in their own conference tournament, getting sent home in the semis after an 85-58 beatdown at the hands of Creighton. However, that defeat and two close losses to Villanova are their only three setbacks in their last 16 games.

These teams are almost identical in terms of offensive production with Richmond averaging 103.7 points per 100 possessions and Providence averaging 103.5. Richmond, led by senior point guard Jacob Gilyard (13.6 points and 5.4 assists per game), turns the ball over at a slightly lower rate. However, the Friars with sharpshooters like Jared Bynum and A.J. Reeves are slightly more efficient from the free-throw line and beyond the arc. 

One area where Providence has a sizable edge is on the glass where the Friars rank 66th in the nation in rebound rate while Richmond is just 285th in that category. That was a big reason the Friars defeated the Jackrabbits on Thursday thanks to a plus-8 rebounding margin. 

Another factor to consider is that while the Spiders' defense has looked strong in recent weeks, their overall resume this season has been far worse. Providence is 42nd in the country in opponent FG% (41%) while Richmond sits outside the Top 200 with a 44.1% mark. We're leaning towards the Friars on the spread. 

Prediction: Providence -2.5 (-110)

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Over/Under analysis

These sides have looked very tough defensively lately but it's worth noting that they haven't been shooting the ball well themselves. The Friars shot just 39% from the field versus a defensively weak South Dakota State team and are averaging just 63 ppg on 43.6 FG% in their last three games.

Meanwhile, the Spiders are averaging just 65.5 ppg over their last eight games and are shooting just 28.6% from beyond the arc in their previous three contests. 

With the Under going 13-4-1 in Richmond's last 18 games, we're betting the Under again on Saturday.

Prediction: Under 134.5 (-110)

Best bet

One narrative that the Friars have heard all season is that they've been lucky. But the Spiders have also benefited from Lady Luck with the Hawkeyes going just 6-29 from deep on Thursday and uncharacteristically missing open looks (let's not get into the blown call on Murray's late attempt).

While Providence has the No. 1 luck rating in the country according to KenPom (the difference between a team's actual record and expected record) we think the old adage "you've got to be good to be lucky" holds weight here.

Providence is 12-2 in close games this season with those only two defeats coming against a very strong Villanova program. In what is expected to be another close one, we expect the Friars to grind out another victory and won't shy away from a relatively small spread. 

Pick: Providence -2.5 (-110)

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