The Belmont Bruins and Monmouth Hawks hook up in a clash from the historic Palestra in Pennsylvania as both look to rebound from what were down seasons by their standard last season.
Monmouth Hawks vs. Belmont Bruins (-5, 155.5)
In their first year in the Missouri Valley Conference during the 2022-23 season, Belmont went 21-11 overall and 14-6 in conference, which was the first time in 13 seasons in which their contracts win percentage was 70% or less.
Something that was not a struggle for Belmont is hitting shots from the floor, as they ranked 24th or better nationally in field goal shooting percentage for the sixth straight season.
On the other side, Monmouth 345th in the country in field goal percentage and 356th in points scored on a per possession basis and have turned to Bucknell transfer Xander Rice, who had 14.1 points per game on 36.6% 3-point shooting to boost the offense.
While Rice is averaging 23.3 points per game, the team is still struggling inside the arc, ranking 343rd in the country in 2-point shooting percentage with just three players on the team averaging more than 5.5 points per game.
The biggest weak point for Belmont through four games this season has been rebounding, ranking 358th in the country in rebound rate, but Monmouth has had their share of issues on the glass, ranking 270th in this category.
After ranking 359th in 3-point shooting percentage last season, the team is 11th early on this season with a 41.9% 3-point shooting percentage.
Though Monmouth appears to be a more efficient outside shooting team than a season ago, regression should set in and a Belmont team that returned three of their top five scorers from a season ago will pull away.
The Play: Belmont -5