Rockets Launch in Season Opener of our College Basketball Picks

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:44 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 3:44 PM UTC

Toledo will welcome St. Joseph's in a repeat of last season's opener. Let's review the college basketball odds and analyze which side is the right side to tip off the NCAAB season.

St. Joseph's (0-0 SU & ATS) vs. Toledo (0-0 SU & ATS)

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Free College Basketball Pick: Toledo +1Best Line Offered: BetOnline
  • Toledo is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games.
  • Toledo is 6-0 ATS in their last six games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5.
  • Toledo is 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
  • St. Joseph's is 1-4 ATS in their last five Saturday games.
  • St. Joseph's is 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a favorite.
  • St. Joseph's is 1-4 ATS in their last five games as a road favorite of 0.5-6.5.

St. Joseph's continues to feel the aftershocks of a game played on December 30th of last year. That was the Hawks' Atlantic 10 opener against George Washington in which they bowed 68-63. But it wasn't the loss that resonates, it was the ACL tear to their leading scorer and point guard Shavar Newkirk. It has been almost 11 months since Newkirk went down and he's still not ready to resume the last year of his college career. His absence, along with injured sophomore small forward Charlie Brown, will have a noticeable impact on this team particularly in the early part of the season. Newkirk was a team leader and quarterback of the team before his ACL gave way and the Hawks' 4-14 conference record from last season illustrates just how badly he was missed.

Toledo is a team that is looking to take that leap from mediocrity to respectability. The Rockets were 9-9 in MAC play last season and an equally pedestrian 17-17 overall. But it should be noted that eight of the Rockets' 17 losses were by five points or less. This is a competitive group that should be a better version of their 2016-2017 iteration, even without graduating senior Jonathan Williams, last season's leading scorer. Toledo has talented bodies to fill the void and junior guard Jaelen Sanford will improve upon his 13.6 PPG average as he will have more experience and control of the Rockets' motion offense.

These teams opened last season almost a year ago to the day and St. Joseph's prevailed 77-76 on their home court. But it's a new season and a new venue for this year's season opener and one that will see the Rockets take firm command over a St. Joseph's club that is without two of its leading men. The college basketball odds makers initially installed the Hawks as a slight road favorite but that number has dropped to a pick'em in most of the major offshore sportsbooks. But let's shop on over to BetOnline and get a tiny bit of value in our college basketball picks as we will take the one-point head start BOL is offering even though we're quite certain we won't need it.

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