College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Saint Louis vs. Boise State: Billikens to Win Straight Up?
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Gibson Jimerson
- Saint Louis takes on Boise State in one of the more underrated games on Tuesday evening.
- The Broncos are coming off an ugly offensive performance in which they only scored 39 points.
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.
Saint Louis vs. Boise State Odds
|Saint Louis Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Boise State Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Saint Louis Billikens will travel to Idaho to take on Boise State on Tuesday night. This is the first time the two teams have ever met. They were set to meet in the 2020 Orlando Invitational, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19.
Saint Louis enters this game at 6-1, with its only loss coming against Memphis on the road. It is even more impressive that the Billikens have had such a strong start without super senior Javonte Perkins.
Perkins, a Second Team All-Atlantic 10 selection last year, was expected to have an even more significant impact for Saint Louis this year after averaging 17.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL injury and will miss the remainder of the season.
This game will also be the beginning of an important stretch for the Billikens, who play five of their next six games against KenPom top-100 teams.
Saint Louis' next six games:
At Boise State
Atlantic 10 needs the Billikens to get hot.
Wish this team had Javonte Perkins.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 29, 2021
The Broncos, however, haven’t had the same kind of excitement to start the season. This year, Boise State is 3-3 and currently ranked ninth in the Mountain West.
The Broncos have had success on defense, but against a Saint Louis team that’s averaging 82 points per game, will it be enough to get the win?
In their last game, the Billikens held off Stephen F. Austin to win the Cancun Challenge. The win was the Billikens’ third in a row after losing at Memphis.
Gibson Jimerson averaged a team-best 17.7 points per game during the three games in the Cancun Challenge to earn tournament MVP honors.
He shot 41.2 percent from the field, 86.4 percent from the charity stripe and 40% from the 3-point range in the three games.
The difference for the Billikens on Wednesday was their efficiency from the free-throw line, where they went 29-for-35 (82.9%). The historic shooting from the stripe was the best for the Billikens since December 2015.
Saint Louis has been consistent on both ends of the floor, ranking an identical 93rd in Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.
Yuri Collins has been huge for the Billikens offensively, as he leads the team in assists and steals per game. He also ranks second in the country with 7.7 assists per game.
However, Francis Okoro has been maybe even more important around the basket, leading the team in rebounds and blocks.
The Broncos are headed in what looks like a very different direction than Saint Louis, as they are coming off of one of the worst games in program history.
The Broncos lost to CSU Bakersfield (202nd in KenPom), 46-39, in their last game. After the game, even head coach Leon Rice said, “In my 12 years, that was the worst offensive display I’ve seen.”
Against Bakersfield, the Broncos shot a program-low 22.4% from the floor and scored the fewest points in a single game while Rice has been at the helm.
The good news for Boise State is that it can’t do much worse than that on Tuesday.
Boise did have some success against the Roadrunners, leading the stat sheet in both rebounds and forced turnovers, but it could not make a shot.
Although the Broncos had one of the worst offensive performances in college basketball history, you have to give them credit defensively for still having an opportunity to win the game.
The Broncos have not allowed any of their six opponents to score more than 67 points this season, and four have been held to fewer than 60 points.
The Broncos rank 37th, per KenPom, in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 65th in Defensive Effective Field Goal Percentage. Boise State is 77-11 when opponents score fewer than 60 since Leon Rice took over.
Saint Louis vs. Boise State Betting Pick
I think Saint Louis is riding high after some big wins in Cancun while the Broncos seem to be in a tailspin. Boise State is still a solid defensive team and it will limit the Billikens to fewer than their average of 80+ points per game.
However, Saint Louis should be able to win big on both the boards and at the line, which is why I’m making a sizable bet on Saint Louis while also placing a small wager on the moneyline.