Take Saint Louis as a Home Dog vs. Richmond as Your NCAA Basketball Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 6:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 6:11 PM UTC

The points seem worth taking with the home underdog in what figures to be a relatively low scoring Atlantic 10 contest when Richmond visits Saint Louis on Wednesday night.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Saint Louis +7½ (-109)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


In what figures to be a fairly low scoring affair, the points seem worth taking with the pesky home underdogs Wednesday night in Atlantic 10 action when the Richmond Spiders (12-10, 8-10 ATS) pay a visit to those Saint Louis Billikens (8-14, 5-13 ATS), a team that can be more dangerous than its record, at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, MO at 8:00 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Midwest.

The point spread at 5Dimes has Saint Louis as a decided home underdog for this contest with the current line at +7½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -109.


Bottom Tier Conference Teams
The Atlantic 10 seems like a top-heavy conference this season, and unfortunately both of these teams reside in the bottom half of what is actually a 14-team conference despite the name. Richmond may have a slightly winning 12-10 record overall, but it is in ninth place in the conference with its 4-6 league mark even after beating a terrible Massachusetts team 69-53 back home in Virginia on Saturday.

Saint Louis sits right behind the Spiders in 10th place at 3-7 in conference while also being just 8-14 overall, but the Billikens will never be cited for a lack of hustle under Coach Jim Crews. Yes, the Billikens have been the losing NCAA Basketball picks in three straight games, but they went toe-to-toe with a St. Bonaventure team that is 7-3 in A-10 action on the road before finally succumbing 65-62 on Sunday, and this looks like an easier assignment at home.


Porous Richmond Defense
That is because Richmond is currently ranked only 101st overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, and while the Spiders can certainly score averaging 78.8 points per game overall, they give up points just as quickly. Yes, it is understandable that the Spiders are favored here vs. a Saint Louis team ranked 240th on Pomeroy, but that Spiders’ defense makes them vulnerable giving this many points, especially on the road.

You see, Richmond is allowing 74.6 points per game this year, meaning the Spiders have an average winning margin of only +4.2 points per game overall, and they are actually getting outscored by -5.0 points on the road, where they average 77.3 points but are allowing a hideous average of 82.3 on a generous 48.8 percent shooting!

Not surprisingly, Richmond is 241st in the country in defensive efficiency and 226th in effective field goal percentage allowed at 50.9 percent, so even the normally offensively challenged Billikens have a chance to at least look functional on offense here.

Also, Richmond does not figure to get many second chances offensively either as the Spiders are 298th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage while Saint Louis is above average in defensive rebounding percentage ranking 91st allowing a 27.9 percent success rate to the opposition on the offensive glass vs. a national average of 29.9 percent.


Pace Helps Saint Louis Cause
The expected pace of this game is also conducive to betting the decided underdog with Richmond ranked only 160th in the country in tempo rating and Saint Louis ranked 146th, and with the Billikens also weak on the offensive glass, do not expect many quick put-back baskets either. Given that the profiles of these teams have not changed much over the last six years, it comes as no surprise that the ‘under’ is 5-1 in all the head-to-head meetings in this time.

Low scoring games usually make it easier for underdogs to cover, and on top of that, Saint Louis could have a nice edge from the foul line here playing at home, which is never a bad thing for an underdog.

You see, Saint Louis is an excellent 47th in the country on FTA/FGA ratio at 42.8 percent vs. a national average of 36.8 percent, and the Billikens usually know what to do when they get to the charity stripe shooting 70.8 percent from the free throw line. Conversely, Richmond is 159th in FTA/FGA ratio at only 37.4 percent, an indication that the Spiders settle for a lot of perimeter shots, and the Spiders are poor from the foul line shooting a measly 65.6 percent.


Homer Series
Finally, this has been mainly a homer series with the home teams going 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven head-to-head meetings, with underdog Saint Louis winning the last three meetings here at Chaifetz Arena by an average of +13.0 points! Also, Richmond is just 1-5 ATS in its last six games following an ATS win and 2-5 ATS in its last seven games following a straight up win.

We look for those patterns to continue here with pesky Saint Louis putting up a good fight to at the very least hang inside this point spread at home hosting Richmond on Wednesday.

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