An NCAA Tournament bid is up for grabs on Monday when the Iona Gaels (16-15) and Monmouth Hawks (14-20) meet up in the 2019 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship game at 9 p.m. ET. Nobody is surprised to see the top-seeded Gaels, the winner of the regular-season MAAC crown, in the finals. But No. 6 Monmouth has made a run that few saw coming, setting up an opportunity to qualify for the Big Dance despite its losing record on the season.
The Gaels are 4.5-point favorites in the latest Iona vs. Monmouth odds, with the over-under for total points set at 139. Before making any Iona vs. Monmouth picks of your own, check out the MAAC Championship Game predictions from SportsLine's proven model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned nearly $4,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered Week 18 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a strong 111-87 run against the spread. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now the model has dialed in on Iona vs. Monmouth. We can tell you it's leaning over, and it has a strong against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 60 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine.
The model has taken into account that few teams are playing as well as Iona. The Gaels finished the regular season on a seven-game winning streak and then pushed that run to nine straight with a pair of wins in the conference tournament over St. Peter's and Siena thus far.
Led by E.J. Crawford (18 points per game) and Rickey McGill (15.7), Iona is capable on the offensive end of the floor with an average of 76.7 points per game on the season. But the Gaels' defense has found a new level recently, holding all but one of its last 12 opponents under 80 points. Siena scored just 57 points against Iona in the MAAC semifinals.
But the Hawks are hungry for their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2006 and could also cover the Iona vs. Monmouth spread on Monday.
Despite its No. 6 seed in this tournament, Monmouth has stormed to three victories, two of which came against higher seeds. Instead of wearing down, the Hawks appear to be getting stronger. In fact, their best performance came in the semifinals against No. 2 Canisius in a decisive 73-59 victory. The Hawks have covered in four straight and also knocked off Iona in the regular season.
So who wins Monmouth vs. Iona? And which side of the spread can you bank on in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Monmouth vs. Iona spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $4,000 on its college basketball picks the past two years, and find out.