Saint Louis vs. Richmond College Basketball Odds & Pick: Billikens Primed To Rebound In River City
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Saint Louis’ Hasahn French.
Editors Note: Saint Louis vs. Richmond has been postponed due to issues related to COVID-19:
The Saint Louis at Richmond men’s basketball game scheduled for Friday night at 6:30 pm ET on ESPN2 is postponed as a result of COVID-19 concerns raised by the Saint Louis medical staff.
— Atlantic 10 MBB (@A10MBB) January 29, 2021
Saint Louis vs. Richmond Odds
|Saint Louis Odds||+1.5|
|Time | TV||Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET | ESPN 2|
|Odds as of Thursday night and via FanDuel.|
This has been a wild season for Saint Louis.
First, the Billikens knocked off LSU at home, 85-81. Then they suffered through a slew of postponements and cancellations that limited them to one game between Dec. 24 and Jan. 26. When they finally returned to action, they lost at home to Dayton by five points.
From a market perspective, the lack of game action and a recent loss has tempered expectations for a team that appeared primed for an A-10 regular-season title and perhaps a top-five seed in the NCAA tournament.
But while SLU remains a bit of a mystery, the book is out on Richmond.
The Spiders have played five more games than the Billikens and stumbled in exact spots like this one. Richmond is 2-4 on the season as a home favorite, recently dropping games outright to La Salle and St. Bonaventure at the Robins Center. When you pair their 33% record ATS in those spots with the fact that they’ve been on the wrong side of the closing number by an average of 8.2 points, it’s hard to get behind the Spiders here with any real conviction.
This is why I was surprised to see early action push this number from SLU -2 at the open to Richmond -1.5 as of writing. So why exactly is the market seemingly so high on Richmond?
It’s hard to ignore any mid-major with established all-conference talent, and Richmond has one of the better inside-outside combos. Jacob Gilyard and Blake Francis are averaging 28 points and five assists per game on the perimeter while Grant Golden is pumping in 15 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on the low block. But while Golden has taken steps forward in his senior season (PPG, FG%, 3P%), Gilyard has been surprisingly unpredictable.
In Richmond’s four losses, Gilyard has averaged under nine points per game and shot just 25% from long range. Usually, I really like backing teams with balanced scoring, but it’s clear the Spiders need Gilyard or Francis to take on a bigger role if they hope to overtake the class of the A-10.
From a gambling perspective, I was happy to see the Billikens sleepwalk through their first game back against Dayton. I think that impacted this line by at least three points in their favor. Had they won at home and carried an 8-1 record with them, the entire tenor of this game would be different. But either way, Saint Louis should show considerably less rust in this game.
The good news for Billiken-backers is that Javonte Perkins and Hasahn French played well against Dayton, teaming up for 36 points and eight rebounds. What was missing was a standard performance from senior double-double machine Jordan Goodwin. He did notch yet another double-double (11 pts, 11 rebs) but he struggled from the floor and was 0-2 from the charity stripe.
Saint Louis is an efficient offense (16th), so to see them struggle to manufacture points was a surprise. What would be considerably more surprising is if that happened in back-to-back games, given their veteran scoring punch.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I noted Richmond’s struggles as a home favorite, and for that reason, I believe they should be the underdog in this spot. From a value perspective, it doesn’t get much better than catching a team like SLU as an underdog when you believe they should be the favorite.
Given the Billikens’ upcoming schedule, this may be the best number you can play them at for the remainder of the regular season. I’ll take Perkins, Goodwin and French to respond as quality, veteran players do and answer the bell in River City.
Pick: Saint Louis +1.5