It’s an Atlantic 10 battle on the hardwood in the City of Brotherly Love. The Saint Louis Billikens are on the road as they face the La Salle Explorers Saturday evening. Saint Louis edged Massachusetts 65-62 at home on Wednesday night. La Salle came up a 69-63 loser on the road to VCU in their last game on Wednesday night. The Billikens lead the all-time series 14-9 and took a 70-62 win at home in the last matchup on February 10, 2018.
Saint Louis Billikens Shoot to Pick Up Road Conference Victory
Saint Louis won their third straight as they escaped with a narrow win at home over Massachusetts. The Billikens try to maintain their perfect conference mark on the year as they head on the road here. Saint Louis led by seven at the half and by as many as 11 in the second half before finding themselves down 62-61 with eight seconds to play. The Billikens hit four free throws and survived a potential game-tying three point attempt to get the win. Saint Louis shot 39.3 percent from the field, including two of 17 from three point range, and overcame missing 11 of 30 free throw attempts. Hasahn French had a career-high 25 points to go with six rebounds, three steals and three blocks to lead the Billikens.
— SLU Men's Basketball (@SaintLouisMBB) January 10, 2019
The Billikens are putting up 67.2 points per game this season. Saint Louis collects 39.4 rebounds per contest and dish out 13.1 assists a night to date this year. The Billikens are excellent defensively, ranking 21st in the nation as they allow 62.6 points per game. Javon Bess leads the team with 15.5 points plus 7.1 rebounds per contest on the year. Tramaine Isabell Jr. chips in 12.4 points plus 4.1 rebounds a night while Jordan Goodwin (9.8 points, 6.1 rebounds) also is a solid scoring option. Carte’Are Gordon, D.J. Foreman, Hasahn French, Fred Thatch Jr. and Dion Wiley each score better than 4.2 points a night. Saint Louis is hitting only 41.6 percent from the floor as a team. The Billikens sink 5.5 triples a night but are shooting a paltry 30.7 percent from beyond the arc. Saint Louis is splashing a miserable 59.2 percent of their free throw attempts.
La Salle Explorers Seek Fourth Win in Five Games
La Salle started the season 0-10 and had their three game win streak snapped with a loss on the road to VCU. The Explorers hope to regroup and earn their fourth win in five games with a victory here. La Salle led by nine at the half but saw things unravel in the second half as they were outscored 41-26 to take the loss. The Explorers were cold from the field, hitting just four field goals in the first 17 minutes of the second half, and they couldn’t do enough to steal the win. La Salle shot 35.6 percent from the field in the game, including five of 20 from three point range, and was hurt by 20 turnovers in the contest. Isaiah Deas and Pookie Powell (five steals) each had 15 points in the loss to lead the Explorers.
Pookie Powell with the impressive finish. He has a team-high 15 points.
— La Salle Men’s Basketball (@LaSalleMBB) January 10, 2019
The Explorers put up an average of 70 points per game on the season. La Salle grabs only 32.5 rebounds per contest while handing out 11.8 assists per game. The Explorers have struggled defensively, coming in 291st in scoring defense by allowing 77 points per contest. Pookie Powell leads the team by putting up 17.7 points per game. Isiah Deas is the only other player in double figures for the Explorers that has played in every game as he averages 11.6 points per contest. Saul Brookins (12 points per game in four games) and Jack Clark (10.6 points, 4.7 rebounds in seven games) are contributing since coming back. La Salle needs more production from Miles Brookins, Traci Carter, David Beatty, Cheddi Mosely, Jared Kimbrough, Jamir Moultrie and Ed Croswell if they hope to turn things around. The Explorers shoot 40.1 percent from the floor as a team. La Salle knocks down 7.4 triples a night while hitting 31.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Explorers are cashing in a stellar 79.4 percent of their attempts at the line this season.
- Explorers are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games following a straight up loss
- Explorers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- Billikens are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Billikens are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This one comes down to which team you actually believe in more, which is tough to say given that we’re barely into conference action. Saint Louis is 10-0 at the Chaifetz Arena but they are 1-2 on the road and 0-2 on neutral floors this season. La Salle won three in a row before losing to VCU on the road but they’re 0-5 at home this season. While the Explorers seem to have been better lately, it’s hard to put much stock in a team that is winless at home. Give the points and take the Billikens on the strength of their defense.
Prediction: Saint Louis Billikens -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
We’re looking at a complete contrast in styles here as Saint Louis is the epitome of a take the air out of the ball team. The Billikens are more than content to grind it out and keep point totals in the low 70s or below. La Salle has been a run and gun team trying to keep up with the opposition in high scoring affairs this season and it hasn’t paid dividends. It’s tough to have success when you’re ranked 291st in the nation in scoring defense like the Explorers. Can La Salle find a way to beat Saint Louis at their own game here?
The under is 6-0 in the Billikens’ last 6 road games following three or more consecutive home games, 6-1 in their last 7 Saturday games and 20-6 in their last 26 games following an ATS loss. La Salle has seen the under go 5-0 in their last 5 overall and 5-1 in their last 6 vs. Atlantic 10 opponents. Look for the Billikens to control the tempo here and keep this one under the number.