Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#611 La Salle 139 vs.
#612 Penn -8.5
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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W/L
ATS
O/U
PPG
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#611 La Salle University
#612 University of Pennsylvania
1-0
1-1
13-16-2
16-14
13-17-1
14-16
67
72
72
68

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This article covers a past game!

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La Salle takes on Penn in a Big Five battle from The Palestra on Wednesday at 7pmET. Last year, the Quakers crushed the Explorers, 83-65 from La Salle. This season, the Explorers are 1-0, coming off a 70-64 overtime win over Iona on Saturday. Penn opened up with a strong win over Alabama by one on Tuesday, but then was crushed at Rice, 80-61 last Saturday.

Baby steps

La Salle returns three starters from a 10-21 team that finished 810 in the Atlantic Ten. Head coach Ashley Howard struggled in his first season as he continues to overhaul the roster with his players. They lost last year's leading scorer Pookie Powell (15.9ppg) to graduation and also lost several transfers. They did add Clemson transfer Scott Spencer, who scored nine points, grabbed nine boards and dished out four assists in the opener against Iona.

Spencer is a 6-6, 205-pound wing who played sparingly at Clemson but has two years of eligibility remaining. In their 70-64 win over Iona, David Beatty led the Explorers with 15 points and added eight boards. He's a 6-2 senior guard, who averaged 7.7 points last season. La Salle blew an eight-point lead with 1:41 left in regulation, but once the game got to overtime, they shut out the Gaels completely, outscoring them 6-0. They also held them to 30% shooting from the field and to just 8-of-40 (20%) from beyond the arc. However, the Explorers also turned the ball over 17 times.

A letdown?

After Penn upset Alabama on the road, they moved on to Rice from Houston and maybe struggled with expectations. As a 6.5-point favorite, the Quakers failed to deliver, falling behind by 12 at the half and losing by 19, 80-61. Penn shot just 38.5% from the field and 3-of-22 (13.6%) from beyond the arc. They even struggled from the line (8-15) and were outrebounded by 16. Jordan Dingle led the Quakers with 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting (2-8 3pt), while A.J. Brodeur (17.6ppg last year) added 20 with eight boards. Dingle is a freshman guard, who has to start because 6-5 junior Jelani Williams tore his ACL for the third time.

Shooters struggle sometimes on the road with lighting or depth perception. They really didn't shoot great against Alabama (8-26 3pt), but they held the Tide to just 35.5% shooting overall and forced 15 turnovers.

This is a pretty good Penn squad. They won 19 games last season and under Steve Donahue, will always be a threat to win the Ivy League.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Rating:

Penn will be happy to be playing at home at The Palestra, but it's not exactly a long trip for La Salle. The Explorers, knowing that Dingle is a freshman point guard, will put the pressure on him. Neither team has shot the ball well so it's hard to believe that Penn is going to just roll over the Explorers as they did last season. La Salle's athleticism will help keep this a close game. Even though they are still rebuilding, take the road team in the Big Five battle. The road team is 9-1-2 ATS last 12 in this rivalry.

Prediction: La Salle +9

Full-Game Total Pick

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Rating:

Last year's game went under, but I don't see Penn scoring over 80 points in this game. La Salle needed overtime to score 70 points in their first game. They've gone under in five straight games. Penn was 156 in pace of play last season at 71.5 possessions per game, while La Salle was 172 at 71.2. That's not extremely slow, but both teams are off to poor starts, shooting under 40% in the early going. Penn is also 7-1 Under their last 8 games.

Prediction: Under 139

Half-Time Side Pick

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I'll take the Quakers in the first half. This is a team that will be happy to be playing at home finally and that should help their shooters, who have been struggling in the first half.

Prediction: Penn -5 first half
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!