Saint Louis has struggled mightily on the road this season, going 0-5 and falling to 11th in the Atlantic-10. The Billikens did hang tough in its previous game, building a halftime lead before covering as a large underdog against No. 21 Dayton on Tuesday. Can Saint Louis match that effort on the road?
VCU had a bizarre opening to conference play. The Rams gave up 173 points in back-to-back home losses before getting right on the road defensively in wins over George Mason and La Salle last week. VCU looks to ride that momentum in its return to Stuart C. Siegel Center against Saint Louis.
Here’s everything you need to know before making a bet on Friday’s conference clash.
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Saint Louis vs. VCU odds, spread and total
Saint Louis vs. VCU betting trends
- Saint Louis is 8-8 ATS this season
- VCU is 8-7-2 ATS this season
- Saint Louis is 6-5 ATS as an underdog this season
- VCU is 5-6-1 ATS as a favorite this season
- The OVER is 10-6 in Saint Louis games this season
- The OVER is 8-9 in VCU games this season
Saint Louis vs. VCU how to watch
- Date: Friday, Jan. 19
- Game time: 7 p.m. EST
- Venue: Stuart C. Siegel Center
- How to watch (TV): ESPN+/ESPN2
- Saint Louis record: 8-9 (1-3 A-10)
- VCU record: 10-7 (2-2 A-10)
Saint Louis vs. VCU key players to watch
Bradley Ezewiro: The 6-foot-9 junior forward has been eligible for six games after getting his eligibility waiver and has scored in double figures in each contest. Saint Louis lost standout guard Sincere Parker (13 points per game) to a broken foot in November, but the Billikens’ offense has continued to score with the help of Ezewiro and a deep rotation (28 bench points vs. Dayton). Ezewiro is now the team’s leading rebounder after just a half-dozen games, grabbing 7.5 rebounds per night and is shooting 55.9% from the field. He had 10 points and 7 rebounds in Tuesday’s loss to Dayton.
Toibu Lawal: The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward has helped VCU’s defense turn it around recently. VCU allowed just 115 points over its road wins last week and the London, England native has been a key contributor off the bench. He is averaging 8.1 points per game, but does the majority of his damage on the glass with four double-digit rebounding performances. He grabbed 10 of them in VCU’s 71-65 win over La Salle.
Saint Louis vs. VCU prediction and pick
VCU’s defense has been the key to its two-game winning streak. The Rams held La Salle and George Mason to a combined 42-of-119 (35.3%) shooting and just 6-of-38 (15.8%) from beyond the arc. Saint Louis relies heavily on its perimeter shooting, connecting on 37.7% of its 3-point tries. VCU has been great against triples, ranking No. 51 in that nation and No. 37 defending shots inside the arc.
VCU’s offense is rounding into form after the December backcourt additions of double-digit scorers Joe Bamisile and Sean Bairstow. VCU’s offense gets a great matchup against a Saint Louis defense that ranks No. 313 in overall efficiency, No. 290 in effective field goal percentage and No. 324 in defending 2-point shots. VCU struggles to protect the ball (No. 289 in turnover percentage), but Saint Louis doesn’t force a lot of them.
With VCU’s defensive turnaround, a nice matchup for its surging offense and Saint Louis’ struggles on the road (0-5), back the Rams to pull away for a third consecutive conference win.
Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.