College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Belmont vs. Saint Louis: Bruins to Win on Road?
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Will Richard
- After winning four out of its last five, Belmont hits the road to take on the Atlantic 10's Saint Louis.
- The Billikens are 7-2 overall but are coming off of a loss to UAB.
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.
Belmont vs. Saint Louis Odds
-110o / -110u
|Saint Louis Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Belmont Bruins will travel to St. Louis on Tuesday to take on the Saint Louis Billikens.
Belmont is 7-3 on the season and riding a two-game win streak after dominating crosstown rival Lipscomb, 94-65, and beating Samford on the road, 85-73.
Meanwhile, the Billikens are looking to get back on track after having their four-game win streak ended by UAB, losing 77-72 at home.
Against Samford, Belmont had one of its best shooting games of the season, as it hit 52.8% of its field goals while also hitting 40% from beyond the arc. After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, Belmont led the entire game, never allowing the Bulldogs to get within 10 points from the six-minute mark of the first half on.
Will Richard was the most significant factor for the Bruins in the win, as he posted a career-high 23 points and led the team with nine rebounds.
However, there were some concerns for Belmont, it gave up 21 points off turnovers and allowed Samford to score nine second-chance points. Fortunately, Samford struggled with the same issues, allowing 23 points off turnovers and seven second-chance points. Against a better team, the same mistakes might be a bigger concern.
The Billikens suffered their first home loss of the season at the hands of the UAB Blazers in a game that was a tale of two halves. Saint Louis shot nearly 60% in the first half, but that number plummeted in the second half, falling to 36.4%.
The Blazers overcame the Billikens by winning around the basket. UAB out-rebounded the Billikens 38-27 and scored 17 second-chance points.
Belmont is a much more experienced team, as it has more height and are miles ahead of Saint Louis in shooting. However, the Bruins could be in trouble if the they aren’t hitting shots. The Billikens have been one of the better rebounding teams in the country. They rank 73rd in rebounds per game while Belmont is 230th.
Will Saint Louis be able to defend home court against one of the hottest shooting teams in the country?
An impressive group of seniors has led Belmont as Luke Smith, Grayson Murphy and Nick Muszynski have been responsible for more than 40% of the Bruins’ scoring all season.
Junior Ben Sheppard also is second on the team in scoring — averaging 15.9 points per game — while freshman Richard has lived up to the recruiting hype he came in with.
Richard was ranked as the 32nd-best combo guard in the country by the 247Sports Composite, and he’s averaging 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
We knew Casey Alexander had a lot of returning experience this year at Belmont, but the production from his freshmen and transfers could propel this team into being one of the best not only in the OVC but in the country.
The Bruins rank 31st in offensive adjusted efficiency, per KenPom. Belmont plays with pace, as it ranks 70th in adjusted tempo and is shooting 57.4% from 2-point range.
The Bruins can cruise past Saint Louis if they shoot well, but that’s been easier said than done against solid defensive teams like Saint Louis.
The Billikens rank 119th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Belmont lost a close game at home to Dayton, who ranks 90th in the same category, so things could get dicey if the shots aren’t falling for the Bruins.
Saint Louis has been winning games (7-2 overall) and cashing tickets (5-3 ATS). However, this team is not playing good opponents and its not playing good basketball.
The best team the Billikens have faced was Memphis, which beat them 90-74. The Tigers have looked awful since and most recently lost to one of the worst teams in the SEC in Ole Miss.
The Billikens’ best win came against Boise State in overtime, 86-82. Boise State had its worst offensive performance of the last decade before playing Saint Louis. The Billikens put up a fight against UAB, but that was mainly due to their success beyond the arc, hitting at 42%.
I don’t think Saint Louis is as good as some people say it is, but it has a great defense and rebounds well. Saint Louis’ opponents average 16.5 turnovers per game, which ranks 40th in the country.
The Billikens have also been one of the best in the country at drawing fouls, as opponents average 21.3 fouls per game vs. the program. Fouls have been an issue for the Bruins, as they have recorded 44 total fouls over their last three games.
Slowing down a fast Belmont team and protecting the rim will be key for a Billikens team looking to get back on track before heading into a tough stretch that features four teams in KenPom’s top 120.
Belmont vs. Saint Louis Betting Pick
Belmont and Saint Louis matchup similarly on defense, but the Bruins’ offense is miles ahead of the Billikens, and they will be too much for Saint Louis to handle.
Saint Louis may be better at rebounding, but its biggest impact has been on the offensive end, as it averages 10.8 offensive boards a game and ranks 50th in the country. The Billikens rank nearly dead even with Belmont with 24.4 defensive rebounds per game compared to the Bruins’ 24.2.
The Bruins have been riding a massive wave of confidence ever since their blowout of in-town rival Lipscomb, and I expect that to continue here.
I grabbed Belmont at the opener of +2.5, but I only made half my standard wager and will wait to see where the line goes.
I’ll be adding more if Belmont takes on more points, but if the line moves Belmont’s way, I’ll add more up to a pick ’em.
Pick: Belmont +2.5 (Play to PK)