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La Salle Explorers vs. St. Louis Billikens Gambling Prediction & CBB Preview

Explorers vs Billikens CBB Basketball Spread/Handicapping

The Explorers are tied for second in the Atlantic 10 conference.  Sitting a game ahead of them is St. Louis so this game has even more implications than could have been imagined when the schedule came out.

La Salle Explorers (21-7) vs #16 St. Louis Billikens (23-6)
Saturday March 9
Chaifetz Arena – St. Louis, MO
Moneyline:   No ML currently listed
Spread:  St. Louis -7 at TOPBET
O/U:  131

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La Salle

La Salle has been a most pleasant surprise this season with some big wins, including back to back defeats of Butler and VCU.  They have won three in a row heading into Saturday, gathering momentum for what should be a great conference tournament.

The Explorers prefer to play at a fast pace and outscore opponents.  They have 4 players that average 10 or more points led by Ramon Galloway who also leads the team in assists.  Against a team with significant size the Explorers often struggle but this is a good matchup for them.  They have a number of effective 3 point shooters and everyone in their regular rotation makes their free throws so they are a tough out.

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The way the Explorers score the ball they are very enticing when you see a decent sized number like +7.  Still this has the feeling of a team that might have peaked too early.  Having not seen much of them live I am still getting a feel for these guys.  Have they overachieved or were they underrated?  It is still hard to tell.

St. Louis

The Billikens are becoming a trendy pick to streak all the way to the Final Four.  Before losing to Xavier recently they had reeled off 11 wins in a row beating Butler twice and fellow conference leader VCU as well.  They also beat New Mexico earlier in the season so they have a nice profile from the non-conference too. [ad-6571516]

I still feel like this team is a bit unknown but that doesn’t mean they are not very good.

One reason to like St. Louis is that some other players stepped up in the absence of guard Kwamain Mitchell.  Now that he is back they have better scoring depth with 5 players averaging more than 9 points per game.  They don’t have dominating inside players but Dwayne Evans throws his 230 pounds around even if he is only 6’5”.  The Billikens are a top defensive team giving up less than 60ppg.

Backing the Billikens comes from two numbers.  The first is 58, the actual points against average and good for 21st in the nation.  The second is 70, the percentage of free throws which they make.  Put them together and with them being at home with so much on the line and it is hard not to like this side against a team like La Salle.

Spread Pick:  La Salle +7
O/U Pick:  Over
Score Prediction:  St. Louis 66 – La Salle 60


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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.