Monmouth drives to Rider in MAAC action tonight.
Monmouth drives to Rider in MAAC action tonight.|Karlee Sell | Monmouth Athletics

In MAAC action, Monmouth heads to Rider and Eckel finds it hard to bet against the Broncs at home

The Tip is at 9 pm EST.

Mark Eckel

Monmouth at Rider (-3), 9 p.m.

In the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference there is no place like home and that’s especially true for Rider, which hosts Monmouth Friday night.

The Broncs (15-12, 9-8) are 7-1 at home in MAAC play this season and 11-1 overall in the Broncs Zoo. That leaves them an unimpressive 2-7 on the road in the conference and 4-11 overall.

That lone loss at home came to Iona, a team the Broncs just can’t beat. The Gaels would give Rider a tough time if the game was played in head coach Kevin Baggett’s backyard.

Monmouth (16-11, 10-6) owns a 90-84 win over Rider in Oceanport earlier this year. But the fact the game was that close bodes well for the Broncs Friday night.

The Hawks are just 6-9 on the road this year and the home team has won and covered the last six times these long-time, interstate rivals have met.

Rider, in fifth place in the MAAC, needs this win to stay ahead of Manhattan and Niagara and not drop into the dreaded six through 11 play-in round of the conference tournament.

The Pick: Look for The Zoo to be rocking in front of the ESPNU cameras and for point guard Stevie Jordan to take the lead as Rider rolls at home. If you want to get cute, take the over 148 total as well.

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