VCU vs. Rhode Island odds: Atlantic 10 Tournament picks from expert who has won 6 straight VCU games

Rhode Island faces VCU on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at noon ET. Rhode Island is favored by 8.5 points in this battle of the Rams, which is where the line opened. Before you lock in your picks, you need to see what handicapper Zack Cimini has to say.

Cimini knows his stuff when it comes to VCU, having rattled off six straight winning picks for or against the Rams dating back to last season. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Last month, Cimini took Davidson -3 against VCU, saying, "The Wildcats will look to bounce back Wednesday against a vulnerable VCU club. Look for Davidson's better balance offensively to be the key." The result: Davidson won by 11, easily clearing the spread.

Part of the reason for his success: He's in the black in every major sport. He analyzes matchups from every angle and earned his nickname, "Contrarian with Chutzpah," by not always backing what the masses are.

Now, Cimini has locked in a play for Friday's game and knows there's a huge x-factor that determines which side of the spread prevails.

Cimini knows that the A-10 quarterfinal is a rematch of the first meeting, which happened in the beginning of February. Rhode Island won by 13 as five-point favorites in that game, which was played at VCU's home arena.

Senior E.C. Matthews had 18 points to lead Rhode Island in the earlier matchup and his team shot 42.9 percent from the field.

Rhode Island pounded the boards with a huge 19-8 edge on the offensive glass and rattled off its 14th consecutive win.

However, Rhode Island has lost three of five, including a 30-point blowout at the hands of St. Joseph's, which ended the season just 15-15.

VCU, which has won two straight, beat Dayton by six on Thursday. VCU was led by Justin Tillman, one of five players in double-figures.

So what side of VCU-Rhode Island should you back? Visit SportsLine to see the strong point spread pick, and see what x-factor determines the outcome, all from the expert who's won six straight VCU picks.

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