Iona vs Siena Basketball Prediction & Picks: First place on the line in major MAAC matchup
One of the most notable games on tonight’s college basketball schedule sees Iona visit Siena in a showdown for first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Tonight’s matchup between the Gaels (13-6, 6-2 MAAC) and Saints (13-7, 7-2 MAAC) is set for 7:00 pm ET at MVP Arena in Albany, New York, and it will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Rick Pitino’s Gaels won the MAAC auto bid in his first season with the program then followed it by winning the regular season title last season, and they are eyeing another banner this season.
But they have a lot of competition in the conference, which includes the Saints, who have dropped two of their last three games since starting their conference campaign 6-0 but still sit atop the standings ahead of Iona, Quinnipiac (15-5, 6-3 MAAC), Rider (9-9, 6-3 MAAC), and Fairfield (10-10, 6-4 MAAC).
Will the reigning regular season champs leave Albany in first in the MAAC? Read on for our Iona vs Siena basketball prediction and picks.
Iona vs Siena Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Friday, January 27, 2023, at 2:00 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- Iona -6.5 (-115)
- Siena +6.5 (-105)
- Over 140.5 (-115)
- Under 140.5 (-105)
- Iona -285
- Siena +235
Will Siena Be Able to Match Iona Offensively?
Iona had quite a bit of scoring to replace from last year’s team, which went 25-8 overall and won the MAAC regular season title by three games over Saint Peter’s.
Junior college transfer Daniss Jenkins (16.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.8 APG), who averaged 12.2 PPG for Pacific of the West Coast Conference two seasons ago before spending a year at Odessa College in Texas, leads the team in scoring.
He is one of three Iona players averaging 15+ PPG, with holdovers Nelly Junior Joseph (15.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG) and Walter Clayton Jr. (15.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.9 APG) joining him.
Like Iona, Siena has three double-digit scorers, but the Saints don’t quite have that same scoring punch, as they average just 69.9 PPG.
That’s good for third in the MAAC behind Iona (76.4 PPG) and Quinnipiac (72.9 PPG), but if the Gaels are on target tonight, the Saints will find it hard to match them, even if they have all of their key weapons.
They didn’t last Sunday as they scored a season-low 52 points in a 10-point home loss against Fairfield, who they had beaten 70-61 on the road on New Year’s Day.
In the loss, the team’s leading scorer, Javian McCollum (15.8 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.8 APG), played only nine minutes due to a back injury. His status for tonight’s game has not been determined yet, but Siena is unlikely to be competitive if he doesn’t play.
Iona vs Siena Prediction and Picks
Iona vs Siena Prediction: Iona to win
Iona vs Siena Picks: Iona -6.5 (Best Value: BetMGM) & Iona team total over 73.5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook)
The Gaels may not be in first place entering tonight’s game, but they are undoubtedly the best team in the MAAC.
They were without Clayton in a 23-point loss at Quinnipiac on January 8, and their 70-67 home loss to Rider, in which they blew an 18-point lead in the second half, was in Clayton’s limited return to action a week later.
With Clayton back making an impact–he had 21 points, six rebounds, six assists, and four steals in last Friday’s overtime win at Manhattan–the Gaels are going to be hard to beat tonight and going forward.