Back VCU ATS vs. Saint Louis for Your NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Friday, January 23, 2015 2:46 PM GMT

VCU has done some of its best work away from home under head coach Shaka Smart, which makes it worth backing as double-digit favorites versus Saint Louis.

Streaking
VCU has won 10 games in a row by an average of 13.6 points, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball pick, as it has split six all-time meetings in this series.

During the Smart era that began in 2009, The Rams have won 72 road or neutral site games—the seventh-highest figure of its kind nationally over that span. It’s important to point out that the program has trailed a total of 45:48 of 410 minutes of basketball during its current win streak.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 2-0 SU and 0-2 ATS as road favorites of 12.5 to 15 points.

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Light On Experience
After establishing a school record of advancing to the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive seasons, Saint Louis knew it would be a difficult 2014-15 campaign after saying goodbye to the most successful senior class in its history, which has led to a disappointing 9-9 SU and 4-9 ATS record.

The Billikens are being led offensively by freshman Milik Yarbrough, who is actually averaging 15.2 points during Atlantic 10 play, while they rank fourth nationally in bench minutes.

Yarbrough will find it difficult to snap the program’s five-game losing streak versus ranked opponents, as the entire roster turns the ball over on 21.2 percent of its offensive possessions.

Sports bettors will find that the Billikens are 2-8 SU and 2-7-1 ATS versus teams with a winning record this year.

 

Key Injury
The Rams are worthy double-digit favorites on the NCAA basketball odds in this matchup at Chaifetz Arena if Treveon Graham is able to return to the floor after missing a game for the first time in his four-year career last time out.

Graham is listed as questionable with a sprained ankle—ranking among the conference’s top five in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

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Key Numbers
The Billikens have won 66 consecutive games when holding opponents to 60 or fewer points, but that number will be difficult to achieve in this spot, as the Rams are averaging 75.7 points on the season and rank 41st in terms of offensive pace.

On the offensive end, Saint Louis must improve upon its conference-worst 61.0 points per game, which is hurt by knocking down just 62.8 percent of its attempts from the charity stripe.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Rams as one of their ATS basketball picks, as the Billikens have failed to cover the number in six of their last seven games versus teams with a win percentage of .600 or higher.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  VCU Rams -12.5 at Pinnacle

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