Vermont vs. UMBC odds, line: 2019 America East Championship picks, predictions from expert on 25-15 run

A bid to the NCAA Tournament will be on the line on Saturday in the 2019 America East Conference Tournament championship game at 11 a.m. ET. The No. 1 seed Vermont Catamounts take on the No. 3 seed University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers. It's a rematch of the 2018 final, which UMBC won 65-62 before going on to become the first No. 16 seed to ever upset a No. 1 seed (Virginia) in the NCAA Tournament.

This time around, the Catamounts are 11-point favorites, with the total at 124.5 in the latest Vermont vs. UMBC odds. But before you make your own Vermont vs. UMBC picks, be sure to read the 2019 America East Championship Game predictions from SportsLine's Michael Rusk. 

Rusk built his name by exploiting flaws in public betting. With his economics and statistics background, Rusk uses multiple algorithms pooling with recency bias to produce profitable picks. That's exactly what "The Prodigy" has been doing recently with his strong 25-15 run on college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed along is way up.

Now Rusk has done an in-depth look at Vermont vs. UMBC. Entering Saturday's America East Conference Tournament finale, he knows one advantage for UMBC should come from the way it has defended the Catamounts this season.

In their two regular-season matchups, the Retrievers made life miserable for Vermont. They limited the Catamounts to 35 percent shooting from the floor in those games by pressuring the ball relentlessly and beating them to spots to contest shots.

UMBC has length on the wing and did an effective job forcing a Vermont team that averaged fewer than 11 turnovers per game into 27 turnovers in those two contests.

However, the Catamounts have had a huge season and also have a strong chance to cover the Vermont vs. UMBC spread on Saturday.

You don't win 20 or more games 16 times in 18 seasons and make six tournament appearances during that span without building a culture. And players come to Vermont for a chance to play in games like this. So look for junior forward Anthony Lamb to try to impose his will.

Lamb had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the America East Tournament final as a freshman, but played a smaller role off the bench and had only five points in the 2018 final. He's back in the starting lineup now and averages 21.1 points and 7.8 rebounds. He'll be eager to show what he can do after missing the home matchup against UMBC on Jan. 23 and struggling in the road matchup on Feb. 21.

We can tell you Rusk is leaning to the under, but his stronger pick is against the spread. He has identified a critical X-factor that leads to one side of the number hitting hard. You can see what it is only over at SportsLine. 

Who wins UMBC vs. Vermont? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the UMBC vs. Vermont spread you should be all over, all from the expert on a strong 25-15 run on his college basketball picks

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