College Basketball Odds & Picks for Auburn vs. Saint Louis: Betting Guide to Dec. 18 Affair
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Bruce Pearl
- Auburn takes on Saint Louis with its six-game win streak on the line.
- The Tigers are led by potential future NBA lottery pick Jabari Smith.
- Keg breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Auburn vs. Saint Louis Odds
-110o / -110u
|Saint Louis Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Auburn Tigers will play just their second road game of the season, as they travel to St. Louis to take on the Billikens on Saturday night.
The Tigers will be looking for their seventh win in a row — they’ve also been 6-1 ATS during that streak. However, in their one and only road game this season, Auburn failed to cover as a 13.5-point favorite at South Florida, winning by just six.
The Billikens, meanwhile, are just 1-2 in their last three home games. The Tigers will also be the highest currently ranked team, per KenPom, they have or will face this season.
Saint Louis recently lost to UAB and Belmont at home, but this will be its first game of the season as a home underdog. Will the Billikens be able to prove the doubters wrong?
The Billikens have yet to not cover a spread as an underdog this season. Will Auburn and its top-25 defense be able to change that on the road?
In the Tigers’ last game, their defense had one of their best displays of the season, limiting the North Alabama Lions to just 44 points. However, for the third time this season, the Tigers failed to score more than 75 points, as they didn’t cover the 29-point spread.
On the season, Auburn is 7-4 ATS.
Saturday will also be the first game back for head coach Bruce Pearl, who had to serve a two-game suspension handed down by the NCAA. But the suspension hasn’t effected the Tigers much, as the only days Pearl wasn’t allowed to be with the team was on game days.
Pearl isn’t the only one expected to return against Saint Louis. Jaylin Williams, who missed the last game due to a toe injury, should be back, along with Chris Moore, who missed the Nebraska game due to a non-COVID illness.
Allen Flanigan, who hasn’t played yet this season for the Tigers, has also begun practicing and could be back on the floor any day now.
Auburn has been one of the deepest teams in college basketball and I only expect it to get better once these players are consistently back in the rotation.
With Jabari Smith leading the charge, the Tigers rank inside the top 20 in both adjusted defensive and offensive efficiency, per KenPom. Smith leads the team in both points and rebounds, averaging 16.9 and 7.2 per game, respectively.
The Tigers have been able to limit opponents to just 65.1 points per game, while recording 82.8 per contest themselves.
The Billikens were finally able to put a stop to their two-game home losing streak against Boston College, winning 79-68. But the 13th-ranked Auburn Tigers will easily be their biggest challenge so far this season.
While Gibson Jimerson may lead the team in points per game at 16.7, the offense has operated through Yuri Collins the entire season. Collins leads the team in assists with 7.9 per game and against Boston College, he set a program record for a single game with 19.
The Billikens have been efficient on offense, averaging 78.8 points per game on the season. Yet, they have issues establishing a lead and keeping it.
Saint Louis has allowed opponents to average 68.8 points per game against it. Opposing teams have also shot an average of 43.4% against the Billikens.
Saint Louis will likely struggle to get stops against Auburn, but I think there is a much bigger issue here.
The Tigers are a taller and more physical team than Saint Louis, and while the rebounding numbers line up closely, there is a significant difference in blocked shots.
Auburn has been the best blocking team in the country, as it averages 7.3 swats per game. The Billikens, meanwhile, are one of the worst at getting blocked. Opponents average 5.2 blocks a game against the Billikens, a number that puts them 345th in the nation.
Auburn vs. Saint Louis Betting Pick
The Tigers are a more experienced and more physical team. Plus, Pearl is back on the sidelines.
However, I think the Billikens are hungry and after losing two games in a row on their home court, I don’t think they will go easy. But I do think they will take some time to find their rhythm against one of the best teams in the country.
That is why I’m taking Auburn in the first half. No line is out yet, but I would feel comfortable backing the Tigers at -3.5 or better